New Balance 993

I expect dress shoes, well tended to and resoled on a fairly regular basis, to give me a lifetime of wear. Of athletic shoes, I do not have the same confidence.

The conventional wisdom is that athletic shoes need to be replaced every 300 to 500 miles. I tend, given my inherited midwestern parsimony, to hew to the upper end of that spectrum.

But, every so often, my athletic shoes bite the proverbial dust. In fact, my wife and I both recently confronted the end of our athletic shoes’ productive life. So we turned to one of the New Balance Factory Stores near us.  It had a couple of American made models, and we both opted for the 993.

As the only major maker of athletic footwear still constructing shoes in the United States, New Balance has a special place. Admittedly, most of its shoes are made overseas. But a select group (25% of its output by the company’s own measure) are made domestically in five New England plants, representing more than four million pairs annually.

We’ve already worn them twice. They’re amazingly comfortable–both lightweight and remarkably well cushioned. An upcoming hiking trip in Colorado will provide a true test, although I have every hope that they’ll perform more than admirably.