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Project Sneaker: A.R.C. New Balance Kicks

ARC_NewBalance_M1300_teal

ARC_NewBalance_M1300_white

ARC_NewBalance_M1300_grey

In late January, New Balance launched its Partnership Program, through which the brand's top desginers will collaborate with the company's best and top retailers for regionally designed limited edition collections made at nearby New Balance facilities (but available to consumers nationwide). The program allows sneaker retail gurus to hep in the design and creation process of New Balance sneakers that fit the tastes and needs of their specific clientele.

The Partnership Program kicked off with this collaboration between New Balance and the NYC-based sneaker haven ALIFE Rivington Club (A.R.C.). The ALIFE collection reinvents the New Balance M1300 silhouette, which was first introduced in 1985, by using unexpected materials such as pig suede on the tip, saddle and foxing, and jacquard knit meshes along the tongue, sides and front panels. The A.R.C. New Balance collection is available in three colorways: all-over teal,gray with teal accents, and white with teal details. While the sneaker leaves NB's signature design details virtually untouched, ALIFE Rivington Club designers added subtle details like the the tie print on the tongue, which references A.R.C.'s overall jeans.

I do like the handiwork used to make these, and the construction is impeccable, but I do wish the colorways were a bit more exciting — especially considering some of ALIFE's penchant for splashy designs. Still, they're comfortable, clean, crisp, and that teal color is hotter than hot for spring.

A.R.C. New Balance sneakers, $156. Available at all ALIFE stores and at rivingtonclub.com

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