In 1972, New Balance made just thirty pairs of shoes a day. The brand had been founded over seventy years earlier, but by the early seventies, there were just six employees working out of the brand’s Boston based headquarters to fulfill a trickle of orders that mainly came from a dedicated fan base of dedicated runners. All that changed on the day of the Boston Marathon that year, when Jim Davis, a Massachusetts based entrepreneur decided to purchase NB and propel them from middle-of-the-pack all the way up to the podium.
There was a time not long ago that if you asked me how I felt about New Balance I probably would’ve scoffed and said something snarky about how well they compliment boot-cut jeans and banker bros. And yet, as the adage goes “fashion is cyclical,” or as I like to say, eventually you’ll learn to love what you once shunned. My relationship with the sneakers began in my latter high school years, during which I practically lived in a pair of grey New Balance 574’s. But as I got older and outgrew my lax-bro sensibilities, those shoes suddenly became a symbol of everything that I wanted to leave behind.