Monday, February 18, 2013

New Balance 1521

The New Balance 1520 replacement.. 

I am not ashamed to plug for the New Balance 1520 by saying that its one of the best trail shoes I've ever worn.
Back in 2009, I bought a pair of 1521's and had traveled extensively with it.
Later, I included the simple 1320 which was the little brother of the 1520. These were great shoes to have when you are on a long haul and the 1520's and 1320's have proven its worthiness in providing comfort and protection for my feet...

A big disappointment..

We have some cool New Balance concept stores in Kuala Lumpur. 
But the selection and variety in terms of shoe width and sizes really sucked.
I spoke to a store retail assistant and the NB Concept store in Mid Valley Gardens who told me that demand for 'high end' shoes are not great and that the store was afraid of stocking expensive shoes -- fearing that they wouldn't sell.
I guess that their fears were founded as very few people would appreciate shoes with 4E width and large sizes.
When you have a pair of large feet that is also wide, you are cursed.

As good as it gets! The New Balance 1521
Looking beyond our shores...

I was lucky that my brother in-law was in the US.
This means, I could sort out my footwear issues. For the past six months, I have been wearing my damaged New Balance 851. The sole was peeling off and showed signs of wear. 
Its not bad considering the fact that I've had them for nearly two years. 
I can say the same for the 1520's as they lasted for more than four years and are still kicking!
I went to New Balance's on-line store and ordered a size 11 NB 1521 with the 4E width.
My wife Michelle had told me off for buying stuff on-line without checking its sizing.
I am confident that the 1521's would fit like a glove and that the sizing was correct.
And walla! After a brief wait, my footwear crisis was solved.
Vincent, my brother in-law took delivery of two pairs of shoes.
First was the 1521 and the other pair was the NB2040 which was made in the US.

First impressions

The NB 1521 is very impressive. 
Its an upgrade from the 1520 and having tried it a my trek in the Belum forest, I must say that the level of comfort and traction was really good.

The shoes were put to test in the Royal Belum Forest recently
You can't go wrong with Vibram soles that are used in many premium trail shoes and hiking boots.
The 1521's provided a lot of protection and is also pretty 'breathable' with its large mesh covering my foot.
But it lacked of one thing: Goretex lining.
The 1520's and 1320's were given this waterproof treatment. 
Having said that, New Balance had solved the issue by including the Goretex lining in their latest 1521's which is a little bit pricier.
I bought my 1521's at USD$99.99 (RM310) including free UPS shipping to Vincent's US address. 
This is way cheaper than any crappy Nikes and Adidas trail shoes and way I see it, the 1521's and its successors will continue to be my preferred footwear for my outings..
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