Monday, January 21, 2013

Why I Love New Balance

Back in the day, I always wanted the "cool" tennis shoes.  Which as I remember were Reeboks and Jordans... Well, if I didn't have the money on my own, I didn't get them.  I remember my dad telling me one time that he would buy my shoes for me if I would pick a pair of Saucony or New Balance. "They're the only shoes made in America, and I'm not paying money for any !@#$% shoes."  Okay, Dad.

Well, needless to say, I just found the money myself because back then, those shoes were old people shoes and definitely NOT cool.

Well, not only do I think they are cool today.  I LOVE them.  I love them for more than the fact that New Balance shoes are still mostly made in America.  I love them because they are great running shoes.  Take the story of my trail shoes for example.

April 2012.  I buy fast, flat trail shoes. Minimal, Vibram sole.  New Balance awesomeness.  They were all mine! I even Facebooked this exciting moment.

They were my new, fast, flat trail shoes, and I was excited!  So I started to break them in.  Now I don't run a whole lot.  At least not compared to a lot of runners (even though we don't like to compare in the running world).  I took these shoes on a 2 mile trail run quite a few times.  They got muddy and gross and washed and hung dry many, many times.  Yet they always bounced back and looked shiny and new each time.

About September 2012.  I noticed the start of some tears on the top.  Oh, I was SO sad!

Both shoes, same spots, both sides.  Right where my foot creased when running, the material had broken down and was slowly tearing.  At first, I thought, "Oh well."  I quit running in them as much and started researching other minimal trail shoes.  

Novemberish 2012.  I was calculating up my miles for the year in each pair of shoes I rotated.  It was then I realized that I had paid almost a dollar a mile to run in those shoes!  No way!

December 2012.  So, I took a huge chance and emailed New Balance Customer Care.  I was nervous and guilty about it. What if they thought I was a mean, loony just trying to get a free pair of shoes?  But seriously?  I really had to talk myself through it.

The very next day, I was pleasantly surprised to receive an apology email from New Balance with an offer to replace the shoes free of charge.  They even offered to provide me a different style in the same price range!

Because I loved these shoes so much, I just asked for the exact ones again.  I had to ship back my old pair so that they could analyze the wear and make sure I hadn't just razored rips in there make sure that it was a defect in the shoe.  So, for the price of return shipping, I was able to get a replacement.  No hassle... easy peasy.

And.  TAH DAH!!!  The box came in the mail the other day!

I carefully opened the box.  I love the smell of new shoes.... ahhhh.

These really are wonderful shoes.  Light as a feather.

And you can't go wrong with orange!

Tonight I did my first run in them.  I ran on the treadmill because it was dark, and I'm scared of being eaten by a cougar.  They felt amazing, and I ran a new best at under 10 minutes per mile.. even after I really, really didn't want to run at all.

So, I love New Balance.  Great shoes, great customer service, great loyalty to American workers.  Can't beat that!

*New Balance did not even pay me to write this post... not at all.  Shoot, I guess I should have asked!*


  1. Haha!! What a great story! I love it. Great timing too because i am training for SERIOUS right now and had pondered replacing my super cheap New Balance shoes, really for no reason at all. Then I decided, nope, they feel great, they work for trail runs perfectly, and so far no cougar attacks. It must be the shoes. LOL
    p.s. I didn't get fancy shoes as a kid either, not even Keds. LOL As an adult, I am now very thankful for being trained this way to not care about fancy labels. xo

    1. I agree! I forgot about Keds! I always had to get the Payless version. Unfortunately, while I don't care about fancy labels, I have become something of a shoe snob as I've gotten older. I always get them on a clearance, but I pine for fancy shoes....