Friday, January 30, 2009

686 and New Balance collaboration

686 New Balance Snowboard Boot Collaboration

I might have to hold off on purchasing replacements for my Salomon F20s. Since I started snowboarding I've always been loyal to the Salomon Fusion series. My foot borders right between the regular and wide widths so I do at times get cramps, but everything else about their boots makes it worth putting up with the rare slight discomfort. Just wish they would release wide-versions just like they do with their regular line. I was told by Avran, aka AngrySnowboarder, that the toe box in the Fusion line was expanded this year, so who knows they might just be the perfect boot for me now.

Anyway, the real focus of this post is on another one of my favorite snowboarding companies, 686! My first jacket was a 686, my current jacket is also a 686. Totally dig their designs and quality of their product. So when I got wind that 686 was teaming up with another stellar company, New Balance, I was stoked!

Screw all this crap about being core and what not. It wouldn’t have made any sense if 686 partnered up with an existing boot maker. What kind of product would they have come up with? An existing boot styled by 686?

This is totally legit. New Balance makes some of the best footwear out there. Mike and Crew spend enough time on the slopes that they’ll know what they want out of a snowboard boot and New Balance provides their expertise in footwear in general. Everyone! This is a snowboarding collaboration done right! I hope they show up Nike which I've heard has been less than stellar with their first generation boots.

I’m excited to check out the product although I’m always leery about purchasing first generations. Let’s just hope the boots will get proper distribution since their outerwear line is already entrenched.

I asked everyone I knew online who were going to SIA to grab some photos for me but I never saw any on their various blogs. Fortunately TransWorld Business had some up in their slide show, the photo was taken from them. The plaid pattern isn't as dominant as I expected it to be. I guess that'll help lure in the general public. I wouldn't have minded repping Tartan pride. As for the Boa lacing system, Salomon has their own quick lace system so I don't have much experience with it. I tried on DC boots in the past and liked the lacing system but the fit of the DC boots were pretty bad. The regular shoe laces are a nice design touch, I wonder if they are actually functional... would have been dope.

Mike if you happen to read this, I'll gladly take a pair of the white plaid in size 10.

Update: Just read in the January issue of Transworld Business that New Balance tried to enter the snowboard market two years ago. Haven't dug up any information regarding that foray. Anyone have info?

Update 2: Angry got around to posting his review on the boots. Unlike every other media outlet that focused on the business partnership and aesthetic designs, Angry actually got to try on the boots and take a closer look at them. His overall take on them was favorable which is great, but I still can't wait to get my hands on them.

In his review he linked out to a few non-snowboarding sites that had additional photos of the gear. I never really noticed it, but the sole of the boot seems thick, so yeah it's not a low-profile boot which I usually favor. Maybe I should consider switching, might be better on my knees riding away from bad landings.

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