With so many athletic footwears available in the market, it is difficult, but not entirely impossible, to find the right shoes that fit your style and preference. Sure, footwear giants like Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, and Skechers are spoilt for choice. But if you are still experiencing a hard time choosing the right shoes for your adventures, we have a flawlessly consistent shoe brand that offers not just chic aesthetics, but also a perfect shoe fit and balance.
Meet New Balance Athletics Inc., or simply New Balance to a myriad of its loyal customers, an American multinational corporation, specializing in footwear, that has never disappoint in its range of products. Perhaps, the most compelling thing about this brand is not only its durability but also its successful reinvention that incorporates latest running shoe technology and timeless style.
New Balance Review
The perfect balance
New Balance traces its roots to Boston in 1906 when 33-year-old British immigrant, William J. Riley founded the New Balance Arch Support Company. His first product? A flexible arch support with a three-point arch design, in the shape of a triangle, that improves shoe fit and creates a greater balance. It is believed that Riley’s three-pointed arch support design was patterned after the three-clawed foot of chickens which he happened to observe from his backyard. Noticing the perfect balance provided by the chicken’s foot, Riley deemed it as the “new balance”, hence, the name of his company.
Direct marketing and new leadership
Riley’s product allowed a great support and balance to the wearer that in no time, his product became a hit. Soon afterwards, Riley hired Arthur Hall as his salesman in 1927. Hall’s marketing strategy differentiated it from the rest of the brand’s competition. Instead of selling it from stores and letting customers come to them, Hall decided to visit customers and sell them their product directly. By 1934, Hall became Riley’s business partner and consequently successfully found New Balance Arch’s niche in the market by targeting workers whose tasks require them to stand for long periods of time.
In 1956, New Balance found new leaders when Hall sold the company to his daughter, Eleanor, and son-in-law, Paul Kidd. The husband and wife tandem continued to manufacture arch supports until 1960 when they decided to enter the sneakers business to offer a more comfortable and serviceable footwear to the public. In 1961, New Balance released its iconic running shoe, The Trackster, which features a ripple sole.
Reality: People have a special eye for exclusive releases. New Balance, as the giant shoe company that it is, took advantage of this fact and come up with few of the world’s best shoes ever created in collaboration between other designers, boutiques, and retailers. Over the years, New Balance has engaged in noteworthy collaborations around the globe, giving rise to timeless silhouettes of various limited edition models and iconic styles unique to the brand. A number of successful collaborations have provided creative outlets for the designers, marketing opportunities for the retailers, and increase in the value of innovation for the largest US-based shoe company.
Among its most popular limited edition releases is the Solebox x New Balance 1500 ‘Nazar Eye’. The partnership of New Balance and German retailer Solebox was a huge it when they launched one of the best New Balance 1500 ever – the Nazar Eye aka “evil eye” in Turkish culture. Built with a solid black and grey color combination and a minimalist design, this shoe is arguably the most famous among the many products of the Solebox and New Balance collaboration.
Another notable pair is the nonnative x New Balance CM997 ‘Dune’, aptly named for its sandy colorway. Made with premium materials such as fine leather, mesh, and smooth suede in tan colors, New Balance has created quite an odd yet well-loved sneakers with Japanese brand Nonnative.
And, of course, who would forget about the Concepts x New Balance collab which gave us New Balance 999 ‘Kennedy’? Inspired by former US President John F. Kennedy’s love for sailing, a popular activity in Boston, this collaboration was so legendary that the nautical-themed shoe from 2011 was re-released recently during the November 2017 ComplexCon.
Keeping the balance
It is no surprise that New Balance remains to be one, if not the only, shoe brand with roots from the United States with its positive impact in the shoe-making industry around the world. New Balance may not be as well-known worldwide as its competitors, yet its unparalleled reputation of quality craftsmanship and durability, along with the innovative models and timeless silhouettes of footwear it offers, is what attracts its thriving crowd of loyal customers.