With roots going way back to 1906, New Balance has over 110 years of experience in creating next-level trainers that combine style with comfort.
Starting as the New Balance Arch Support Company, the brand was founded by William J. Riley an English migrant living in Boston, Massachusetts. After being fascinated by the way the chickens in his garden balanced on their feet, Riley came up with an idea to create arch supports that had three support points.
This also explains why you might find an illustration of a chicken on the lid of your New Balance shoe box.
In 1927 Riley hired salesman Arthur Hall who went on to become a partner in 1934. Almost 28 years into the brand's journey and New Balance were yet to sell an actual trainer, instead, they focused on selling arch supports to workers who have to stand for long periods.
It wasn't until Hall sold New Balance Arch Support Company to his daughter Eleanor and her husband Paul Kidd in 1956 that the production of New Balance trainers began.
New Balance arch support had become a must-have for budding athletes by 1960 and it was these athletes that inspired the first New Balance sneakers - the Trackster.
Budding athletes had approached Eleanor and Paul asking for tailored sneakers. These requests led to the Trackster which was originally manufactured at home by the Kidds.
The Trackster was the first running shoe with a rippled sole for traction and the trainer was offered in a range of widths to accommodate all athletes.
Although the trainer was a success New Balance hadn't yet broken into the mainstream trainer market until it was purchased by the brand’s current chairman, Jim Davis, on the day of the 1972 Boston Marathon.
At the time, the Boston area had become the epicentre of the running trend that took over America in the 70s. At first, it was as seen as a phase but going for a run continued to grow in popularity into the late 80s. This gave New Balance the perfect audience and platform to release more trainers each year.
Although they were now releasing more trainers, Jim Davis kept the company’s tradition of individual fits by offering New Balance sneakers in a variety of widths.
Rather than naming their trainers, New Balance used unique model numbers which indicated the type of shoe, the activity it was designed for and whether the trainer was built for stability, or speed.
1976 marked the beginning of New Balance's global breakthrough thanks to the New Balance 320. Featuring the famous 'N' logo, the New Balance 320 was voted the number one running shoe on the market by Runner’s World magazine and was described as “the complete training shoe for beginning jogger and Olympic runner alike”.
Comprising of two layers of thick midsole Softee cushioning, a leather reinforced flocked nylon upper, moulded plastic counter for maximum cushioning and lateral stability and an Achilles tendon pad for added protection and support.
By the 80s New Balance had expanded their offering with walking shoes and Gore-tex running jackets, the 80s also saw the release of their most iconic trainer to date, the New Balance 574.
Released in 1988 and initially designed as a technical running shoe to offer improved comfort, the 574 took the tracks and streets by storm. With clean lines and eye-catching simplicity, the 574 is an instantly recognisable classic.
From the 1990s, New Balance continued to become a household name on the tracks and the streets and campaign trails with the US President Bill Clinton sporting the New Balance 1500 on a run and the creation of the New Balance 990 'Made in USA' for Barack Obama in 2012 before his re-election campaign.
Continuing to innovate running shoes, New Balance released Fresh Foam technology in 2014 - a newly generated shock-absorption system that provides wearers with a stable and high-performance shoe.
Since 2020 New Balance has seen a resurgence on the streets, the New Balance 524 and 327 have become must-have trainers this season and are the perfect silhouettes to style all year round.
Shop the full New Balance collection online today and discover New Balance Trainers and New Balance Clothing.