Mortgage The House - A Brief History Of The M1300JP With Matt Kyte

With the M1300JP3 inching closer to its release this Friday the 21st of February, we wanted to take some time out to appreciate the history of New Balance’s 1300 silhouette, and the 1300JP itself. What better way to dissect its history than our close friend and revered New Balance aficionado Matt Kyte of Contra Store

“It takes a bit to have me caring about a sneaker release these days, but if there’s one shoe that’ll jolt me back to the type of excitement I felt before the world was overrun by collaborations & high-budget ad campaigns for shoes nobody ever cared about, it’s New Balance’s 1300JP lineage.

Coming along every 5 years much like some sort of sneaker comet, there’s an aura to this shoe. It’s had more bring-backs than just about any other shoe I can think of but still remains relatively mythical. Part of that comes from the fact that, although revived 5 times since 1995, they’ve only been available outside of Japan twice.

With the third international release of this shoe coming up quickly it’s worth taking time to learn a bit more about what makes it so powerful in a world overrun with long-winded backstories. Now, I will waste some of my time giving you what I have determined to be the Most Unofficial, Maybe a Little Overstated & Potentially a Bit Inaccurate (But Mildly Interesting) History of the 1300…

Mortgage The House - A Brief History Of The M1300JP With Matt Kyte

The 1300 was placed into the New Balance range for 1984, a year after the 990 set a benchmark for performance, quality & most memorably price. The first running shoe to cost $100usd had also set a bar for any New Balance flagship to come. It established the 99x series of runners (one of the most successful lineages still existing today) & came to define New Balance footwear as many know it; expensive, high-tech grey “dad shoes”. By the time ’84 rolled around the $100 pricepoint of the 990 was surpassed by the even more expensive 1300, clocking in at an astonishing $130! It carried many of the hallmark features introduced with the 990 such as a Vibram® sole, plastic heel stabiliser & highest quality materials, but introduced unto the world one of NB’s most important technologies of the late 20th century: ENCAP. Carrying an EVA foam core ENCAPsulated within a PVA carrier, ENCAP managed to last as New Balance’s premiere shock-absorption technology until ABZORB would debut with the 998 almost a decade later in 1993. Another possibly even more important innovation was the SL-2 last that the 1300 was built on. For the less nerdy readers at home, the last is a foot form that the shoe is moulded to in the production process. It’s basically what gives the shoe the “fit” you experience. Chances are if you’re wearing a pair of retro NBs you’ll be enjoying the comforts of the SL-2’s mechanical form.

The 1300 was the Cadillac of the New Balance lineup for years, its shock absorption was second-to-none, making the shoe one of the most cushioned rides around & the premium pigskin uppers made in the U-S-of-A meant it was a pretty luxurious piece of footwear full-stop. NB knew that a near-50% price increase over 990 would shock & just like the preemptive ads for the 990, they went straight for the cynics when the 1300 was announced in June of 1984. In what is easily one of my favourite pieces of footwear advertising, their “Mortgage the House” ad faced the price argument head-on, making no apologies & instead telling you why it was worth every penny.

Mortgage The House - A Brief History Of The M1300JP With Matt Kyte

What NB couldn’t have predicted was the love their shoe garnered outside of elite runners. Quite popular with Boston’s drug dealers, the 1300’s price tag meant that anyone flossing a pair on the streets probably had some coin to drop. Mike Tyson continued his love affair with expensive NBs after famously sporting the 990 & laced up in the 1300 plenty of times. A man that big needs cushioning & in 1984 the 1300 was the best money could buy. Another titan that found comfort in the 1300 was the exacting grey shoe dad himself; Steve Jobs. Back before he was springing around the stage in 992s & custom-made Issey Miyake turtlenecks, a young Jobs kicked around the office in his lifetime best footwear choice: a pair of beat-up 1300s sporting a set of extra-long, massive-bow-tied red laces.

