25 Interesting Facts About New Balance | The Dad Shoes

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25 Interesting Facts About New Balance | The Dad Shoes

  1. New Balance was inspired by chickens’ feet for its arch supports in 1906.
  2. The brand thrived during the Great Depression due to the quality of its arch supports.
  3. Runner’s World magazine ranked the New Balance 320 as the world’s top running shoe in 1976.
  4. In 2016, New Balance sparked social media backlash by expressing support for Donald Trump’s trade policies.
  5. Eleanor and Paul Kidd purchased New Balance from Arthur Hall in 1956.
  6. Steve Jobs elevated the New Balance 992s to an iconic status with his signature style.
  7. New Balance offers a special line of skateboarding shoes.
  8. New Balance collaborated with Levi Strauss in 2020 to release a denim sneaker for their 35th anniversary.
  1. New Balance revolutionized athletic apparel by introducing gel inserts in shoes for peak performance.
  2. William Riley founded New Balance with a unique inspiration from a chicken’s foot for better balance.
  3. The ‘Shoe Fit’ technology by New Balance ensures a custom feel for daily runners.
  4. New Balance’s ‘Chicken Foot’ design enhances agility for diverse athletic activities.
  5. The shoe company New Balance has mastered the ‘Perfect Balance’ between comfort and style.
  6. New Balance’s ‘Dad Shoe’ has become an unexpected trendsetter in urban fashion circles.
  7. The company was privately held until 2021 when it went public on the Boston Stock Exchange.

Table of Contents

1. New Balance is an American Footwear Company Founded by William J. Riley in 1906.

William J. Riley created a professional, diversified footwear company that became New Balance in 1906. Consequently, it was the very first American footwear innovation that had come to town.

Armed with the mission to provide production excellence in arch supports and designing delicate sole structures, New Balance sets itself apart from any other provider of high-quality shoes.

2. New Balance Began as a Manufacturer of Arch Supports and Orthopedic Shoes for People with Foot Problems.

New Balance originated as a specialist in arch supports and orthopedic shoes, driven by a mission to alleviate foot discomfort. Their expansion into footwear was fueled by a desire to engineer shoes that enhance comfort and performance.

The company’s roots trace back to 1906 in Boston, Massachusetts, where William J. Riley set out to improve foot health based on his experiences with foot issues, laying the foundation for the New Balance Arch Support Company.

3. The First New Balance Shoe was Launched in 1960, called the Trackster.

The New Balance Trackster is a significant part of the brand’s history that paved the way for modern athletic footwear.

As the starting point for the brand’s legacy, the Trackster opened up unchartered possibilities for sneakers in various sports and activities, becoming an essential part of society’s transforming needs for performance athletes.

4. New Balance is the only major U.S. sports shoe brand that still manufactures some of its shoes domestically.

black and white New Balance low-top sneaker: interesting facts about New Balance
Made in the USA, New Balance stands alone.

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New Balance routinely makes a point of showing how dedicated they are to America.

As the only major sports shoe company in the United States that quells with the manufacturing process domestically, they take pride in their operations in five factories located throughout Maine and Massachusetts.

William J Riley, the founder of the Iconic N Logo, was out for a walk with his dog when something extraordinary happened.

He spotted the unmistakable knick of a chicken’s footprint near a farm near his home in Boston.

Immediately inspired by this vision, he decided to use the shape’s unique combination of curves and af points to become the blueprint for his design. 

6. The New Balance 990 sneaker gained popularity as part of the US Postal Service uniform from 1983 to 2019.

First released in 1982, the New Balance 990 caught the attention of US postal service uniform designers. They saw it as the perfect update to their classic style, and it soon became part of their official wardrobe from 1983 to 2019.

As increasing numbers of people noticed this iconic shoe design amongst their mail carriers, it was deemed a stylish must-have throughout the United States.

Thus, it rapidly grew in popularity and can now be spotted from coast to coast.

7. New Balance has Sponsored Many Athletes.

Throughout the years, New Balance has sponsored many elite athletes, garnering an enviable list of superstars.

