By peoplestaff225
Updated July 29, 2008 05:00 PM

In this world of licensed characters, it’s not uncommon to see yourkids’ favorite cartoon plastered on every other tee shirt or even diaper. Usually,the addition of the character is an afterthought and easily replacedwith another. So, it was with some trepidation that I awaited theintroduction of New Balance‘snew Sesame Street footwear collection this summer, but it turns out, Ihad nothing to fear.

The blending of three of the most popularcharacters, Elmo, Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch – with NewBalance’s heritage running shoe – the 574 – is seamless. These are realrunning shoes, not merely rubber-soled vehicles for Dora or Diego. Theycost more than those superstore plastic sneaks, but the premiummaterials like EVA cushioning in the midsole and heel, solid rubberoutsole, and leather translates into comfort, support, and durability.I’m also quite happy to report that these shoes do not light up.