1 Piece/3 Ways: New Balance Sneakers

March 29th, 2013

Spring’s here! And with spring comes a whole new wardrobe, color palette, and generally just higher spirits.

Although I’m not usually a sneaker guy (sure, I’ve dabbled with classic Jack Purcell’s and Vans in the past), this week I busted out my most recent shoe purchase: a pair of New Balance 574s.

New Balance was founded in 1906 as the “New Balance Arch Support Company.” The founder, William Riley, observed chickens in his backyard, noticing their perfect balance, and was inspired to develop a shoe that utilized three support points (similar to a chickens foot), claiming the technology provided more balance and comfort.  Well, he got something right as wearing my 574s feels like I have pillows strapped to my feet, which makes a huge difference when you walk a few miles every day getting around the city.

Here are three examples of how I’ve been working them into my rotation.

     1. Prep Set


    If you’re wary about pairing comfortable trainers with a more refined casual look, New Balances are a great place to start.

    They’re sporty and comfortable, while still having a nice shape.  They’re made from fabrics and colors that don’t scream”strictly gym shoes.” My pair, for example, are crafted from cool green suede and blue/grey chambray mesh.


    I love these nantucket reds.  They’re a New England staple, originating at Murray’s Toggery in Nantucket, Massachusetts.

    I’ve owned these pants since high school, but haven’t worn them in awhile due to their baggier cut (something I used to prefer).  After a quick trip to The Tailoring Room they’ve instantly gone from an afterthought in the back of my closet to my new favorite pair of pants for Spring.

    Don’t forget to “shop” your own closet! Why spend money on new pieces when you can affordably update the ones you already have?


    2. Nice & Easy


    For casual occasions, I find a simple and comfortable approach works best.

    This is a muted look, so the shoes add a nice contrast and bring life to the outfit.


    I love this chunky cardigan.  It’s a great layering piece for spring/summer nights.

    Breton Stripes are a staple of spring fashion, and will always be relevant.


    3. Comfy Commute


    The average New Yorker walks a few miles every day.

    When possible, I try to avoid wearing leather soled lace-ups and loafers if I’m going to be bouncing around a lot, both for comfort and for the lifespan of my expensive shoes.


    Sneakers with a suit can be a fun look… Get creative by matching subtle details, like the hints of green in the tie, pocket square and bracelet.

    If needed, I can always throw a more formal pair of shoes into bag, along with my laptop, phone charger, gym clothes, mini dopp kit, snacks, etc.



    Thanks for reading.

    Stay Classy,



    Photography by Alex Crawford

    • Eric

      The first two looks are fine. I really like the chunky cardigan in the second look.
      I just really dislike sneakers with a suit. In my opinion, anything more casual than a chukka boot ruins the classed-up appeal of a suit. It’s like running a four minute mile and turning around right before you reach the finish line.
      You’re killing it with the tan suit, awesome plaid tie, pocket square… and then you throw on the New Balances.

    • Gary-A

      Dig these sneakers! Colors on the Shop This Look aren’t an exact match though, so I assume these are custom order?

    • http://www.backdownsouth.com Back Down South

      As always, great stuff. Love the Sneaker + Suit look

    • Khalid

      Townsend pulls it off… but then again, Townsend could probably pull off a pin,er nantucket red tutu with steel-toe boots.

    • Bateman

      Great stuff, and very inspirational. Is that the wheat color for the cotton suit in the third look?

      • http://tsbmen.com Townsend


    • Steve

      Nice. Do you were socks with your sneakers?

      • http://tsbmen.com Townsend

        Yes and no. When I wear socks, I’ll wear anything from “no-shows” to very bright socks. Don’t be afraid to pair fun socks w/ sneakers. Just don’t get caught wearing white calf socks.

    • http://stylishbefore40.blogspot.com stylishbefore40

      It’s my ,your favourite look

    • Kool Chiefrocka Dave


      I’m reminded of Ryan Gosling launching a pair of New Balance shoes over a shopping centre balcony.


    • Martin

      Great post Towni. Love the second look. Very inspired for me.

    • Felix

      I’m sorry, but you didn’t pull this off. The only look working is 2.

