You might notice, when you see a pair of New Balance shoes in a shoe store, that they cost a little bit more than the shoes around them. Why then, you ask, should I pay more for this pair of shoes over the next one? I don’t see these New Balance ones on TV all the time, and I can’t really see the difference right now. The answer is in the history of New Balance, and the way New Balance shoes are made.
New Balance was started as New Balance Arch Support company by William J. Riley in 1906. A waiter in Boston, Reily’s company originally focused on arch support products for people such as Reily that had to spend long amounts of time on their feet. New Balance insoles were quite popular with people in many different professions, ranging from police officers to construction workers. It is this history that demonstrates New Balance’s long standing committment to good arch support.
In 1960, New Balance introduced its first pair of running shoes, the ‘Trackster’. Not only was it the first running shoe made with a ripple sole, it was also the first shoe offered in varying widths for different widths of foot. The original New Balance shoes were an instant hit with marathon runners (such as for the Boston marathon) and college track teams such as MIT.
Over 50 years later, New Balance still maintains the same committment to quality that it first started out with in shoes, with only 6 people hand-making 30 pairs of shoes daily. A big part of New Balance’s quality can be derived from their committment to American manufacturing and materials, with New Balance factories being present in Massachusetts and Maine. New Balance is the only remaining major shoe comapny in the North American market that still has manufacturing operations in North America.
Whereas New Balance footwear might cost a little bit more than competing brands, the cost is certainly worth it. New Balance’s shoes will not only last longer than other shoes not made by the same standard of quality, they will also fit your feet better while you wear them.