It started in 1906, when a 33 year-old waiter named William J. Riley decided to build arch supports that relieved the pain suffered by people who spent all day working on their feet. His design fit better, and felt better than anything else on the market, and by 1909 Riley was listed in the Boston business directory under ’shoemaker.’
19 years later Riley designed his first running shoe for the Boston running club known as the Boston Brown Bag Harriers. The success of this shoe spread quickly, and by 1941 New Balance was creating custom-made shoes for running, baseball, basketball, tennis and boxing.
With the introduction of the Trackster in 1960, New Balance began a new direction in shoe manufacturing. The Trackster was the first running shoe available in multiple widths, a feature which would become the standard for New Balance offerings.
Today, New Balance holds onto its history through the numbering system that owes its origins to a man named Arthur Heckler. Instead of naming the different shoe models, Heckler chose to number them because he wanted to place an emphasis on the New Balance philosophy, not any one particular shoe. To this day, that philosophy is upheld as model numbers are advanced to incorporate new technologies and designs.
New Balance began as a Boston-based arch support company in the early 1900’s, developed into a specialized shoe manufacturer in the 1970’s, and has grown to become a leading global athletic products company. Today New Balance is a family of brands including New Balance, Dunham, PF Flyers, Aravon, Warrior and Brine.
Since the days of selling arch supports to police officers and waiters, New Balance has been a brand concerned with meeting the needs of the everyday athlete. Part of producing superior footwear and athletic apparel is manufacturing it to fit all widths and sizes, because a better fit produces better performance.
To ensure the best fitting, best performing shoes and apparel, we focus on improving our technology and production methods. A big part of that is maintaining five manufacturing facilities here in the United States where we continue to produce shoes and apparel that meet the standards we’ve employed for more than 100 years. We have also remained committed to a core set of values that include integrity, teamwork and total customer satisfaction.
From the beginning, New Balance has prided itself on its American roots, and to this day our headquarters remain in Boston, MA. Over the past decade however, our growth has helped us expand internationally, with 2,800 associates around the globe and products in more than 120 countries. We now have wholly-owned subsidiaries in the UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Brazil and South Africa. We also have a number of licensees, joint ventures, and distributors worldwide. With the help of a committed group of domestic and international affiliates, New Balance has grown to be one of the largest athletic footwear and apparel companies in the world.
New Balance started as an American company and our headquarters remain in Boston, MA. We have wholly-owned subsidiaries in the UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Brazil and South Africa. We also have a number of licensees, joint ventures, and distributors all over the globe. With the help of a committed group of domestic and international affiliates, New Balance has grown to be the fourth largest athletic footwear and apparel company in the world.
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