Runner on a track stretching

If you are looking to buy a new pair of shoes, whether for everyday use or to improve your athletic performance, then it’s hard to look past Nike and New Balance. These two American companies are among the most recognizable in the world and have built a reputation for producing quality products.

Nike is undoubtedly the larger company, with around 70,000 worldwide staff in comparison to the 5,500 people employed by New Balance. Nike also has a significantly larger revenue than its rival – $37 billion in 2020 compared to $4.5 billion for New Balance.

In this blog post, we will pit Nike vs New Balance and highlight everything you need to know about the history of both companies. We will also consider the main difference between the two when it comes to their shoes. Let’s get started.

The History of Nike

Nike was founded in January 1964 by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman though it was known as Blue Ribbon Sports at the time. Originally, it served as a distributor for a Japanese shoemaker. It was not until the early 1970s that the company started to manufacture its own shoes and changed its name to Nike (after the Greek goddess of victory).

We can’t talk about Nike without mentioning its iconic Swoosh logo, which was created by a design student at Portland University called Carolyn Davidson. She was paid the modest sum of $35 though Knight initially expressed his doubts about her design, saying “I don’t love it, but it will grow on me”.

In the following decade, Nike would release a host of shoes such as the Tailwind, the Internationalist, the Air Force 1, and the Air Pegasus.

20 years after it was founded, Nike struck gold. It added soon-to-be global superstar Michael Jordan to its sponsorship roster and released the Air Jordan 1. While they expected to earn $3 million from Air Jordan sales in 1985, they ended up earning $126 million in that year alone.

Nike’s iconic ‘Just Do It’ slogan was created in 1988 and proved to be another marketing hit for the company. In the years since then, Nike has steadily grown to become the world’s largest supplier of athletic shoes and apparel. The company has a global sports market share of around 27%.

Click here to check out the Nike SB Dunk Low.

The History of New Balance

New Balance was founded as the New Balance Arch Support Company in 1906 by William J. Riley. In its early years, it manufactured arch supports with the aim of improving shoe fit. In 1927, Arthur Hall joined the company as a salesman and became influential in the success of the company.

The company created its first-ever running shoe in 1938 and in the following years expanded its product range to cater to a number of different sports. New Balance was purchased by Hall’s daughter and son-in-law in 1956.

In 1960, the groundbreaking Trackster was launched as the world’s first running shoe made with a ripple sole. It was also the first such running shoe to be available in varying widths.

New Balance was purchased in 1972 by Jim David, who oversaw the continued growth of the company. The 320, launched in 1976, was the very first shoe to feature its iconic ‘N’ logo. Two years later, the company began to sell clothing products alongside its shoe line.

One of the company’s most iconic sneakers, the New Balance 420, was launched in 1982. It remains hugely popular to this day. In the following years, shoes such as the 670, 1300, 574, 576, 990 and 991 (popular with Steve Jobs) were released. While New Balance typically followed an ‘Endorsed by no one’ philosophy, it would later break this tradition.

Nike vs New Balance

When it comes to their shoes, there are differences between Nike and New Balance with respect to fit, feel, and aesthetics. For example, New Balance tends to offer shoes that are wider than most other brands, including Nike, whose shoes tend to be narrower in the midsole and heel.

Additionally, New Balance shoes have a thicker midsole that helps to provide more stability. As well as their running shoe lineup, New Balance is active in the athleisure market (shoes that are athletically inspired though focused on everyday wear).

Nike’s shoes typically run smaller in length and width than many other competing brands, including New Balance. The company is at the forefront of new technologies designed to improve the running economy and is popular across a wide range of sports and competitions.

Both Nike and New Balance produce shoes that are durable, with an average ‘life expectancy’ of around 300 to 500 miles. In terms of price, Nike’s price range is between $120 to $180 while New Balance is somewhat more affordable at $80 to $130.

At the end of the day, the choice between Nike sneakers and New Balance sneakers is yours to make. The above information, coupled with your aesthetic preferences, will help you to choose the brand and the specific shoe that best suits your needs.

The Choice Is Yours to Make

When we think of shoe companies, Nike and New Balance are undoubtedly among the first brands that spring to mind. Thanks to their rich histories, track record of selling high-quality footwear, and successful marketing efforts, Nike and New Balance are known worldwide.

Whichever brand you opt for when buying your next pair of shoes, you can’t lose when you choose either Nike or New Balance. Like this blog post on Nike vs New Balance? Be sure to check out the other informative articles on a wide range of interesting topics.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *