• New Balance Factory Tour & Team Dinner

    May 20, 2012

    REACH THE BEACH WAS AN EPIC ADVENTURE! Holy moly, I have so much to tell you guys. Here’s just one of many posts!

    [rewind to Thursday afternoon]

    After meeting our team at the New Balance offices, we all got into the vans to drive to the New Balance factory and Sports Research Lab in Lawrence, Massachusetts for a tour.

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    The first part of our tour started in the New Balance factory.

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    Safety first!

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    Fun fact: New Balance makes about 25% of their shoes in the U.S. No other athletic company manufactures this high of a percentage of their shoes domestically.

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    The New Balance factory in Lawrence employees 230 people and produces 2,400 pairs of shoes each day.

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    Each shoe produced touches the hands of approximately 36 employees. Neat, right?

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    The 990s are New Balance’s most popular shoe, so our tour included a start-to-finish explanation of how it is manufactured.

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    Fun facts about the 990s:

    • It was first introduced in 1982.
    • Since its introduction, 14 million pairs have been sold.
    • It was the first sneaker to cost more than $100 and no one thought consumers would buy it.

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    After the factory tour, we took a quick break for a snack. I grabbed a butterscotch chip cookie, which tasted amazing (obviously).

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    For the second part of our tour, we visited the New Balance Sports Research Lab, which I had the opportunity to experience last September. A lot of the information that we received on Thursday was what I learned during my first visit, so feel free to check out my previous post. The information was still super interesting to hear for the second time. They do some really cool stuff in the Sports Research Lab.

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    Once we finished touring the New Balance facilities, we drove to the Wachusett Village Inn where we spent the night. The Inn’s close proximity to the start of the relay made the next morning a total breeze.


    Once we got settled in our rooms, our team had a brief Q & A with a camera crew for the relay (more on that later) and then we headed to dinner at the Inn.

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    Theodora and I kept our pre-race beer tradition alive with a cold brew (Wachusett Country, not Coors Light).

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    For dinner, Theodora, Gretchen, and I shared a sampler plate.

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    And then I ate a garden salad with chicken on top.

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    After dinner, we had a team photo shoot and then headed straight to bed to get our much-needed rest for Reach the Beach.

    More to come!!!

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    { 22 comments… read them below or add one }

    emily May 20, 2012 at 11:39 am

    now that you have toured/learded about both reebok and new balance.. which do you prefer?!


    Tina May 20, 2012 at 11:50 am

    I love them both! New Balance is great for running and Reebok is great for CrossFit.


    Rebecca @ Blueberry Smiles May 20, 2012 at 11:52 am

    That’s so great that they make a high percentage of shoes in the US- theyre already my favorite brand, but it makes me want to stay extra loyal to them!


    lynn @ the actor's diet May 20, 2012 at 11:57 am

    i love factory tours…esp. when they have cookies!


    Christine @ Oatmeal Bowl May 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    I love factory tours! That’s great to see a shoe being put together. How neat to see all you gals together. When I saw the cookie, I actually thought of Monica and her quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie.


    Katie @ Peace Love and Oats May 20, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    That’s so awesome that you got to see how the shoes are made!


    Abby @ BackAtSquareZero May 20, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    How cool that NB are made in the US. I never would’ve know that. Look mom, you do learn something from reading blogs:)


    Cait's Plate May 20, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Looks so amazing so far! Can’t wait to read the rest of the posts! 🙂


    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama May 20, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    How fun to see the behind the scenes of how everything is made!


    HeatherB May 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    I got married at the Wachusett village Inn – in the tent out back! It’s so pretty there!!


    Lynda @ Sun.Sweat.Run. May 20, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    This relay looks like such fun. It must have been so cool to see how the NB are made. Looking forward to seeing how the rest of the event went.


    Gretchen @ Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen! May 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to take like 50 posts to accurately summarize all of the epic-ness of this weekend. I don’t even know where to start! Thank you SO much for allowing me to be part of this adventure, and I miss you alreadyyyy!!


    Debbie May 20, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Thanks for sharing that information about New Balance. I hope your relay went great! Look forward to reading more about it. Congrats on finishing it!


    RunEatRepeat May 20, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    There is a significant banana shortage in this post.


    Tina May 20, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Agreed! The next couple of posts will have lots!


    Erica @ For the Sake of Cake May 20, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    I love New Balance! Such a cool experience!


    Kristen @ notsodomesticated May 20, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Can’t wait to hear more about your weekend adventures! I’m very curious to hear how the race went!


    Maura @ My Healthy 'Ohana May 20, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    Wow, interesting facts about New Balance…I’ve been buying those shoes faithfully for years 🙂


    Alyssa (pb and oatmeal) May 20, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    I love that New Balance makes some of their shoes in the US. Can’t wait to read the rest of the posts!


    lindsay May 20, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    The CEO of New Balance is on the board of KaBOOM!, the nonprofit where I work so i have extra love for the company!


    Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See May 20, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    I’d love to take a tour of a shoe factory! My feet are so wonky that I bet it’d be super helpful!


    Mindy May 21, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    That’s so funny that you girls had a Wachusett Country beer… My husband had bought a “lot” of taps on Ebay and that was one of the taps in it. We didn’t think it was a real beer!!! I’ll have to show him this post to prove it’s real. 🙂


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