Newb-alance (pronounced “Newb-alance”) Athletic Shoe, Inc. is a footwear manufacturer based in Boston, Massachusetts that specializes in amateur running, walking, and cross-training shoes for people who “are going to start running [and] lose this flabby gut.” Newb-alance shoes are easily recognized by the letter “N” on the side of each shoe, which has been deemed a social utility for recognizing athletics newbs, much like how Jewish citizens of Germany wore stars during the early-to-mid twentieth century.
Newb-alance is well known for popularizing the equation F(X) = X, where F is the function answering “Which is better: Newb-alance or X?” Bloggers have labeled this “the final solution.”
Newb-alance is one of the highest-rated running-shoe manufacturers in the world, right behind Adidas, Nike, Reebok, Asics, DC, Saucony, Brooks, Puma, KangaROOS, Avia, Ryka, Liz Claiborne, Skechers, K-Swiss, Converse, Vans, Sneaux, Fubu, Etnies, Heelys, And-1, Lugz, and, in many cases, Timberland and Wolverine. American Footwear reported, “Since introducing Newb-alance as the centerpiece to our running shoe selection, sales for metatarsal-guarded work boots have climbed exponentially.”
Under pressure from the Federal Trade Commission, American Footwear later changed its name to American Footware because Newb-alance shoes are closer to hardware than clothing since 90% contain lead, mercury, and other carcinogens. In a Dear Penthouse letter concerning his company’s experience with Newb-alance, a former Finishlocker President and his running mate said, “We were considering a lot of excellent shoes, but we ordered Newb-alance.” They described the shoes as
Newb-alance is recognized for its high quality through the oft-repeated axiom “Newb-alance is good shoes.” Sales associates of many popular footwear chains use “Yeah, I mean, I would think they would be comfortable” as the climactic clincher of a sale.
The company filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in 1993 after attempts to make their shoes fool proof alienated their customer base.
Newb-alance ranks its shoes on a numeric, four-digit scale, inadvertently informing customers which shoes to avoid. The scale ranges from 100 to 1100, but release of Newb-alance MR8509WN (—or ‘Zip’) has caused confusion of where it ranks. Mr. Peter Peter — an autumn-loving Newb-alance representative whose wife recently starved to death — walked from his bedroom, to his kitchen, out the front door of the Newb-alance Headquarters to say
- “the 8000 series should be perceived as the ‘n00b²’ levels for extreme beginners... like when someone who has never before used a computer buys a dial-up AOL account.”
In 2003, Newb-alance discovered that its shoes sell better when sales staff know nothing about the product. The company invented the Rorschach Test in which sales associates show customers either (a) boring, white, leather shoes optionally trimmed in navy (“white”) or (b) tacky, urban shoes trimmed in gold (“black”).
Steps to Administer the Rorschach Test:
- Find the legendary shopper who intentionally seeks Newb-alance
- Listen to how the shopper pronounces Newb-alance
- If the shopper says Newb-alance (with emphasis on Newb) in its singular form, show the shopper “white” shoes
- Otherwise, if the shopper says Newb-alancez (with emphasis on alancez) in its plural form, show the shopper “black” shoes
In the former case, the shopper will try five different sizes, stare into space while grumbling, demand to know if the shoe is made in America, and leave after asking, “What do you have against America?”.
For customers of the latter case, studies show that the degree to which the shopper pulls back his cheeks, cocks his head, and shifts his jaw into an awkward angle determines how “black” the desired shoes are. The shopper will then ask for the shoe in a color not found in nature before leaving the store dissatisfied.
After realizing that both demographics share common traits — such as driving ancient Cadillacs at twenty miles per hour, listening to music too loudly (the former, because they are hard of hearing), and not understanding where the waist of pants belongs — Newb-alance released the MU666AB (—or ‘Gray Area’). This shoe combines features of both “white” and “black” categories, so associates can simply offer one shoe to both of the annual shoppers who ask for Newb-alance.
Features and Benefits
Newb-alance running, walking, and cross-training shoes feature many different types of cushioning, each systematically designed to support the unique needs of customers:
- CCAP is a type of cushion that absorbs shock from impact.
- Abzorb is an absorbent cushioning system that absorbs shock.
- Abzorb EX is designed to absorb shock while still cushioning the foot.
- Abzorb SBS not only cushions the foot, but also absorbs shock.
- Abzorb RTS is a type of cushion that absorbs shock.
- N-Fuse cushions your heel while absorbing shock.
Recognizing the unique needs of customers, Newb-alance also features a luxurious variety of widths, including:
Made in USA
Newb-alance has promised that approximately some of its shoes will be made in America. These shoes are easily recognized by the low number on the technology scale and high number on the price sticker. One manager at Finishlocker reports, “Newb-alance’s release of American-made shoes such as the MR993GL satisfies those crazy old guys who come in just to make sure we carry American-made shoes without any intention of buying them.”
- Note: the term popular should be viewed in the context of a given style relative to other Newb-alance styles, and not unfairly compared to a high-end brand like Heelys.
Newb-alance MR9009ZP (—or ‘Zap’) takes “light-weight, mesh running shoe” to a whole new level by marketing socks as shoes.
In a bold move, Newb-alance distinguished the MT500BI (—or ‘Driveys’), its response to Heeleys, from other ‘wheel shoes’ by substituting the wheels with a free key-chain. The shoes were released to southern retailers on December 5, 2008, when the office temp was “headed that direction, anyway.”
Newb-alance MR992GL (pronounced “MR992GL”) is a high-end, gray nu-buck running shoe, known to come apart at high speeds. Its performance is appropriate for daily runners, and its look is appropriate for men who turned too old to run years ago.
The 992 has recently been replaced by the 993, which features a brand new font. The Director of Quality Control announced that each of Newb-alance’s shoes will be updated with new fonts and re-released as a different shoe each year “until somebody stops me, mother fucker.”
Just kidding: Newb-alance does not have quality control.
Regarding foot problems, the Newb-alance 42 is the universal answer to any question.
High Customer Satisfaction
Sales for Newb-alance peak in January due to the popular New Year’s resolution amongst obese men to start “running, jogging,” or “going to the gym.” Oddly, these men report 100% satisfaction when questioned about how their shoes perform during their workouts. Representatives of Adidas have stated that these obese men are “full of shit,” but not in the sense of digestive irregularity that is common to the obese. Rather, Adidas questions the reliability of these men’s statements. Given the tendency in Newb-alance running shoes to come apart at low-to-high speeds, the 100% customer satisfaction rate is highly improbable.
To date, no one can find a reason why obese men who “are definitely going to” exercise would never experience the failings of a Newb-alance shoe.
Many professional gossip columnists have speculated that Newb-alance is targeted by serial thieves, because the amount of Newb-alance boxes on shelves in footwear stores fluctuate over a given month, obviously given that no one is buying them.
Such speculation is actually false: no Newb-alance have ever been stolen. The real reason inventory changes over time is because stores continuously transfer the Newb-alance shoes to other stores within the company, as if playing a game of real-life hot potato. Whoever gets caught with the Newb-alance goes out of business.
Because of the large letter “N” on the side of each of its shoes, Newb-alance footwear is often mistaken for Nike footwear. The reasoning is usually something along the lines of, “that must be Nike because Nike is the most popular shoe company that starts with the letter ‘N,’ and there is no way any company could be so stupid or unoriginal as to use an element of the alphabet as its logo...”
According to a recent celebrity-endorsed survey, the act of being mistaken for Nike account for approximately 30% of Newb-alance’s sales, while New Year’s resolutions account for the remaining 70%.