The days when performance and heritage ran on purely parallel tracks, never to meet, are long gone. In fact, designing for a field that demands innovation functions a lot like any other compulsion with a law of diminishing returns. The longer you do it, the more you have to push the envelope to achieve the same thrills as before. A new project from New Balance, the Tokyo Design Studio, follows this line of thinking all the way to the ultimate fusion of performance and style.
As a longtime hotbed of New Balance fandom, the working relationship between New Balance and Japan is a well-established one. The Tokyo Design Studio takes this mutual admiration to a new level. Developed and designed in Japan, technological innovation and a progressive design sensibility are interpreted through the distinctly Japanese lenses of authentic history, painstaking craftsmanship and exacting quality.
The latest offering from New Balance’s Tokyo Design Studio imprint drafts renowned makers of outdoors gear, Snow Peak. What sets Snow Peak apart from the limitless stream of outdoors inspired product out there? Simple, Snow Peak isn’t “inspired.” The Niigata prefecture based brand is the genuine article. Snow Peak started out manufacturing mountain climbing equipment, and as camping became a nationally popular leisure activity in Japan, Snow Peak transitioned into making functional outdoor gear covering any and all needs that could be conceived of during a nature outing.
The EXTREME SPEC RC_4-MID applies the Snow Peak ethos to New Balance’s Reveal Concept, for an outdoors upgrade. Vibram tread soles are prepared for unsteady footing, Cordura and Gore-Tex uppers offer weatherproof durability, and magnetic Fidlock buckles at the ankles provide easy on/off accessibility. Reflective accented hiking laces and ‘N’ branding nylon webbing complete a look that is ready to look good, as well as perform through the worst winter has to offer.