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New Balance Athletic Shoes: Innovation Driven

February 10, 2014

New Balance is a popular shoe company that now also sells sports apparel. While many shoe companies claim to be innovative what is unique about New Balance is it did not start out as a shoe company. It was founded as New Balance Arch Company in 1906 to make arch supports. This was already innovation in progress as this was an effort to relieve laborers’ food pain and help them stay on their feet longer.

The company started making running shoes over 30 years later in 1938. The product came with a money-back guarantee.  Another milestone was reached in 1941 when New Balance made custom baseball shoes for the Boston Braves.

In 1960 the company did something that up to this day it is recognized for: New Balanced produced the first running shoe in the industry to be offered in width. The Trackster revolutionized the idea of fit and galvanized the company’s mission to provide every person, no matter their foot size or shape, with the best fitting shoe possible.

New company ownership came about in 1972 when entrepreneur Jim Davis bought New Balance. The date of purchase was also significant in the running world. It was bought on the day of the 1972 Boston Marathon.  New Balance continued to grow under Jim’s leadership. Aside from organic growth the company also acquired other firms. In 2001 it acquired PF fliers. Then in 2004 New Balance acquired Warrior.

There was a change in executive leadership when current President and CEO Rob DeMartini joined the New Balance Team in 2007.

Through the years the company did not let up on innovative products. New Balanced introduced REVlite in 2010. This was a new midsole foam compound with the durability of heavier foams, but with nearly one-third less weight.

Aside from selling men’s and women’s running shoes, New Balance also sells shoes for cross training, basketball, tennis, hiking, and golf. The firm also owns leather boot and shoe maker Dunham. Its footwear is sold at specialty retailers and its own stores.

The firm’s headquarters is in Boston, Massachusetts.

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