These include members from various sports, including basketball and its premier stars Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, World Champion football player Tom Brady, and major tournament victors Novak Djokovic and Caroline Wozniacki from tennis

8. As of 2022, New Balance was the Fifth-Biggest Sneaker Brand in the United States.

New balance building
New Balance ranks as the US’s fifth-largest sneaker brand.

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2021 saw New Balance boast a valiant ranking amongst the biggest sneaker brands in the United States.

It claimed the fifth position convincingly, evidencing an impressive show of power amid booming competition coming from all sides.

By 2022, it had become well-known that New Balance was growing astoundingly. 

9. New Balance also makes athletic apparel, including shorts, hats, jackets, and shirts.

New Balance, renowned for its athletic shoe design, also produces a diverse range of athletic apparel, perfect for runners and athletes. 

Seeking running shorts, hats, jackets, or shirts? New Balance has an option to suit your needs. They combine classic designs with modern updates, ensuring each piece of apparel offers style, exceptional quality, and the superior comfort that their footwear is known for.

10. The company’s breakthrough came in the 1970s with the running craze in the US.

In the 1970s, running became very popular in the United States. During this time, New Balance grew and became more well-known.

They made running shoes that many people liked because they were comfortable and good for running. This was a big step for New Balance, helping them become a famous shoe company.

11. New Balance’s initial target market was people who worked all day.

New Balance initially focused on creating products for people who spent most of their day standing, such as workers and professionals. Founded in 1906 by William J. Riley, the company started by selling arch supports that made shoes more comfortable for long hours of standing.

This approach was based on observing how chickens balance on their feet, inspiring the design of the arch supports. New Balance’s early success was primarily within the Boston area, where it catered to the needs of local workers seeking comfort during long workdays.

12. New Balance promotes sustainability by using recycled materials in shoes and offering a shoe recycling program.

a pair of white shoes sitting on top of a wooden floor
New Balance: Eco-friendly shoes, recycling included.

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 Utilizing recycled materials to produce some of its shoes helps to eliminate waste and preserve resources.

They’ve created a recycling program for gently used shoes to be repaired and reused rather than tossed out.

Their commitment to change the game extends beyond their high-quality products, and into creating long-lasting, environmentally conscious solutions.

13. New Balance supports charity initiatives like the American Cancer Society’s ‘Lace Up For The Cure’ campaign.

New Balance actively engages in global charity initiatives, exemplified by its partnership with the American Cancer Society’s ‘Lace Up for the Cure‘ campaign. This initiative involves donating 5 percent of retail sales from specific pink sneakers to Komen, contributing funds and awareness to the fight against cancer.

Additionally, New Balance collaborates with UNICEF, further demonstrating its commitment to impactful philanthropy on a global scale.

14. The brand actively supports mental health awareness and initiatives.

New Balance collaborates with District Vision to promote mental health through running, offering a collection of footwear, apparel, and mindfulness micro-courses.

Featuring insights from athletes and advocate GaTa, the collaboration redefines performance-fashion crossovers with a focus on holistic well-being.

15. It Produces over 4 million Pairs of Shoes each year.

New Balance is an internationally renowned shoe company that produces an incredible four million pairs of shoes each year, with a large portion of these shoes being made overseas in countries including China, Vietnam, and Thailand.

These nations have developed deep expertise in footwear production over time, offering materials suitable to New Balance’s exacting standards.

16. Advanced technical features distinguish the company’s shoes.

New Balance acquired PF Flyers from Reebok in 2019.

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New Balance’s footwear stands out due to its incorporation of high-tech features. These shoes are designed with heel counters and blended gel inserts, enhancing comfort and performance.

This focus on advanced technology in their shoes caters to various support needs, ensuring a blend of innovation and quality in every pair.

17. In 2020, New Balance Debuted its Fresh Foam Technology.

New Balance’s introduction of the widely anticipated Fresh Foam technology represents a major stride in its continuous improvement efforts within the sports world.

This breakthrough provides runners and athletes unprecedented cushioning and support, enabling a wide range of movements with ease and confidence during competition.

18. New Balance was a Major Sponsor of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, providing Official Gear for Athletes.

