How “Dad Shoes” Turned New Balance Into A $5 Billion Brand

How “Dad Shoes” Turned New Balance Into A $5 Billion Brand. The humble Dad Shoe has taken the fashion world by storm! From comfort and utility-led designs to bold, oversized statement pieces. This formerly frumpy footwear has recently taken on a characteristic cool. New Balance is leading the charge as one of the biggest brands in the “Dad Shoe” trend. With over $5 billion in revenue in 2023. This footwear giant has transcended traditional sneaker style and is reaping the rewards.


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How “Dad Shoes” Turned New Balance

New Balance has been around for over a century and has a history of making comfortable, reliable sneakers. As the “Dad Shoe” trend began to gain traction in 2019, the company was quick to jump on-board. Offering retro-style designs and updated, minimalist takes on the traditionally unglamorous shoe. New Balance’s quick response to the Dad Shoe trend is what sets it apart. Its innovative design choices, high-quality construction, and ability to keep up with. The latest trends has kept New Balance at the top of the sneaker list.

As the Dad Shoe continues to rise in popularity, New Balance is poised to remain a leader in the fashion world. With its wide range of styles, comfortable designs, and ability to constantly evolve with the latest trends. New Balance seems unstoppable and the $5 billion in revenue it sees is the proof.


The Stylish Movement

As the fashion industry progresses, trends come and go in the blink of an eye. However, a trend that is here to stay is the dad shoe. It all started with the New Balance 990, which was released back in 1982. The shoe became popular in the late 2000s and early 2010s. When skaters and celebrities began to adopt the sneaker style. This set off a trend that has brought us the likes of the Balenciaga Triple S and the Gucci Rhyton sneaker. This stylish movement was accompanied by the all-important social media posts, which provided a platform for aspiring fashionistas to show off their latest looks.


Analyzing the Concept of a ‘Dad Shoe’

At its core, the dad shoe represents an ironic sense of fashion, with wearers pairing their bulky trainer with slim-fit jeans or a simple tee. It’s an intentional clash of style, which calls attention to itself. The shape of the shoe itself is bulky and unflattering, with the thick sole and large upper being major visual elements. This retro feel has caught the eye of many and thrust the style into the mainstream.


Benefits of Selling a ‘Dad Shoe’

Adopting the trend has been more than just a fashion statement, it’s also been lucrative. Brands like New Balance have seen major growth thanks to their re-imagining of the classic 990. Their 3-tier marketing strategy also made a major impact. Which embraced the concept of the dad shoe, but with a modern twist. They positioned the shoe in the athletic market as well as the fashion market, borrowing appeal from skate culture as well as high fashion.


The Digital Revolution of Branding

The surge in the dad shoe trend has also been driven by the digital transformation that brands are increasingly going through. Online platforms like Instagram and Twitter offer unprecedented visibility for the brands, which can reach potential customers in the click of a button. This means that brands no longer have to rely on sports stars to advertise their product. Instead, they can turn to their core demographic and use their own social media profiles to reach a broader audience.


Turning The Balance Around

These days, New Balance has become synonymous with dad shoes. Their success has been down to their willingness to embrace the style, rather than go against it. By updating and adapting their classic models, they’ve been able to create a look that appeals to a wider audience. Their willingness to take risks and embrace. The digital landscape has allowed them to become one of the most recognizable brands globally, seeing revenue reach over $5 billion in 2019.


Organization and Quality

New Balance shoes are recognized for their quality, durability, and comfort. This has been a manifestation of the brand’s commitment to ensure all its products are superior in design and construction. This commitment to quality began almost a century ago when founder William Riley founded New Balance in 1906 as a shoe manufacturer.

As the company grew, it developed several technologies, such as ABZORB cushioning, which helped make its shoes more comfortable. It also improved the design and construction of its shoes by listening to its athletes and customers. This attention to detail and improved construction paid off. Due in part to its ability to produce top-notch, high-quality shoes. The combination of quality and organization helped to ensure that these shoes were more comfortable and longer-lasting than their counterparts setting New Balance apart from its competitors.


