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History of New Balance

The story of New Balance begins at the dawn of the 20th century in Boston, Massachusetts when William J. Riley, a 33-year-old English immigrant, committed himself to helping people with problem feet by making arch supports and prescription footwear to improve shoe fit.

In 1934, Mr. Riley went into partnership with his leading salesman, Arthur Hall, who was highly successful selling arch supports to “policemen and other folks who were on their feet all day.”

In 1954, Arthur Hall sold the business to his daughter and son-in-law, Eleanor and Paul Kidd. Arch supports and prescription footwear remained the cornerstone of their business until 1961 when they manufactured The Trackster, the world’s first performance running shoe made with a ripple sole and available in multiple widths. The Trackster soon became the shoe of choice for college running coaches and YMCA fitness directors.

During the 1960s, New Balance’s reputation for manufacturing innovative performance footwear available in multiple widths grew through word of mouth and grassroots promotions.

When Jim Davis bought the company from the Kidds on the day of the Boston Marathon in 1972, he committed himself to uphold the company’s founding values of fit, performance, and manufacturing.

When Anne Davis began her journey with New Balance in 1978, her focus became building a superior culture for NB associates and those who do business with the company around the globe.

Together, Anne and Jim lead New Balance with fidelity on its mission to become the world’s leading manufacturer of high performance footwear and apparel. © 2006 New Balance

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