Formally known as New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc., the company was founded in 1906 as the 'New Balance Arch Support Company'. New Balance (as it is commonly known) has come a long way since those days, manufacturing an almost countless number of shoes, apparel and accessories for men, women, and children. They also produce a line of sports monitors, including GPS trackers and pedometers.
New Balance was founded in Boston, and its headquarters remains in the city to this day. The founder William J. Riley is said to have come up with the name for the company by watching chickens in his yard, and demonstrated the way his arch supports worked with the help of a chicken foot he kept on his desk. Odd for sure, but it worked.
For decades New Balance managed to grow their company and sell product on word-of-mouth alone. This changed in 1972 when current company chairman Jim Davis bought the company. He purchased the company on the day of the Boston Marathon, and at the time the company was making 30 pairs of shoes each day, manufactured by 6 employees. This attention to detail and custom care delivered to the consumer is something they pride themselves on to this day.
The Boston area quickly became a hub for the running boom of the 1970's, and the company capitalized. Today, New Balance has revenues in the billions and over 4,000 employees, making them one of the most prolific and successful footwear and athletic apparel companies.