New and Innovative Design

The launch of New Balance’s “Dad Shoes” was met with both skepticism and surprise. With the rise of “ugly Dad Shoes,” New Balance had struck a chord with the younger generation. Which was beginning to embrace the idea of clunky shoes. The launch of the 801 silhouette in the 90s was a notable moment for New Balance, featuring a sleeker, modern design.

This design was seen as a beacon of hope in an industry that was beginning to cycle through outdated styles or trending silhouettes that felt overhyped and eventually outdated. Thus, the launch of the 801 – and the success thereof – marked the official start of the Dad Shoe revolution. It was this innovative design that helped bring New Balance out of the shadows and into the limelight of the sneaker industry.


Excellent Brand Positioning

New Balance has focused on branding itself in a way that provides a story for its customers. First and foremost, New Balance has positioned itself as a comfortable and stylish brand. Its ability to incorporate comfort into stylish designs has helped set it apart from other brands in the industry. New Balance is also known for its unique colorways and collaborations, such as its Ronnie Fieg x New Balance 997.5 “Four Peaks” collaboration. This kind of creative story-telling helps to bring customers in and keep them around. As a result, New Balance has solidified itself as a brand that produces unique and interesting pieces.


Accessibility and Availability

New Balance has made great strides in endeavors of accessibility and availability. In addition to the comfort of its shoes, New Balance also makes sure the shoes are available to customers who need them. From collaborating with stores such as Foot Locker, to announcing restocks and reminders on social media, New Balance has become increasingly accessible to its consumers. Furthermore, New Balance has used a variety of marketing strategies to help spread the word about their shoes. This has included strategic collaborations with various artists, athletes, and brands, as well as major advertisements through print and social media.


Continued Support From Fans

New Balance’s shoes have been embraced by a variety of fans, both old and new. From those who remember the 801 silhouette of the 90s era. To those who are newer to the brand, New Balance continues to receive support. This is evident in New Balance’s strong online presence and the considerable increase in its revenue over the past few years.

New Balance’s shoes

The brand’s growing base of dedicated fans has helped make them the go-to dad-shoe brand. Year after year, New Balance continues to gain traction with more and more people. Its relevance and market position continue to grow.


Decline in Reputation

New Balance’s popularity as a dad shoe brand came with some unfortunate side effects in terms of its reputation. Many people view dad shoes as an unfashionable and unfashionable shoe style. Which can have a negative impact on the reputation of a brand. While New Balance was still doing well financially. Its brand image was suffering as a result of its association with dad shoes. This decline in reputation was damaging to the brand’s long-term success and led to a dip in sales.


Decrease in Market Share

The decline in reputation led to a decrease in market share for New Balance as its long-term success depended on a strong brand image. As consumers began to associate New Balance with dad shoes. They became less likely to view the brand in a positive light and were therefore less likely to purchase products from New Balance. This decrease in market share was further exacerbated by the increasing competition from rival athletic shoe brands.


Lack of Innovation

New Balance’s success as a dad shoe brand was due in part to its lack of innovation. While New Balance shoes were still functional and stylish. The company did not push the boundaries of design or technological advances as much as its competitors. This led to a lack of differentiation for the company. Which hindered its ability to remain competitive in the market.


Customer Churn

The decline in market share and lack of innovation caused some of New Balance’s customers to begin to look elsewhere for their athletic footwear needs. This caused customer churn which put further strain on the company’s finances and further damaged its reputation in the market.


Risk of Over-Saturation

New Balance was riding the wave of its dad shoe popularity and was at risk of over-saturating the market. This could have caused a dip in sales as customers could choose from a variety of brands offering the same style of shoe. It could have also caused a loss in brand loyalty as customers had a larger selection of shoes to choose from.


Focusing on Functionality

New Balance has been in the footwear industry since 1906 when it first focused on manufacturing arch supports and orthopedic shoes. However, it was the introduction of a certain type of shoe in the late 1980s that helped propel the company to its present-day success. This style, known as “dad shoes,” has become an essential part of the iconic brand’s identity.

Though often classified as part of the fashion-focused “ugly sneaker trend,” the robustly built shoes were initially created by New Balance for practicality. The aesthetic leaned heavily toward a more outdoor and athletic vibe, with thicker midsoles and wide shapes that offer a strong level of support. This focus on functionality has remained a core aspect of the company’s ethos, which has contributed to its continued success.


