Started by British immigrant, William J. Riley, New Balance shoes actually began their life as a small arch support company. Years later, the shoe company has become one of the largest shoemakers in the entire world.
Riley founded New Balance in Boston, Massachusetts, and its headquarters still remains there today. Let’s take a closer look!
It’s In The Name
Riley created the name, ‘New Balance,’ after observing chickens in his backyard using perfect balance as they walked. Initially, his customers were mainly those who were required to stand for long periods of time for their work, like police and firefighters, so the name made sense. And the rest, as they say, is history.
The Shoes Didn’t Come Immediately
Despite being known as a shoemaking company, New Balance didn’t start to develop shoes until 30 years after its inception. As mentioned, it began as an arch support business, with the aim of improving shoe comfort and fit. Despite its massive nature today, that initial mission is still very much followed by the brand.
Expanding The Products
The products New Balance offered expanded as the company did. In 1956, Eleanor and Paul Kidd purchased the company. Four years later, the brand began producing sneakers and developed the first athletic shoe featuring a ripple sole, the ‘Trackster’ shoe.
The sneakers were extremely popular with Boston-area college track teams and, through word-of-mouth, its awareness spread among athletes, nationwide. Despite the brand’s growing renown with athletes, New Balance maintained and stood by its policy. It would not sponsor teams or athletes, as it wanted its consumers to buy into their quality.
A Favorite of Athletes
The New Balance brand eventually became a staple for athletes. Around the 1970s, the Boston area expanded with runners, which evidently helped New Balance’s business.
The company ramped up promotional and marketing efforts around its Trackster shoe, next, emphasizing its fit, comfort and value.
New Balance, Today
Fast forward to present day, and New Balance is recognized as a global brand for athletes worldwide. In 2015, the company added a line of specialty sneakers for the soccer market. Although their products are still made in England, the brand remains one of the rare shoemakers that manufactures mostly in America.
New Balance Shoes: An Overview Of Their History
New Balance shoes are easily one of the most famous shoe brands in the entire world, and appeal to people of all age groups, fitness levels, and styles. Visit Dale’s Shoes today, to find out more about our full line of New Balance footwear, as well as many others.