“Mortgage the house,” is what New Balance told the consumer when they dropped the NB 1300 in 1985 for $130 ($282 today with inflation). By marketing the shoe as a luxury item, calling it “the very best running shoe ever made,” the shoe became a cult hit in the land where flexing high end goods is practically a sport: JAPAN.
Constructed with premium mesh and nubuck upper, Encap technology, then topped off with a Vibram brand outsole for superior traction, Japanese consumers known for their love of good craftsmanship flocked to this model. This infatuation with the 1300 in the land of the rising sun eventually lead to a reissue of the model in 1995 for the first time, dubbed the 1300JP (which retailed for ¥39,000…about $350 USD at the time). This reissue was manufactured in the USA, but the craftsmanship on the pair was then vetted by New Balance Japan to ensure the absolute highest quality.
Since 1995 New Balance has stuck to a VERY strict quinquennial release pattern with the 1300JP, only dropping the shoe every 5 years to ensure the proper time is spent going over the meticulous details that make the shoe so sought after. Pairs from each release typically retail for around $300, but go quite fast and end up selling for thousands on the secondary market.
As you may already know (I sincerely hope you do) it is now the year 2020, meaning it is now time for another reissue of the model and I am happy to inform you The 2020 version of the New Balance 1300JP will release on Newbalance.com and at select New Balance stockists globally on Feb. 22 for a retail price of $300. They will once again be made at New Balance’s Skowhegan, Maine factory here in the USA, ensuring the same quality craftsmanship as the last 6 releases of the coveted sneaker.
With all that said, the 1300JP is without a doubt the greatest New Balance sneaker ever made, and anyone telling you otherwise is just an idiot, cop up or it’ll be a looooooong five years.