In 1906, William J. Riley, British emigrant, founded the New Balance Arch Support Company, manufacturing arch supports and other accessories designed to improve shoe fit in the Boston area. It was also the first running shoe to come in varying widths.
New Balance? Through a rapper co-sign, because you had odd-shaped feet, or because you just love suede sneakers? The footwear brand has been around since 1906 and become one of the most solid and trustworthy suppliers of athletic footwear on the market. But the company didn’t just fall into good luck and become the brand it is today, it survived through trends, technological changes, and public perception of athletes to shape its current stake as one of New England’s greatest brands.
Through the years, different models have been introduced—consistently raising the ceiling for improvement, but New Balance has always remained true to its philosophy of wanting to make a better sneaker. If you have grey sneakers on your feet and are curious about how they evolved to that point, we have a thorough history lesson for you. Here are 50 Things You Didn’t Know about New Balance.
New Balance didn’t make its first pair of sneakers until 1938, which were made for runners from a crepe sole and a black kangaroo leather upper.
Riley approached a young runner, Danny McBride, who was a member of a local club called the Boston Brown Bag Harriers.