New Balance Sneakers
Around for over 100 years old, New Balance was founded as the ‘New Balance Arch Support Company’ in 1906 in Massachusetts, Boston, USA by British businessman William J. Riley. Initially, the company offered specialised arch supports for people with foot problems, or workers such as firefighters and policemen who had to stand for long periods of time.
Inspired by chickens walking around in his back yard and their three-clawed feet, Riley created the arch supports to provide support for the foot in three different places. The name ‘New Balance’ came from the way the chickens used the shape of their feet to help them balance.
After hiring salesman Arthur Hall in 1927, Riley eventually went into partnership with Hall in 1934. The management of the company underwent a major change in 1956 when Hall sold the company to his daughter and her husband Paul Kidd. New Balance arch supports had made a huge impression on athletes in the fifties, and they approached the brand wanting custom-made shoes. This inspired the Kidds to launch their first sneaker with a ripple sole, available in several widths, called the Trackster, in 1961. When the athletes started wearing the sneaker, the company’s reputation grew so much that manufacturing these shoes became one of its highest priorities.
The company was sold one more time to entrepreneur Jim S. Davis in 1972. But New Balance didn’t become a big name until a breakthrough in 1976, when the New Balance 320 model won first place in the Runner's Worlds magazine awards. The NB320 was the first model to feature the famous “N” logo, and was made from nylon and suede.
1982 saw the creation of the New Balance 990, featuring an innovative combination of materials and technology. Marketed as a high-end choice for sneakerheads, it was set at $100, which was extravagant for the time, and the model quickly became a status symbol.
In 1988 New Balance launched the 574 model, which was designed as a technical running shoe. Offering high levels of comfort and stability, the New Balance 574 quickly became one of the brand’s most famous models.
In 2001, the New Balance 991 was released, which was famously worn by Steve Jobs for a number of years and boosted the model’s popularity.
Since then, they have only continued to grow and even now, are still considered one of the best manufacturers in the athletic shoe business. Known for their exceptional quality, unique designs and continuous innovations, New Balance has an extensive range of sneakers in many different styles, and offer shoes for many more sports than running, including basketball, tennis, and football.
The versatile models include the New Balance 530 and New Balance 1500 for a normal, everyday lifestyle sneaker, the comfortable New Balance 550, and the stylish New Balance 992. Or for a retro look, the New Balance 327 calls back to their 70’s heritage.
Generally, New Balance sneakers do run true to size.