Everyone wears athletic shoes at one time or another in life. Some people wear them to work, others to school, and others wear them every moment they can get away with it. What were once seen as inexpensive shoes to run around in have become lavishly expensive status symbols in some cases. As the fashion status of athletic shoes has increased, so has the quality of the shoes that are available. One company that has become very well known for it's high quality is New Balance. The company may not be competing for the least expensive shoes on the market, but for those who want a high-quality pair of shoes and to support a company that does not exploit its workforce, buying New Balance athletic shoes is an excellent choice.
History of Athletic Shoes
What consumers think of as athletic shoes are essentially the same footwear that was originally known as running shoes, which have a surprisingly long history. While people have been running since the beginning of humanity, dedicated running shoes are of a more recent vintage. The growth of athletic shoes in general and running shoes in particular really started with the spread of running in 18th-century England. Running shoes of the period were made entirely of leather to fit the foot and grip the ground. Unfortunately, the leather stretched when wet and rendered the shoes useless.
Over the course of the following century, shoe progress was at least consistent, if not rapid. By 1832, Walt Webster had patented a system that made the use of rubber soles practical, and athletic shoes never stopped progressing and improving after this. These shoes with either leather or canvas uppers were both light and quiet, which is how they quickly earned the nickname 'sneakers'. A leather band around the top of the shoe created a low-profile design in 1907, and the high-top style that more closely resembled boots was introduced for basketball in 1917.
History of New Balance Athletic Shoes
The history of New Balance does not start with shoes. Founded in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1906, the company originally focused on the production of arch supports, not shoes. In fact, it was more than half a century before it introduced its first athletic shoe, the Trackster, in 1961. From then on, the company has primarily been in the shoe business. New Balance remained a small local company for the next decade, only expanding when new ownership came aboard in the 1970s. Throughout the decade, Boston grew in importance for runners, and New Balance grew with it. By the 1990s the company was focused on attention to retailers and building quality shoes. New Balance has also partnered with the Melbourne Football Club for footwear and clothing.
The Trackster Shoe
The shoe that started the New Balance revolution was the 1961 Trackster. While the name may not sound special, the shoe itself was. With the Trackster, New Balance introduced two features that had not been seen previously in athletic shoes. The first and most visible feature was the ripple sole. The second and more important feature was a line that offered shoes in different widths. While other shoes were available in various widths, the idea that athletes could also benefit from shoes that were the right widths for their feet was new. This started New Balance on the road that the company has continued to follow, producing premium athletic shoes to meet the real needs of the wearer.
Choosing New Balance Athletic Shoes
Before buying a pair of New Balance athletic shoes, a person has to find the right pair for his or her needs, and the first step to doing that is identifying those needs. One person may want New Balance shoes to play a particular sport, while another may simply want a pair for the fit or even the style. Others may even buy New Balance athletic shoes for general use simply because they like the brand. There is no wrong reason to buy New Balance shoes.
As a company, New Balance produces several different lines of shoes to meet the needs of their customers. For many people, the best choice may be a pair of New Balance walking shoes. These shoes build on the company's tradition of athletic excellence to produce a shoe that is perfectly suited for daily wear. The shoes marry the style and comfort of an athletic shoe with the durability and practicality of a shoe that can be worn almost anywhere and for almost any occasion.
Runners can rely on New Balance to produce specialised shoes for different surfaces. Whether a person runs on the road, the track, or even on the trail, there is a shoe designed to provide the maximum benefit for each surface. Those who enjoy the trails at a slower pace can take advantage of hiking shoes, still with the New Balance name and quality. The company also sells cross trainers and court shoes for everyone from tennis players to basketball stars.
Not only does New Balance offer athletic shoes in all styles and sizes, it also continues to offer athletic shoes in varying widths and fit styles, just as it has done for more than half a century. This is not the case for all of the company's competitors, some of whom only offer shoes of different sizes, with no allowance for the fact that feet come in shapes as well as sizes.
New or Pre-Owned New Balance Athletic Shoes
One of the most common questions when purchasing a potentially expensive item is whether to go with new or pre-owned. For many buyers, new shoes are seen as the only option. However, there are benefits to considering pre-owned shoes, as well. Shoes go in and out of style and production, and for the person who wants a shoe that is no longer available as a new shoe, pre-owned shoes may be the only option. Other buyers may find that going with pre-owned pairs is much easier on their budgets.
Buying pre-owned does require more work, however. It is not enough to research the style of shoe. Buyers have to research the specific pairs of shoes they want to buy. One pair may be heavily used, while another may have been purchased for a person who had every intention of running but never actually made it onto the track. The key to buying pre-owned is shopping wisely to find the latter type of shoe.
Buying New Balance Athletic Shoes on eBay
One of the best places to buy New Balance athletic shoes is eBay. You can find deals on shoes for every budget and foot size, and eBay has the tools to make your search a snap. All you need to do is put your keywords into the search box on any of the eBay pages and click the button for the results. Once you have your results, you can use the filters to narrow the listings down to only include the ones you may possibly want. You can then take advantage of eBay's sort tools to put the best options at the top of your screen.
After that, you can go to the sellers' profile pages, where you can see their feedback and any policies they may have. Some sellers may allow local buyers to pick up their New Balance athletic shoes in person, and others may offer bundles that include other sports-related items along with the pair of shoes.
The key to buying New Balance athletic shoes is knowing what the intended wearer needs, and buying the right shoes to meet those needs. From the very beginning, New Balance focused on making some of the best athletic shoes available and making sure those shoes comfortably fit a wide variety of feet. Not only did the company introduce the ripple sole, it also introduced the idea that athletic shoes could come in wide and narrow widths in addition to standard widths. New Balance makes athletic shoes for everything from the court to the trail and everything in between. Those who do not take part in sports may still fall in love with the brand's walking shoes and hiking shoes. No matter the style chosen, buying New Balance ensures that the wearer has athletic shoes that match his or her feet.