Mortgage The House - A Brief History Of The M1300JP With Matt Kyte

One place in particular that the 1300 resonated very well was (of course) Japan. With Americana being an aspirational aesthetic to many Japanese youth, the 1300 represented the peak of footwear. What resulted was an obsession that saw the 1300 re-released for it’s 10th anniversary exclusively for the Japanese market as the 1300J in 1995 (it actually released in late ’84 but I doubt it was widely available at that time). To understand more about just how big an undertaking this was for the Japanese design team I’d recommend reading Complex’s article from 2015 where Brendan Dunne did more research than current-day me would ever be bothered to do. The 1300 was available outside of Japan as the 1991-released 1300CL; which although similar from a distance, sported a completely different ENCAP sole unit borrowed from the 577 & a slightly different upper. This particular version is the one that appealed to a lot of American collectors including the delightfully obsessive Richie Roxas whose affinity for this particular version of the 1300 has always confused me as much as I admired it. The more accurate version remained only for the Japanese market, appearing every 5 years with slight alterations coming each time as the domestic design team tried to get more accurate with each rendition.

Mortgage The House - A Brief History Of The M1300JP With Matt Kyte

Whilst many considered that 2005 might be the last time the 1300J would be seen, in 2010 the shoe was not only back but for the first time ever it was available outside of Japan! There were improvements with the use of the original NB logo on the tongue label along with a return (for the first time since 1984) to a Vibram® outsole. Needless to say, there weren't enough pairs & the 1300JP disappeared swiftly, in spite of it sporting incredibly high retail price.

Once 2015 rolled around it was time again for a release (this time dubbed 1300JP2,) & production numbers were greater, stockist lists longer & retail prices higher. All of these factors did little to quell the thirst for more grey nubuck, although some initial whinging about toe box shapes plagued the internet which sent 1300JP prices skyrocketing over a perceived superiority in shape & quality. The reality is that if anything the JP2 was a bit more accurate thanks to the stubbier toe shape’s closer resemblance to the original. As with most releases everyone came to their senses within a month or 3 & by then pairs were gone.

Mortgage The House - A Brief History Of The M1300JP With Matt Kyte

Now we’re in 2020 & the future is clear; we’re due for a new 1300. This time things are looking pretty standard, there’s not much more than can be done by the talented & committed minds at NB’s Japanese HQ but the use of Horween leathers is a seemingly new addition. For some reason I feel like the iconic pigskin nubuck that fades oh so easily (and beautifully) on these has been coming out of the Chicago tannery for a while now but I could be wrong. We still get the iconic white & blue box remake that gets used nowhere else, the thick Vibram® rubber outsole, a unique ENCAP midsole that works just as well as it did in 1984 & that annoyingly grippy faux leather sockliner that exuberantly removes no-show socks throughout the day.

For me, few shoes compare to the original 1300. As an owner of far too many shoes we can often lose sight of the brilliance of a sneaker that just works. We’re often caught up in the hype, the story, the flashy unique colourway or unusual material choices but the 1300JP series eschews that in favour of quiet achievement. The slight improvements every 5 years means that it gets better, the understated looks mean you can wear it almost everywhere, the fantastic materials mean that much like a pair of jeans it gets better with age & the relative obscurity means that you’re not going to walk down the street to see some herb with a youtube channel & 18 subscribers documenting a fit check.

Mortgage The House - A Brief History Of The M1300JP With Matt Kyte

In a world that’s currently dominated by a culture of out-yelling each other & broadcasting our achievements for immediate satisfaction I think there’s something calming about seeing a pair of sneakers that just is. At a time when we look towards more ethical ways of consuming goods & making less of an impact on the world around us we need to shop smarter & the New Balance 1300JP3 just might be the most intelligent choice you can make.”

Moving through the M1300JP archives…

  • 1995 (Pre) - M1300J (Runners Demo/Sample)

  • 1995 - M1300
2005 - M1300J (Pedometer)
2006 - Centenary Playing Cards

  • 2010 - M1300JP

  • 2015 - M1300JP2

  • 2015 - K1300JP (Kids)

  • 2020 - M1300JP3


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New Balance X Engineered Garments 990V5 M990EGN5, M990EGB5, M990EGG5

New York workwear heavy-weights Engineered Garments are back at it again this time teaming up with New Balance to bring their signature asymmetrical mix-match to the 990V5.

Each of the three colourways feature a mixture of smooth leather, nubuck, suede, crocodile skin-style nubuck and lizard-embossed nubuck, which makes up an asymmetrical patchwork-like construction across both feet. Each pair is completely tonal with their heavy dose of mixed materials shining through as each surface hits the light differently. The 990v5 is finished with branded insoles, a rubberised tongue tag and a set of mismatched cotton and waxed laces to finish it all off.

Take your pick of Black (M990EGB5), Navy (M990EGN5), and Grey (M990EGG5) with all three pairs releasing this coming Saturday the 7th of September in store from 11am. Any remaining pairs will be available online shortly after the in-store release.

