Making Excellence Happen
Focused on understanding the needs of athletes for more than 100 years, New Balance is driven by the body in motion and has thus been dedicated to making excellence happen every day since 1906. Persistently determined to achieve a better fit and performance for all, the brand has been responsible for a number of firsts in the athletic shoe industry through the continual improvement and advancement of its products.
Since making its first pair of running shoes in 1938, New Balance has continued to hold the distinction as the only company that still manufactures athletic shoes in the United States with five factories across the country. New Balance purchases goods and services from more than 38 U.S. based suppliers who employ over 5,000 U.S. workers. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/Nb2S6N.
“Everything New Balance stands for is what I instill in my San Antonio team,” says Kaufman. “Our number one goal when we come to work each day is to provide quality shoes and fitting expertise that people can depend on.”
The Anatomy of a Shoe: Every Piece Has a Purpose
Creating the Perfect Athletic Shoe for Your Needs
You’ve heard it before—taking care of your body helps lead to a long and healthy life. But did you ever think of how the anatomy of a shoe actually impacts your anatomy? With 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments and 19 muscles in each of your feet, it’s clear why they deserve the utmost in proper attention and care
Three out of four Americans experience serious foot problems in their lifetime—but with the proper shoe fit for your feet, you can be the one without foot ailments. That’s where New Balance San Antonio comes in.
10 Key Components
The anatomy of a New Balance shoe is thoughtful and precise. The 10 primary shoe components are:
- Achilles Notch
- Heel Counter
- Forefoot Flex Grooves
- Toe Box
Achilles Notch – The Achilles notch is a groove in the back of the heel collar that protects the Achilles tendon. It prevents blisters and irritation as well as providing a more secure heel fit. The Achilles notch is especially important if you are suffering from Achilles tendonitis.
Heel Counter – The counter is the stiff piece of material usually sandwiched between the inner lining and the outer upper material that surrounds the heel of the foot. A counter can also be applied externally. The heel counter is available in a variety of densities or degrees of firmness, from rigid to medium to soft, depending on the type of shoe.
Midsole – The midsole gives the shoe a sturdier and more rugged look, as it adds a layer of material between the outsole and insole. The midsole receives no direct wear and provides added support and comfort. While this piece adds to the weight of the shoe, it also retains its shape and stability.
Saddle – The saddle is a piece of material sewn onto the top of the vamp or insole of the shoe.
Forefoot Flex Grooves – Forefoot Flex Grooves are grooves on the sole of the shoe that allow the foot to bend without hindering the natural flexibility of the foot.
Outsole – The outsole is the integral component of the shoe that makes contact with the ground. Soles have a variety of properties such as wear and durability, flexibility, traction, insulation and materials that usually wear longer, absorb shock better and cost less than leather. Soles are of different thickness depending on the demands of the shoe, and they usually come in varying degrees of flexibility, a desired quality in a shoe and its sole.
Toe Box – The toe box is the toe end portion of the shoe. The shape and height of the toe box are determined by the shoe’s design and the last or model.
Vamp – The vamp is the material that makes up the upper part of the shoe, covering the instep and sometimes extending over the toe of the shoe.
Upper – The upper provides the stability, breathability and support to the top of the foot.
Lasts of a Shoe
In addition to the various components that contribute to the anatomy of a New Balance shoe, there are four lasts of a shoe—board lasted, strobel lasted, slip lasted and combi-lasted. The “lasting” refers to the type of construction and the different kinds of lasting serve a variety of purposes and provide specific benefits.
- Board lasted shoes have a sturdy insole board running the entire length of the foot bed. This type of construction provides the greatest stability.
- Strobel lasted shoes are constructed with a thin material acting like a sock liner stretched along its perimeter. This construction provides an excellent blend of stability and flexibility.
- Slip lasted shoes are constructed without an insole. This provides the greatest flexibility and lightest weight.
- Combi-lasted shoes employ slip lasting in the forefront for enhanced flexibility and an insole board in the rear foot to control excess motion.
The components and lasts of the New Balance athletic shoes contribute to the classifications. New Balance San Antonio offers athletic shoes for men, women and children, as well as casual footwear for men and women. These options can be used for a variety of activities including running, walking, cross training, tennis, zumba, hiking and casual wear.
“There are so many different types of people and activities out there,” Kaufman says. “It is important for the customer to have shoes that can accommodate their specific needs.”
Shoe classifications – There are four different classifications of shoes at New Balance: motion control shoes, stability, neutral cushioning and lightweight.
- Motion control shoes are built for those who overpronate (when the sole of the foot faces more laterally than when standing in the anatomical position) and require moderate to maximum stability. Gaits that are best for this classification are ankles that lean inward and those that roll outward. These shoes are ideal for people with flat feet or low arches.
- Stability shoes are developed for those seeking a combination of cushioning and a moderate level of stability. Gaits that are best for this classification are ankles that lean inward. This classification is best for people with normal arches.
- Neutral cushioning shoes are built for those who seek maximum cushioning and flexibility. People who have a neutral gait, ankles that do not lean inward or outward, or ankles that roll outward are best suited for this classification. Customers with high or normal arches are ideal candidates for this type of shoe.
- Lightweight shoes are constructed for those who prefer a lightweight, responsive ride. This is for someone with good form and a natural gait. Lightweight shoes usually mean less impact, less fatigue and a faster recovery.
Classic shoes – Some New Balance shoes have been around long enough to be considered classics. Choosing from a variety of color options plus personalized heel embroidery, customers can even customize their own pair of classic New Balance shoes.
- 990 is a comfortable, classic training shoe that is one of New Balance’s best sellers. It is durable and has advanced cushioning for responsiveness you can feel for miles.
- 574 is a retro-running lifestyle shoe featuring added support and extra comfort. There are 15 different areas on the shoe that can be customized into over a million different color combinations.
From the 10 components and four lasts of the shoe to the various classifications, New Balance places emphasis and energy into developing athletic shoes with anatomies that contribute to your foot health and wellness. With more than 108 walking, running, cross-training, outdoor and tennis shoe styles available in an assortment of sizes and widths for men, women and children combined, New Balance San Antonio is committed to discovering the difference that the proper fit can make in one’s life.