      #1 is very all over the place, and looks straight up bad. The colour scheme is unified, the hat looks silly and very casual, the tie doesn’t work with the sneakers because of a contrasting formality which is not broken well and the belt adds another distracting detail. Each piece here fights for attention, bar the trench and the shirt. It is a very loud look, which lacks cohesion. Because of that, it just looks bad.

      #3, the sneakers suit thing just looks dreadful. Again, its a formality clash, rather than a formality contrast. Straight up bad looking. Stick to the shoes you know work with a suit.

      Not your best Towni, in fact, maybe one of your worst.

      • M.

        I disagree.
        I am no style guru, but I do know what looks pleasing to my eye.
        Look 1 IS all over the place, but Towni likes to take risks, you’re bound to screw up sometimes.
        Look 2 is soooo casual, I love it, would rock it anytime.
        Look 3… Well, I already stated my opinion.

    • Mat

      While I don’t think you did a bad job with the sneaker per say; I really don’t think they look good in any situation besides the gym. ANY other shoe is almost always better. At the very least just play white sneakers. The big N on the side is too distracting and tacky. Just my two cents.

      • Lim

        +1. I really can’t get down with any of this flyknit or roshe business simply because of those horrible logos. Throws a whole outfit off imo.

    • Stan

      Are you wearing loafers shoes or just no socks? If you’re not wearing socks how do you keep them from smelling?

      • http://tsbmen.com Townsend

        Both. When going sockless, just be sure to air out your sneaker afterwords, and if it starts to smell a bit, give it a little Dr. Scholl’s Odor Destroyer spray.

    • TO


      How does the Uniqlo raincoat fit? I guess a better/another question is: what is your chest size and which side did you go with?

      I am familiar with the general sizing as I have some items from the brand, but I have been considering that coat as a gift and only have access to their online store at the moment! Thanks.

    • Daniel

      Today’s post was brought to you by New Balance and the letter J[.Crew]. Still, nicely done, sir

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        This post was in no way sponsored by New Balance or any other brands.

        • Daniel

          Haha no, I was just commenting on the amount of J.Crew Towni is wearing in the three posts.

          • Daniel


    • cam

      i can get behind the idea of these for a commute to work but I think you look best in loafers, drivers and supergas for the the first two looks. always stylish though I must say sir.

    • Michael

      New Balance and Saucony Jazz are my fave sneakers right now – perfect balance of comfort and style.

    • http://undefined Jack

      I despise the Yankees, but despite the cap(s), these are all strong looks. Are those Eliza B/Leather Man belts? I’ve had one for a year now. Decent belt.

      • http://tsbmen.com Townsend

        Yeah! Love those belts.

    • M.

      I’m sorry for foul language, but as I saw look #3 I laughed and said out loud: “Holy ****, he pulled it off!”
      It really looks that great.

    • Eugene

      Dope looks, especially #3.

    • John

      Look #3 is great! Well done!

    • TO

      Very nice post Mr. Smith!

      Possibly the best execution of new balance sneaks with a suit I’ve seen! Most of the time I’m not really a fan. Good insight too man.

    • Kid Icarus

      Great post. Saucony makes a nice, similarly styled sneaker to New Balance, and usually at a somewhat lower price.

      Also, in that first look, Towni seems to have made an incredible faux pas by pairing a Yankee cap with other details originating squarely in Red Sox territory.

      • http://tsbmen.com Townsend

        I grew up in an interesting area… Either die hard Yanks fans or hardcore Sawx fans. Was right on the border of fan allegiance in CT, so it really went either way. Grew up going to Yanks games though, thus the loyalty. Thanks for reading, and go Yanks!

    • http://Www.twitter.com/jHenryPlummer James Henry


      you are an impeccably great artist! Thoroughly appreciate you style and inspiration! Have to admit, You are my personal fave of the #WIWT sessions of TSBDaily! Ha!

      Continue to invoke class, style, and confidence in your artistry!



