The New Balance 1300CL that the company put out a couple years ago was probably the perfect sneaker, and I don’t say that lightly. A NB classic with ideal proportions and in a wearable, gray/blue color. They retailed for well over $100, sold out quickly, and have held value in a “limited edition” sneaker market that’s declining overall (and with good reason–flooded market, ugly shoes, high prices, people moving on). The 1300CL has the NB made-in-USA pedigree, an athletic profile that is neither cheaply retro looking (like a lot of 574 variants) or too current (my problem with 993s, which I would actually wear running). There’s no distorted, bulky sole or oddly placed color panels. No cartoon-y theme or price-hiking designer collaboration.

NB has put out some new shoes in the same vein. No, these new grey 1300s at Park and Bond are not quite as clean as the 1300CLs from the last run, but close counts.