New Balance

New Balance store The Dubai Mall, Dubai, UAE

New Balance is an American sports footwear and apparel brand that was established in 1906. We stand for something bigger than sneakers. We champion those who are fearlessly driven by their passions. We elevate sport.

Once known as the quintessential “dad shoe” brand, New Balance shoes have grown in popularity over the years and are the epitome of a shoe that works for everyone. Here’s a brief look at the history of New Balance sneakers and how they became a household name.

The Origins of New Balance
The New Balance brand dates back to 1906, when Irish immigrant William J. Riley started the New Balance Arch Support Company. He wanted to offer people better balance (hence the name) through arch support.

Interestingly, the idea came from watching his chickens. Riley observed how they walked with perfect balance on their three-toed feet, and that inspired the three support points in his arch support products. For the first few decades, the company only created arch supports, primarily for workers who spent hours on their feet. But factory workers weren’t the only people in need of arch support.

New Balance in Sports
Athletes were also drawn to the arch supports, which significantly boosted the brand’s popularity. Many athletes even asked about sneaker options, which prompted the creation of the first New Balance shoe in 1961 — called the Trackster. It had an innovative ripple sole for traction, which helped establish New Balance as a sneaker manufacturer — not just an arch support provider.

Nevertheless, it wasn’t until 1972 that the company really became a top contender in the sneaker world. Jim Davis purchased the still-small company and made New Balance a top running shoe brand within just a few years.

In 1976, New Balance created its first shoe with the now-iconic “N” logo on the side (the 320), and Runner’s World magazine declared it the top running shoe.Over the years, the company has continually improved its sportswear design, offering lightweight materials and superior support. And since the late 1970s, New Balance has held its place in the sportswear industry with dozens of athletic partnerships.


New Balance in Fashion
New Balance shoes started to become fashionable beyond sports in 1982 with the release of the New Balance 990, the most expensive running shoe available at the time. Having a pair of NB 990s became a status symbol in D.C. street culture, and the brand rose in popularity throughout the ’90s and 2000s. However, it was more of a subtle popularity. New Balance wasn’t as big as sneaker brands like adidas and Nike, but the brand still had a significant presence in rap and hip-hop culture. At the same time, the shoe became associated with tech mogul Steve Jobs, which just goes to show New Balance’s unique pull to people of all backgrounds.

New Balance has continued to hold a prominent place in the fashion world, with collaborations with big-name brands like J.Crew, Jaden Smith, and Ronnie Fieg (whose most recent 2023 collab sold out in mere days). Celebrities, designers, and influencers have also helped solidify New Balance sneakers in fashion. Icons like Hailey Beiber, Timothee Chalamet, Kanye West, Rihanna, and Emily Ratajkowski have all proudly worn NB kicks and continue to promote the brand.



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