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The 12 Days of Christmas, Day 4

Each December, the XLR8R staff takes a few minutes every morning to spout off about what we'd like to see wrapped up and under the tree come December 25. Today, Derek Grey clues us in to his favorite shoes of 2008, the New Balance 420 and PF Flyers' Number 5.

As we try to keep the Elements page hot month after month with the raddest style gear around, shoes tend to pile up at the XLR8R office. But the ones that really rose to the top this year for me were the New Balance 420s and PF Flyers Number 5s. Both are takes on old classics, but since they’re made by companies that know what’s up in the comfort department (heck, the “PF” stands for “posture foundation,” and if you’ve got any doubt about New Balance, just ask your running-obsessed friend or check out a copy of Runner’s World), they’re more than your typical style-over-substance vintage knock-offs.

The Number 5 colorways this year were amazing (my particular faves were the Light Brown with Japanese Houndstooth canvas and the Black/Plum wrinkled leather), and the basic cream-on-white or straight-up black styles proved to be some of the most versatile additions to my closet.

On the more athletic-looking retro tip, New Balance’s vintage 420 line shocked us right back to the ’80s, but offered up far better color options than we would have had back then. Of course, there’s no skimping on comfort for this shoe either, and for a stylish lookin’-back sneaker, they’re even pretty good for a jog–or at least that wintry cool run from the subway to the club.

Day 1: Keurig Platinum B70 single-cup coffeemaker
Day 2: Score! Merge Records: The First 20 Years
Day 3: Low Self-Esteem by Katie West
Day 4: New Balance 420 and PF Flyers' Number 5
Day 5: Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films
Day 6: Kenwood TT756SL 2-Slice Radio Toaster
Day 7: The Ghostly Box
Day 8: Pentax SMC DA* Series 16-50mm F2.8 and 50-135mm F2.8 DSLR lenses

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