Over the past decade, New Balance‘s 1700 “Japan” has become the stuff of legend to avid NB collectors in the East and West alike. Now, it’s returning in all its original glory to mark its 10th anniversary. A onetime high-performance runner that debuted in 1999, the 1700 proffered one of New Balance’s most advanced cushioning setups at the time — blending ABZORB, ENCAP and C-Cap for a comfy, supportive ride. Although running shoe performance has since evolved past this benchmark, the combo of notable technologies and the intricate attention to detail on the silhouette ensure that it’s still a lifestyle favorite.
On par with the quality of NB’s famous made in the US and UK makeups, this 1700 was made in Japan from supple steel grey leather and sporty light grey mesh. These two base materials make way for rich navy nubuck, which is nestled around the eyestays and in between the trim. Branding is mostly split between navy and metallic gold, thanks to a midfoot N logo plus “Limited Edition” and “Made in Japan” details on the tongue and heel, respectively.
A gold debossed lace deubre adds a touch of metallic, monarchial flair, and the look is completed by original 1700 tooling, a direct match to familiar Made in US styles. Although the 1700 may not boast the omnipotence of models like the 992 or 997, its influence and stature among tastemakers is undeniable: Barneys and KITH are the only US entities who’ve ever been granted the privilege of collaborating on the silhouette.
A limited production run of 2,000 pairs will be available at Japanese stockists like mita come July 10. The MSRP is set at ¥16,000 JPY (approximately $149 USD).
Elsewhere in the world of New Balance, a Made in UK 1500 has been wrapped in metallic silver leather.