All three pairs will be available in sizes US8 through to US12 (including some half sizes) for $360AUD.

Until Saturday, we'll leave you with all of the finer details after the jump...

New Balance X Engineered Garments 990V5 M990EGN5, M990EGB5, M990EGG5Read More
New Balance 'Grey Day' M997GD1 + M997SGR

New Balance pay respects to their most beloved of monochrome colourways for 'Grey Day'. This coming Thursday the 5th of September, New Balance deliver two renditions of the 997GY.

Both crafted in the U.S.A. in the signature tones of grey, the first offering from the duo, the M997GD1 brings the traditional 997GY switching out the signatory N's and moving around the 'Made In U.S.A.' embroidery in their place, theaving the tongue and heel blank. The second pair from the collection brings the 997GY into the contemporary space with the M997SGR 'Sport' switching out the traditional sole unit for the latest Encap Reveal.

Both pairs will be available online at 12am midnight this coming Thursday the 5th of September with sizes US8 through to US12 (including some half sizes) available for $320AUD.

Until Thursday, we'll leave you with all of the finer details after the jump...

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Engineered Garments FW17

9/6/2017 8:56 AM

Engineered Garments and designer Daiki Suzuki have delivered their signature blend of workwear and utilitarian pieces. Be it their outerwear, carry goods, headwear, pants, and the in-between, each garment has been torn down and rebuilt with respect to the traditional piece and crafted with pride in their home-town of New York.

Ready to layer up and down for the FW17 season, Engineered Garments’ has us covered with their signature outerwear pieces. Coming to us in Black and Navy Nyco Ripstop the Field Parka comes fully lined and all pocketed up to stash more than just your keys, wallet, and phone. Not forgetting Engineered Garments’ signature Bedford Jacket, the wardrobe staple blazer comes correct in 11oz Indigo Cone Denim, and Black Cotton Double Cloth. Be it on it’s own or layered up the Highland Parka brings its military influence into your wardrobe in Olive Nyco Ripstop as the perfect cross seasonal piece.

Continuing the military inspired pieces, this season’s CPO Shirt hits our shelves in a Black and Olive Nyco Ripstop. Another perfect wardrobe addition to be worn as a jacket, over shirt, on its own, or layered up. Moving onto button downs, and Engineered Garments have an offering of classic Oxfords, Chambrays, and Checks across the Work Shirt, and ever-classic 19th Century BD Shirt.

Keeping your legs all covered up for the FW17 offerings, the Ground Pant comes with all of its military inspired pocketing, and wrapped in a Dark Navy, and Olive Nyco Ripstop to match off perfectly with its CPO Shirt counterpart. Another season filled with Fatigues, yet another wardrobe classic this season coming to us in a Black Double Cloth, and striking Herringbone Gangster Stripe.

To finish it all off, Engineered Garments always have our heads and carry covered for the season. This time around keeping our heads warm for those colder days with their Pom Pom Knit Cap in Charcoal, Navy, and Olive. Their Carry-All Totes return for the season in a number of Woolrich finishes from classic Dark Navy to a Grey Animal patterned number each of course sitting aside classic cotton and herringbone finishes.

The latest FW17 seasonal offerings from Engineered Garments are now available in store and online with all of the finer details after the jump...

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3sixteen have delivered their latest selection of American manufactured goods. With the sole aim of producing the highest quality clothing and accessories through state-side manufacturing. Their products are built with a focus on lasting construction, attention to detail and subtle marks of craftsmanship.

The new delivery features two shirting options…the crosscut flannel is a modern take on traditional western shirts, it features a vintage-style course weave fabric with brushed interior for a soft hand and added comfort. Whilst the long sleeve workshirt showcases detailing reminiscent of vintage counterparts. The shirt features a slim fit, cigarette pocket, and double needle chainstitch runoffs. For Spring/Summer 2017, they chose a lightweight waffle knit plaid woven in Japan.

Outerwear hasn’t been forgotten….The stadium Jacket is a slim cut baseball jacket. A lightweight version that can be worn in the warmer months. Featuring a copper YKK double zip. Whilst the BDU shirt is a new style for 3sixteen this season. Hailing from the Vietnam war era BDU’s, incorporating an updated fit and trademark 3sixteen detailing.

To witness the craftsmanship and attention to detail for yourself, head online or in-store for the latest.

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