The History of New Balance

You probably already know about the brand, but do you know it’s history? Let’s explore together years of expertise and manufacturing of shoes with New Balance. I can promise you, you will learn something.

New Balance Athletic also known as New Balance is part of the world's largest sports footwear and apparel manufacturer. The brand was created in 1906 in Boston, Massachusetts by William Riley, a young British immigrant. The idea behind the New Balance started with his observation of the chickens he had in his backyard, as he noticed that they all had perfect balance standing on their three claws, which is where people believe New Balance takes its name. But the story goes deeper than that, they started by producing arch support and other accessories designed to support and improve the fit of shoes.

1927 marked an important year as William Riley hired a young man named Arthur Hall as a salesman for his arch support. As the New Balance Arch is not sold in stores the salesman will start selling them in the street, which will help the brand create an identity with a unique style of approach and separate itself from its competitors.

By 1936 Arthur Hall became a partner in the company, focusing their expertise on products that would assist and bring comfort to their users. Focusing on people would have demanding jobs where they would have to stand up a lot like police officers, firefighters, etc.

It was only in 1938 that the first shoes of New Balance saw the light for a local running club, known as the Boston Brown Bag Harriers. Created by Riley, those specialized running shoes are built in good material such as kangaroo leather and manufactured with the years of expertise they had prior with their arch support.


With their first shoes, they slowly became popular, and as the company grew, so was the product provided. They will start in early 1941 manufacturing shoes for sports such as tennis, baseball, or box.

In 1956 the company was sold to the daughter of Hall and her husband, Eleanor, and Paul Kidd. They started by focusing the production of the brand on orthopedic shoes to slowly shift their interest toward sports shoes, answering to the specific desires of athletes.

Their first sports shoe, the New Balance Trackster, is the first running shoe available in various sizes, and very fast will bring attention to the running community. On the day of the Boston marathon of 1972, the company was bought by Jim Davis.


The real change will only arrive in 1976 with the launch of the New Balance 320, also the first shoe to have this iconic N as a logo. They will also start using numbers instead of names for each of their collections. With the purpose of the customer seeing each shoe as equal but for different purposes. The New Balance 320 will become one of the brand's most famous shoes, becoming number one in the magazine Runner’s World. The success will follow shortly after with the creation of clothing apparel introducing new technology such as Gore-Tex, nylon shorts, and many more.

From this moment New Balance will impose itself as the brand for running shoes, with models such as the 620 sold only for 50$, not only the price but the brand will rise with Bill Clinton constantly wearing the model 1500 when jogging, or with the model M1400 which is one of the most sold collections of New Balance. Other celebrities like Steve Jobs, or the basketball legend Matt Bonner and more recently the creation of shoes for the American president Barack Obama.

Today New Balance is part of the biggest names in the shoe industry, being used for various sports but most importantly helping us have the perfect outfit for any occasion with their comfortable shoes.



Are you still hungry for more? In that case, you can check out the selection of New Balance products or browse through our release calendar where you might find more NB products that will be releasing in tho following weeks.