New Balance M998RR: More Maine-made masterpieces.

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You can’t have too many New Balance M998s. We’ve owned an array of grey colourways of this classic, with the navy and red accents, but we’ve found that this shoe goes with absolutely everything. If you’re that dude on the Tres Bien site, you can pull these off (or a pair of M1300s) with a suit, but we think anybody can break these off with anything. We saw some rom-com where Ryan Gosling sonned Steve Carell for wearing NBs, but that guy is about the bad boots and scoop necks, so his opinion is null. Serious runners and goons from Queens are the only people whose opinion we trust on athletic shoes like this and they have a tendency to co-sign this US-made classic. The New Balance M998RR isn’t all fancy and rare like the Sneaker Freaker edition that will have hypebeasts weeping as they hit fruitlessly hit refresh at midnight later this month, but the materials used here and the sparing use of colour, plus that flawless shape and simpler approach to the sole are a perfect running creation.

That red hidden in the heel and inside the tongue, blue ‘N’ and reflective applications are powerful details. Crazes are doomed to burn out and dudes with beards and hand tattoos who are co-signing sports footwear again, plus the strange people that ask us “Will those be an inshore release only?” will come and go (they’ll be back in brogues or wearing some weird high end Chelsea boots by 2014), but the M998 will always be one of the best shoes there is. Develop some tunnel vision and grab a few iterations of this shoe this year and go grab the US-made M997 when they drop next year (we can’t wait for that reintroduction) and we guarantee that you won’t get buyer’s remorse. Not even the quaint tongue stitching and sockliner design can put us off. These are Maine-made masterpieces for those that know. It doesn’t get much better than these and they’re in the Crooked Tongues store right now. If the price tag has you breathing into a paper bag, just buy these and forget everything else for the next few months.

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