Strong Aesthetic with an Emphasis on Comfort

In recent years, the “dad shoe” style has become a sought-after trend, not because of it’s aesthetics, but because casual comfort particularly in the form of chunky, thick-soled shoes has also become in-demand. This has resulted in a greater level of recognition for New Balance as the OG purveyor of the style a detail that has definitely not gone unnoticed by the fashion industry.

This huge uptick in popular demand has allowed the company to focus its branding strategy toward a popular trend. This, in turn, has enabled New Balance to reposition itself as a lifestyle brand and attract a much wider demographic.


Growing From an Athletic Following

The history of New Balance’s dad shoes goes back to the late 1970’s and early 1980’s when the company repositioned itself from producing comfortable, but plain orthopedic shoes, to something more fashion-forward and designed for the athletic market.

It was during this period that the company unveiled its iconic 574 sneaker, which featured a signature design that was heavily inspired by running shoes of the era, such as the Reebok Freestyle and the adidas Gazelle.


Critical Reception and Financial Rewards

By the late 80’s, the chunky 574 sneaker had become an instantly recognizable part of the New Balance lineup. The combination of a strong aesthetic and an emphasis on performance and durability enabled the company to establish a strong foothold in the athletic market and ultimately become one of the most popular footwear producers in the world.

All of this has led to a drastic rise in the brand’s market value. According to reports, New Balance was worth an estimated $2.7 billion in 2019, and that figure has now grown to over $5 billion in the years since.


Positioning as a Cool, Retro Style

In recent years, the “dad shoe” style has become associated with a certain type of chic retro-aesthetic, and it has been this trend that has enabled New Balance to capitalize on its success. From popular celebrities, to iconic style influencers, to streetwear aficionados, the brand has become part of the status quo.

The company has since created a variety of colorways and silhouettes that have enabled it to build on the success of the classic 574. From the brightly-colored X-90’s to the chunky-soled 327’s, the dad shoe range has since become a fixture on the fashion circuit.


How Dad Shoes Reshaped the Footwear Industry

Dad shoes have been a staple of the fatherly wardrobe for almost a decade now, and their prevalence has had a major impact on the footwear industry. Originally, dad shoes were seen as cheap, though versatile, shoes that reflected the need for practicality and comfort in a typically stylish and trendy market. With the rise of the hipster movement and the emergence of athleisure fashion, these often-unfashionable shoes received a makeover and quickly gained in popularity, offering a certain level of coolness to the wearer.

Fast-forward to today and the dad shoe trend has reshaped the entire footwear industry. It has allowed brands such as New Balance to capitalize on this trend by offering a comfortable, on-trend shoe with a modern twist. By providing a fashion-forward design that still offered practicality and comfort for everyday wear, New Balance has managed to grow to a $5 billion brand in just a few short years. This success can be attributed to the brand’s willingness to move away from the traditional “Dad Shoe” and offer something that is both stylish and practical.



Designing a New Perspective on Style

The success of New Balance’s dad shoes lies in its reimagining of the classic design. By adding modern elements and materials such as suede, leather, mesh, and synthetic materials, the brand was able to create a fashionable alternative to the traditional and often unflattering “Dad Shoes”. By utilizing bold and eye-catching colors, the shoes offered a way for wearers to stand out in a crowded space.

The shoes also featured unique details such as thick laces and exaggerated sole bumps which further enhanced their style and instantly set them apart from the competition. These unique features also emphasized the comfort aspect of the shoes, something that is always important to buyers, no matter what their style.


Changing the Footwear Industry

New Balance’s unique take on the dad shoe has had a positive influence on the entire footwear industry. This particular design has set the tone for how fashionable shoes should look and has inspired other brands to follow suit. It has also encouraged a wider variety of designs and styles, opening up the possibility for even more stylish options to hit the market.


Growing the Brand

New Balance was able to capitalize on the success of the Dad Shoe to expand the brand further, introducing new models and silhouettes and targeting a wider audience. By utilizing the various design elements of the “Dad Shoe” and incorporating them into its other sneaker lines, New Balance has managed to maintain its core demographic of 40-somethings while still appealing to younger generations.


