Call it luck or what have you but the winter weather that was tormenting us this past week is finally holding up in order to review this Stratford 479. Yes, admittingly, we’re a little late to the party considering that this model has already become a favorite amongst some of our friends, but for those who’re still apprehensive, we’re here to clear the air. First and foremost, there’s a reason why the Stratford 479 is constantly seen on PJ Ladd’s feet. In the very first hour of skating them, they have gained our praise to the point where our verdict on the shoe stands as such: they’re fucking awesome. The Stratford 479 will put any and all preconceived notions of ours and critics to the side with just 1-hour of skating. We’re certain of it.
As one of the premiere models out of the New Balance Numeric line, the Stratford 479 has given us every quality we can ask for. The fit is snug but not overwhelming, the flick is supreme and the tread pattern isn’t bad at all considering its straightforward design. If we had to describe it any other way, we’d say that the Stratford feels like an extension of your foot rather than a shoe on your foot. For a cupsole design, there’s a ton of board feel and more than enough support for those with a wide and/or narrow foot. As with every shoe, you should expect some break-in time but the normality of that is comfortably 1-3 days. The Stratford 479 takes about 20 minutes to break-in in comparison and after that, the shoe remarkably converts to the shoe you want it to be.
For the time being, the Stratford’s are holding up better than we expected. For our initial 5-hours of skating, we didn’t expect to be so pleased with a product that everyone had already signed off as ‘horrible’.
Word on the street is that PJ is already in the process of designing his first pro model for NB#. If we had to guess, he won’t stray too far from the Stratford 479 DNA considering how often he’s seen skating them. How this shoe can get any better is beyond us but we’re all for surprises. Can NB# pull it off or will they bite off more than they can chew? Expect to find out come SP’15.