Follow TSP on Facebook
Follow TSP on Twitter


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Why I Love New Balance

By Katie M

I love to run. I’m by no means an expert runner, but I love it nonetheless. It’s the one exercise I can do over and over without getting quickly bored. I love how I feel after a good run, and it’s my constant - the thing I turn to when I need to lose pounds, stay in shape, relieve stress, air steam, or focus on a goal. So whenever I have to hang up my shoes for an injury (which happens quite a bit, unfortunately), my mind starts racing trying to figure out the best way to get back out to pounding the pavement again.

My last injury (plantar fasciitis, a common running injury) was a doozy and I was starting to get really bummed out I’d have to find a outlet other than running. That was until I tried out a pair of running shoes by Smarty Sponsor New Balance. (New Balance's stability shoe WR1226 pictured above.)

I have to admit at first I was skeptical about running in New Balance shoes, which is crazy because New Balance has a long history of providing advanced shoes for runners at all levels. For some reason I always thought of New Balance as shoes for walkers and I couldn’t have been more wrong.

One of the earliest running shoes made, New Balance’s Trackster, grew popular in the 1960s not only because of its technical innovation but also because it was available in a wide range of widths. It has been rated number one of the running shoe market by Runner’s World magazine, and NB’s training shoe, the 620, was named “the most technically advanced running shoe on the market,” by Runner’s World. And its “990” shoe was the first shoe on the market to retail for $100 and break into this price point.

Yet, before I even knew all that information, I checked out New Balance shoes because I had heard a rumor that it’s the shoe all podiatrists recommend– and because I was armed with my handy TSP/NB Kids Club card! As it turns out, NB works with over 35 podiatrists, 40 physical therapists, and several other medical professionals in the Triad – all on referral basis to service the footwear needs of their patients. And I walked out with a new pair of NB’s WR 1064 for 20% less than retail price (thanks to the TSP/NB Kids Club discount!).

The WR 1064 is NB’s premier neutral running shoe “built for maximum cushioning, performance, fit and flexibility” – and it’s the first shoe (over Asics and Saucony) that has kept me “plantar facistis” free which is HUGE for me! Love, love, love them!

I also received top-notch attention, professionalism and expertise when I went in for my fitting. NB’s staff (in Thruway Shopping Center in Winston-Salem) has more than 40 years of athletic footwear selling experience and most of its staff are certified fitters. Sean Gury, store manager, carries an NSRA certification, and others on his team have gone through levels of pedorthic training.

Says Sean, “Shoe Fitting 101 suggests that you fit the foot, not the gait. Hence, we have a nice combination of young and middle-aged staffers that provide full service experience. We have two staffers who are serious runners, and others that participate in tennis and other outdoor activities.”

Sean also told me two other cool facts about NB:

- It’s the only athletic footwear brand deeply rooted in selling shoes (and other products) manufactured domestically (here in the US). You cannot find any Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Asics, Brooks, Mizuno, Saucony, Aetrex or Pearl Izumi made in the US.

- And have you ever wondered why a certain shoe (no matter the brand) sells for different prices at different stores – and oftentimes for big price differences? Well, I have wondered this myself. I’ve seen a New Balance shoe, one that is priced over $100 in a New Balance store, sell for half that price in discount retailers. According to New Balance, this is relative to where the shoe is made, the technology used, research and development involved, and the “number.” New Balance uses a number system to differentiate technologies in shoes and the corresponding retailer that sells the certain style. In other words, NB makes shoes for one retailer that may not be available to others. Interesting!

Well, I am sold on New Balance, and my daughter is loving her new kicks from NB too! (Turns out a lot of the “older” kids on the bus were sporting NBs and she had to get a pair also!).

Let me know if you’re a runner who has converted to NB too! And if you're on your way to pick up a new pair of NB shoes, don't forget to ask about the TSP/New Balance Kids Club Discount Card!


Laura said...

We have been using our TSP card at New Balance and have been very happy with the service and quality of shoes we have purchased there.

Jennifer R. said...

Could have written this myself. I have dealt with plantar fasciitis for years and found the nb brand to be a perfect fit for my problems. We have been a nb family ever since.

RLR said...

I'm actually a NB wearer (on the advice of the podiatrist) who is converting to running!
We love, love, love the shoes, service, and TSP discount card from New Balanace!

maythi said...

We've used our TSP New Balance card as well. Our oldest has really narrow feet, and their tennis shoes fit her perfectly. I agree that they have great service too.

Post a Comment