How Dad Shoes Transformed New Balance Into A $5 Billion Brand

The success of the “Dad Shoe” has been instrumental in transforming New Balance into a globally recognized brand, one that is now valued at over $5 billion. Thanks to its unique take on the classic Dad Shoe, the brand has been able to capture the attention of both younger and older generations and has seen its revenue skyrocket in recent years. As the trend continues to grow and more people embrace the comfort and style of the Dad Shoe, it’s likely that New Balance’s value will continue to rise.


How “Dad Shoes” Turned New Balance Into A $5 Billion Brand

During the 1990s, New Balance was struggling to keep up with fashion trends. The brand was seen as a relic of the past, and it was in dire need of a makeover. However, all that changed in the early 2000s when the company embraced the “dad shoe” trend and turned it into a fashion statement. The mid-top silhouette, chunky sole, and practical design of the shoes resonated with fashionable youngsters around the world, propelling New Balance to the top of the fashion game and making them a $5 billion brand.


Why “Dad Shoes” Became Popular

The idea of “dad shoes” started to gain traction in the early 2000s, when fashion-savvy youngsters began to reinterpret the bulky, utilitarian footwear that their parents had been wearing for years. Suddenly, styles like the New Balance 574 became a hot commodity with young men and women around the world. Balancing style and practicality perfectly, the shoes made a comfortable and stylish statement. Youngsters embraced the shoes with enthusiasm and the trend has since grown to encompass several different brands and styles.


New Balance Embraces The Dad Shoes

New Balance was quick to recognize the potential of the “dad shoe” trend and they began to embrace it with enthusiasm. The company developed several new styles of the shoes, such as the 574, 990, and 840, and they released them with high-profile campaigns and special collaborations. The shoes were seen on the feet of fashionable celebrities, and the brand tapped into the growing sneaker culture. They even sponsored major events and used special materials in their designs. More importantly, they understood the power of marketing and how to use it to their advantage.


The Results Of Embracing Dad Shoes

The results of New Balance’s focus on the “dad shoe” trend have been impressive. Over the years, the brand’s popularity has grown exponentially and they now have a global presence. They’re seen as one of the most fashionable sneaker brands in the world, and their popularity shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, the company now has an estimated annual value of $5 billion and they continue to grow.


Celebrities Wearing Dad Shoes

Celebrities have been instrumental in New Balance’s success. High-profile actors, musicians, and athletes have all been seen rocking the “dad shoe” look and helping to bring attention to the brand. It’s safe to say that the shoes wouldn’t be nearly as popular if not for the endorsement of stylish celebrities like Justin Bieber, Gigi Hadid, and LeBron James.


The Power Of Social Media

Social media has also played an important role in New Balance’s success. The company has leveraged the power of social media platforms like Instagram to spread their messages and increase their reach. Through the platform, they’ve connected with a younger generation of fashion-savvy consumers and built an engaged community of fans. This has allowed them to reach a wider audience and tap into new markets.


The Future Of New Balance

New Balance’s success has been undeniable. It can be attributed mainly to the company’s embrace of the “dad shoe” trend. Going forward, the company is likely to continue focusing on the trend as there’s still a lot of potential for them to grow. They’re sure to continue leveraging the power of social media and celebrity endorsement to reach even greater heights in the future. How “Dad Shoes” Turned New Balance Into A $5 Billion Brand is the importance of the popularity of New Balance.


What are “Dad Shoes”?

“Dad shoes” is a term used to describe the casual leather or canvas sneakers typically made by New Balance. These shoes typically feature neutral colors and thick, orthopedic-style soles. The shoes are often characterized by a slightly bulkier and boxier shape that usually appeals to older generations. The combination of comfort and style make them a popular choice for dads.


When did the “Dad Shoe” trend start?

The “Dad Shoe” trend has been on the rise since 2016 and continues to grow in popularity today. The trend was initially popularized by fashion influencers on social media, and over the years it has become a mainstream fashion choice. The wide range of styles and colors available from New Balance has helped make them one of the top brands for these types of shoes.


What features make New Balance “Dad Shoes” special?

New Balance’s “Dad Shoes” are special because of their combination of comfort and style. The shoes feature thick, cushioned soles that offer arch support and cushioning for your feet. The upper sections of the shoes are designed with canvas or leather that offers durability and breathability. And with a wide range of styles and colors, there is something for everyone.


