Time to Retire the 574s

July 6, 2013

Original Factory Condition

Original Factory Condition

I am, in many ways, rather frugal and I like to get as much use out of things that I buy as possible. To that end, I think it is safe to say I got my money’s worth out of this pair of New Balance 574s.

I am not sure exactly when I bought them, but I think they are at least 6 years old, probably older. I bought them on sale, 2 for one, with a similar pair of gray 574s, the M574N2. Now, these are described as retro and classics, but I think back then it was just the good old New Balance 574.

Good Night Sweet Prince!

Six+ Years of Wear!

I still have the M574N2, it was the slicker all leather(?) style, without the cloth net on the toes.

The M574N2 regularly gave me blisters when I walked in them, primarily around the heel, so I let them get torn up, wearing them as outside/work shoes and retired them several years ago. I kept them for emergencies, as other then staining and a bit of damage under the heal, they aren’t in terrible shape. However, due to comfort issues I haven’t worn that pair of New Balances in years.

The other pair, the M574BGS, on the other hand, has been one of the best and most comfortable shoes I have owned. I can’t even begin to contemplate how many miles I have put on those, but it is a lot.

New Tread vs Old Tread

New Tread vs Old Tread
(click for full size)

The picture at right shows the difference in tread between a replacement pair I bought a few months ago. The comparison shot really doesn’t do justice to the difference between the treads, but gives a pretty good idea.

Since that picture was taken, I ended up wearing the old pair as outside shoes for several more months and the heels have pretty much deteriorated to the point I can see through them. Due to the in-balance when I walk, which has finally gotten to be uncomfortable, I probably won’t wear them much for any extended period of time. I have since ordered a new pair.

To be fair, I did kind of baby this pair initially, only wearing it infrequently until the first gray pair was too dirty. However, they have been my main shoes for a number of years now and up until only a few months ago, my daily shoe.

So, it is with a bit of sadness, I officially retire this pair and anxiously await my new one!

Probably the only downside to the New Balance 574 is that they seem to attract burning ash from fires. Both the original pair of 574s and the new one I bought a few months ago ended up with a small burn spot from a bit of ash the first time I wore them at an outdoor fire. I suppose it is like denting your car the first time though, after that you can relax a bit. However, I plan on keeping the pair I just ordered well out of harms way for as long as possible.


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