December 14, 2011
A brief history lesson; New Balance was conceived back in 1906 in Boston, Massachusetts, originally producing arch supports and prescription footwear to alleviate the aches and pains of those on their feet all day. Founder William Riley named the company after observing chickens in his yard maintaining perfect balance on their three-clawed feet. By 1938 Riley had developed the first pair of New Balance running shoes for a local running club. One member of the club, Dan McBride, wears the first New Balance running shoe in the 1940 Reddish Road Race in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.
New Balance continued to focus on running and in 1960 manufactured the world’s first performance running shoe in multiple widths, The Trackster. By 1976 the New Balance 320 and 305 were named the world’s best running shoes by Runner’s World, catapulting the brand to the forefront of modern athletic shoe design. In 1981 New Balance launched the most enduring, technical running series in the industry; the 990, the first running shoe to break the $100 price market.
Over the past 100 years New Balance has grown substantially whilst forging a reputation for a commitment to performance and fit, producing an unrivaled extensive selection of combinations of widths and sizes, whilst actively supporting domestic manufacturing. New Balance manufactures shoes in five factories across New England, the US and one in England where the factory in the Lake District employs 220 production staff.