New Balance Old School Charm
Making its mark early on, New Balance has boldly boasted products that have remained top of the class in quality and form since 1906. The New Balance brand has managed to survive the worst in tough economic times (and by survive, we mean to make a profit!) and not only that, the brand has sailed effortlessly through advances in technology, demands in athletics and some outrageous marketing trends, to remain one of the best brands to come out of New England, USA.
An interesting fact about New Balance is that they were initially, manufacturers of arch supports for shoes and sneakers. Founder William J Riley, a man with great foresight and vision, and inspired by – yes – chickens, theorised a revolutionary three-toed foot support system that has benefited individuals and given much-needed foot support. So in a bold move, and wanting to grow the company, the unique Arch Support, by New Balance, was retailed at a price similar to that of a sneaker – in the 1920s
And so, as was inevitable, about two decades later, the company expanded into the manufacture of footwear. The challenge for Riley was to take on established brands like Nike, adidas and Puma and to prove that he could design a great all-round sneaker that could compete with the best. Initially targeting runners, these sneakers had to be both durable and comfortable. The first New Balance sneaker had a Black Kangaroo Leather upper with a Crepe sole. When it came to marketing the brand, Riley looked to people to wear the sneakers because they were the preferred the sneaker and in time the brand would go on to coin the phrase “Endorsed by no one.” Those who purchased the sneakers were won over by its comfort and became true ambassadors, even with celebrities like Kanye West, Pharrell and Rihanna, rocking the popular 574 (available at all Side Step retailers) the brand has allowed its quality to speak for itself.
New Balance went on to break yet another boundary in the manufacturing of sneakers, with the introduction of the Trackster, a sneaker that was available in different widths, something super unique during the 60s. Designed by Terry Heckler the now famous “N” didn’t just change the look of the sneakers but it catapulted New Balance to the top, and became cemented as unique, comfy and of the highest quality sneakers in the sneaker world and with styles like the 220, the New Balance Old School Charm will probably be breaking boundaries for all eternity, here’s hoping at least!