    • AK


      In the first look you mentioned you had those trousers cut down to a more tapered, snug fit. I’ve done the same with a few pairs of thrifted finds and I’ve noticed that the crotch area feels and looks a bit off once the legs are slimmed. I imagine there’s an answer for why that is, but I was wondering if anyone at TSB knew how to fix something like that. In other words, what would I suggest to my tailor? Is there anything he could do short of rebuilding the pants?

      • http://tsbmen.com Townsend

        Ask him to take in the crotch/low butt area as well. It usually shouldn’t be that much more work, and you’ll save your pants from looking like those dreaded “drop crotch pants”… It still baffles me as to why those are remotely popular.

        • AK

          Thanks much for the quick response, Townsend! You’re a gentleman and a scholar.

    • Justinjones

      Great post, dudes.

    • Joe

      I’ve lived in NYC til recently and walked a few miles just running errands, but I have to disagree with the premise that it’s more comfortably done in sneakers. I have found that a well fitting (gentlemen, get your feet measured by someone who knows what they’re doing!) and well made leather soled shoe can be just as comfortable and often more so than a sneaker. In fact I have a pair of bespoke cowboy boots (my one “fashion splurge”) that are more comfortable than anything I own, including some chunky and soft NB’s.

      Of course NB’s are certainly comfortable, and many of them look pretty nice, as seen above (though I just can’t get on board with the tie and sneakers look, though maybe a cotton suit and white tee with chucks?). But in the end I gotta go with Gosling on this one.

      • El Zilcho

        Do people in the north wear cowboy boots? I own a few pairs, but I’m also from Texas and work on a ranch occasionally.

    • Mr E

      I must admit I cringe to see trainers with a suit and tie, but I do believe Townsend is changing my mind with that last look.

      Loving the hair, too, mate.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        That’s why we’re here!!!

      • Marcus Forlan

        Ditto. After I left college I only wore sneakers to workout or play. But this blog is changing my mind – slowly. Damn it! :-).

    • Joe

      Great looks, Towni. I really admire your clothes and style and use them to model my own after. Thanks.

    • Kyle Leon Norville

      I truly enjoyed this post. New Balances are indubitably comfortable, had 4 pairs in High School that I STILL regret selling. Unfortunately, my lady abhors(well, we’ll say mildly dislikes…)sneakers so hopefully this post is just what I need to turn the tides in this never ending battle lol.

      Look 3 is my personal Favorite. Great Job!

      • His Lady

        Haha I don’t hate sneakers. I have a couple pairs. And I work at J.Crew!! Obviously I love this post! And thats the color of my room! of course I love the shoes.

    • A

      I bought the light grey NB 1400 x JCrew ones but I’m wondering if I should’ve gone with a more distinct color like green. When I wear the NB’s, I struggle to not think I look like a rube.

      • http://tsbmen.com Townsend

        I was eyeing those, as well as the “cork” colored ones… Super cool shoes.

    • mars

      Third look is killer!

    • Jim A

      Some rather casual looks for this site, but that’s not a bad thing. Nice to target something a bit closer to what those of us who don’t have much occasion to suit up wear.

      Out of curiosity, what does “most recent” mean in this context? Because it sounds like you picked them up last week, but I’m certain I’ve seen those in a #WIWT a decent ways back.

      • http://tsbmen.com Townsend

        *Most recent sneaker purchase. Got them a couple months ago, but I don’t buy sneakers that often. Thanks for reading!

    • http://www.luxuriousprototype.com Phaon K. Spurlock

      I have that belt! I actually got it from Murray’s Toggery in Martha’s Vineyard.

      • http://www.luxuriousprototype.com Phaon K. Spurlock

        *The Lobster Belt

    • Ian K

      Nice. Excellent post yet again. Belts look unusual where are they from?

    • AK

      Been eye-balling the 574’s for quite some time, and this post pretty much sold me. Towni nailed all the looks in my opinion, and I’m gonna have to agree with him that the 574s are just the right type of cut/color to flatter and complement without drawing too much attention to themselves. Bravo gents!

    • Ryan Gosling
      • http://tsbmen.com Townsend

        Hahaha… while I obviously disagree, this is so well played. Thanks for reading!

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        haha. I gotta say, I agreed with you for years, but Towni proves it can be done well.

      • Joe