There's this reaction: "The new balance skate shoes look like old man shoes from the future". I sort of agree, but not in a necessarily bad way; they're sort of rad and PJ Ladd is the first guy on the team...
Some Devil's advocacy to counter our amnesiac rejection of all things "corporate in skateboarding." New Balance is privately held, made in the USA and entering skateboarding through a well-established and well-respected distribution house. Not sure how much that first part matters, but the latter two details should count for something.
A good number of older dudes: Don't tell me you weren't chilling in a pair of New Balances within the last 15 years.
None of these details are proof of anything, but I'm getting to the point where my feet have been treated so rottenly over the years by a tons and tons of different shoes from different companies that I'm keeping an open mind.
Trivia: Is there precedence for one distributor to move two shoe companies with two different owners in skateboarding? I'm not going to think so hard on it so if the answer is obvious don't fault me.
Update: Maybe the whole line:Vern Laird