New Balance has always stood out as a brand that is independent and authentic, occasionally surprising sneaker fans with new modern designs that just happen to be super comfortable too. The secret to New Balance's superior comfort levels lies in its roots – and it all began with a chicken. In a nutshell (or should we say eggshell?), New Balance wasn't always called New Balance. The company started out making arch supports and when founder William Riley sat watching the chickens in his backyard one day in 1906, he realised that their three toes provide excellent support. This inspired the design of his arch supports and the New Balance name. But enough with the history.
As a testament to the brand's enduring quality, New Balance first began making sneakers because they wanted to make shoes that were 'more comfortable and serviceable' than other brands’, just like their arch supports, which helped New York's finest to patrol the city streets in comfort. Although this approach did not make New Balance an Insta-star, it did make it the favourite sneaker of skateboarders and accidental influencers like Steve Jobs and one Barack Obama, whose specially made New Balance sneakers had the word 'president' on the left shoe and 'Obama' on the right, just in case anyone needed reminding. (Good to know: New Balance doesn't name their sneakers, they give them numbers. The higher the number, the better the shoe.) Their suede sneakers' stability midsole and general awesomeness made them a hit with anyone who tried them, including Mos Def/Yasiin Bey/ Dante Terrell Smith, who wore them before he began wearing suits and long before he travelled to South Africa on a world passport. So, yes. New Balance is more than a little old-timey, definitely fashion dad-ish and it did begin with a chicken, but what the hey, they're cool and they're made by one of the greatest sneaker companies of all time – and you can get them online from Spree.