New Balance has long been a cornerstone of the Olympic sports world, and its presence loomed large at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

The company was chosen as a Major Sponsor, proudly granting its official gear to the athletes competing in the grueling Track and Field Events.

19. Bill Clinton, known for his fondness of New Balance sneakers, often jogged in the 1500 model.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton gained recognition for his fondness for New Balance sneakers, specifically the 1500 model.

Frequently opting for them during his jogging sessions, Clinton’s choice of the 1500 highlighted his inclination towards this particular athletic footwear.

20. New Balance Also Sponsors International Running Events such as the London Marathon and Berlin Marathon.

Marathon winning moments
New Balance backs London and Berlin Marathons.

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New Balance sponsors a variety of international events with a focus on running.

Their partnerships include the London Marathon, one of the world’s most established and exciting marathons, which has been running since 1981.

The Brand is also the key sponsor of the prestigious Berlin Marathon, now entering its 45th year. 

21. In 2015, New Balance entered the soccer market by signing a deal with the prestigious Liverpool FC.

In 2015, New Balance partnered with Liverpool FC to strategically enter the world’s most popular sport. New Balance sought global number three despite being smaller than Nike and Adidas.

The company defined fit in soccer and introduced product lines for specific player types using its baseball success as a roadmap. The strategy focused on specialty retailers and global retail networks in China and Korea to increase brand exposure and revenue.

22. New Balance has Eight Signature Lines.

New Balance carries a wide selection in its shoe line, giving customers the ability to have varied needs met. With eight signature lines for shoppers to choose from, there is something for any occasion or activity.

Performance Running, Lifestyle Athletic, Classics, Women’s Performance Running, Training, Kids, Outdoor, and Golf are all Signature Lines stocked by New Balance that span an array of activities from exercise or running to golf or leisure wear.

This diverse range of products ensures that New Balance has something for everyone, regardless of their age, gender, or activity level.

23. In 1976, Running World magazine awarded the 320 running shoes as the top-rated.

Running World magazine named the New Balance 320 the finest running shoe due to its performance and design.

This endorsement strengthened New Balance’s running reputation. The 1976 320 was a runner’s favorite, demonstrating the brand’s dedication to making high-quality running shoes.

The Running World award confirmed the New Balance 320’s running shoe success.

24. Marking its 110th anniversary in 2016, New Balance launched a limited-edition sneaker line with premium materials.

New Balance Shoes
New Balance marks its 110th anniversary with
a limited edition premium sneaker line.

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New Balance released a special footwear collection to commemorate its milestone 110th anniversary 2016.

Each model was crafted with premium materials and featured the iconic “N” logo on an all-over print design.

25. New Balance Created a Special Edition Shoe to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the 990 model.

In exciting news for sneaker connoisseurs, New Balance has released a special edition shoe to commemorate the 30th anniversary of their 990 models.

With advanced cushioning technology called Ultra Heel, this shoe focuses on impact absorption when running or training. Its technical components provide cushioning and comfort, whether running boost laps or logging gym miles. 


No, New Balance is not owned by Nike. New Balance is a company that has been independently owned and operated for over 110 years. It all began in 1906 when William J. Riley opened the first factory in Boston, Massachusetts.

Podiatrists often recommend New Balance for their patients due to the shoes’ quality, craftsmanship, comfort, and performance. The brand’s signature footwear lines are designed with advanced technology and materials, providing cushioning and support for all types of activities.

No, New Balance is not a Korean brand. It is an American athletic footwear brand that was founded in 1906 in Boston, Massachusetts. The company has its roots in the United States and is known for producing footwear in domestic and overseas factories. New Balance has a global presence but is not originally from Korea.

No, New Balance is not a traditional dad shoe. While they may feature similar design elements, such as thick soles, the brand’s signature lines are actually focused on providing superior cushioning and support for all types of activities. The shoes are crafted with advanced technology and materials, making them perfect for athletes, everyday commuters, and fashionistas.

New Balance shoes are manufactured in their New England factories located in Maine and Massachusetts and overseas facilities, with production occurring in countries like China, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

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