New Balance CEO Eyes Plant-Based Sneaker Revolution


New Balance  is sprinting towards the future of footwear innovation, aiming to revolutionize the industry with sustainable plant-based materials.

Leading the charge at the Boston-based company is CEO Joe Preston, a proud native of the city, who envisions New Balance shedding its traditional “dad shoe” image by delivering cutting-edge products that are fresh, authentic, and eco-friendly.

“We firmly believe that the next major revolution in sneakers will stem from advancements in materials,” declared Preston in a recent interview with Yahoo Finance’s Lead This Way. “I’m convinced that it will involve plant-based materials or some other groundbreaking innovation.”

While Preston’s background may not be in molecular biophysics, he understands the crucial role of scientific research in crafting superior footwear.

Inside New Balance’s research facility in Brighton, Mass., state-of-the-art technology is employed to test and refine the latest shoe prototypes. From robotic pounding to performance evaluations with real athletes, every aspect is meticulously scrutinized to ensure excellence.

However, the path to innovation is not without hurdles. Last year, industry giant Nike  filed a lawsuit against New Balance and Skechers (NYSE:SKX), alleging patent infringement related to its Flyknit technology.

“Intellectual property is vital to a company’s assets, and we are committed to safeguarding ours,” asserted Preston regarding the legal battle. “Similarly, if we feel that competitors are encroaching on our territory, we will defend ourselves.”

Preston’s leadership philosophy revolves around empowerment and facilitation, honed through his extensive experience managing New Balance’s international operations. With sales reaching $6.5 billion in 2023, Preston aims to steer the company towards a $10 billion milestone in the coming years.

Reflecting on the recent surge in demand for retro sneakers, Preston highlights New Balance’s rich heritage of iconic designs, such as the legendary 990 released in 1982. Leveraging both nostalgia and innovation, the brand has captured the attention of consumers worldwide, fueled further by strategic partnerships with top athletes like Coco Gauff, Sydney McLaughlin, and Shohei Ohtani.

For Preston, these collaborations not only elevate New Balance’s profile but also resonate with younger demographics, reinforcing the brand’s core values.

In an ever-evolving industry, New Balance remains committed to leading the charge towards a more sustainable and stylish future in footwear.

Featured Image: Freepik

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