What are the benefits of wearing New Balance “Dad Shoes”?

Wearing New Balance “Dad Shoes” comes with a range of benefits. The shoes are designed with arch support and cushioning that can help relieve foot pain and reduce fatigue. The materials used in the upper sections are breathable and durable, so your feet will stay comfortable all day. And with the wide range of styles and colors available, there is sure to be something for everyone.


What type of people are buying New Balance “Dad Shoes”?

New Balance “Dad Shoes” are becoming increasingly popular with younger generations. Many of the newer styles and colors appeal to a younger audience, and the casual, comfortable style is perfect for everyday wear. Parents are also known to be fans of the shoes, since they offer the perfect combination of comfort and style.


How has the “Dad Shoe” trend helped New Balance become a $5 billion brand?

The “Dad Shoe” trend has been a major factor in New Balance’s success. The combination of comfort and style has made them one of the top brands for casual sneakers and have helped them to become a $5 billion brand. With the addition of more modern styles and colors, they have been able to attract younger generations and remain a popular choice for the whole family.


How much do New Balance “Dad Shoes” usually cost?

New Balance “Dad Shoes” typically range in price from $50 to $100, depending on the style and material used. Some of the higher-end models may be priced slightly higher. But the average price is still quite decent for a quality pair of shoes.


Where can I buy New Balance “Dad Shoes”?

New Balance “Dad Shoes” can be purchased at the official New Balance website or at many retailers including Foot Locker, Finish Line, and DSW. You can also find a wide selection of styles and colors available on sites such as Amazon and eBay.


Are New Balance “Dad Shoes” available in different sizes?

Yes, New Balance “Dad Shoes” are available in a wide range of sizes for both men and women. The shoes typically come in sizes starting from 6 up to 14. Although some styles may have a more limited range.


What is New Balance’s quality assurance guarantees?

New Balance offers a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee on all products. The company promises to stand behind the quality of their products and will happily accept returns on any product. That does not meet customer expectations. Customers can also take advantage of New Balance’s one-year warranty on all footwear, ensuring that any defects will be covered.


New Balance Entry into the Athletic Styled Sneakers Segment

When New Balance, a 100-year old iconic shoe company, saw the trend in collegiate students wearing bulky and unattractive “dad shoes”. It quickly jumped on the opportunity. While the industry trends were focused on athletic-styled sneakers. New Balance wanted to redefine the sneaker market and attract the fashionable consumer.

In order to do so they created the “990” series which was designed with the idea of a lifestyle sneaker that could be worn both for sport and leisure. It was during this time that they also started using there now iconic logo of the silhouette of a gentleman drinking tea.


The Rebranding of New Balance

New Balance sought to further set themselves apart from other brands in the athletic-styled sneakers industry by introducing a new color pallet to the company. They moved from the traditional neon and primary colors and instead opted for a more muted aesthetic. To coincide with this new look, they moved away from the athletic-styled sneakers and focused more on the lifestyle aspect of the sneaker. This allowed them to reach a wider consumer base and become known as a fashionable brand as opposed to just another sneaker company.


Exploring Different Markets

New Balance was also able to take advantage of other markets by rebranding their shoes to fit certain trends. This included launching shoes that made use of leathers and fabrics that were popular in the fashion industry and highlighting the newly designed logos. They were also able to break into a luxury market by partnering with upscale fashion labels and creating lines in conjunction with them. This allowed them to reach a higher end consumer base that would have not previously considered buying their shoes.


The Success of “Dad Shoes”

The most successful introduction of “dad shoes” was made by New Balance. It was quickly embraced by college students and popularized throughout the sneaker industry. The 990 became a status symbol and was worn by influencers and celebrities alike. This allowed for the brand to gain further exposure and reach an even bigger consumer base. This success propelled New Balance into the global retail market and allowed them to become the fourth-largest sneaker company in the world.


In The Bottom Line:

The incredible success of the “dad shoes” and New Balance’s foray into the athletic-styled. Sneakers industry has allowed them to become the fourth-largest sneaker company in the world with a worth of over $5 billion. They have been able to position themselves as a fashionable and comfortable, yet affordable, option. The consumer which has allowed them to become a mainstay in the sneaker industry.