2014 fashion trends changed the way we think about athletic apparel.  Now with the designs coming out of stores like New Balance, it's become less of a trend and more of a style here to stay.  I recently visited the New Balance store on Broadway Ave for the first time, and I was greeted with a warm welcome upon arrival and instantly felt comfortable in the inviting urban vibe.

New Balance opened late last fall, and is owned by runner and entrepreneur, Brian Michasiw. In case you don't know, he's kind of a big deal in the world of running and shoes in Saskatchewan.  Brian also owns Brainsport, which for many years was in the same location as New Balance and has now relocated across the street. If there's someone who understands footwear, it's definitely this guy.

Brian made the decision to open New Balance to satisfy a need in the market for trend driven athletic footwear and apparel.  After speaking with Store Manager, Tyler Babiy regarding the vision of the store, he explained: 

Our goal, as a local shop, is to engage the city in a meaningful and thoughtful way. We aim to do this by providing the best product, service and community engagement. For the first time in 5 years New Balance has shifted gears with their brand philosophy, following the idea of being “Always in Beta”. We at New Balance Saskatoon fully align with this idea and are pumped to push the limits and people’s expectations of us!

So what is this Beta?

Beta is the promise to relentlessly improve. To be a better version of today. To grow as an athlete and a human being. To go faster and farther than you ever thought possible. Beta drives us to dream. To wake up every morning inspired for what could be. To realize something that has eluded us. To find what’s next. 

Beta is our calling. To go beyond what others see as the finish line. To seek what is possible. To invite others to join in our quest. 

Beta is in everything we make, do and are.
To design products that perpetually better themselves. To rally athletes everywhere to achieve and reset their goals. To behave as a brand that celebrates what could be. 

We are New Balance. 

We are Always in Beta. 

With an understanding of the Beta philosophy, I quickly realized this company was serious about growth and design. Walking around the store, the Beta philosophy is ever present as the days of the boring running shoe is a thing of the past. The apparel and shoes are eye catching and fashionable,  providing practical, technical uses.. meeting the needs of not just the runner but for the urban lifestyle. 

With so many choices nowadays for apparel and footwear, I asked Tyler why choose New Balance?

The short answer is service and selection. There is no boutique environment in Saskatoon that offers the same head to toe solutions as New Balance Saskatoon. The staff lives in the brand and has varied athletic interests. Without a doubt we can solve any concern that our clients have.

New Balance truly is a boutique experience. Being born and raised in Saskatoon, the likes of brand specific boutique stores have been non existent, and from such lack of experience in Saskatoon I was fearful of higher price tags. Little did I know, New Balance prices are completely affordable, and I left the store knowing I was 'walking' away with quality and most importantly, a stylish piece of footwear. 

New Balance Saskatoon is ready to set you up with an outfit suitable for several activities  - running, walking, studio fitness, crossfit, parkour, dance, and all the activities involved with getting you to and from. For example check out those bad boys below.

The experience in the store is exceptional, the staff takes the time to understand the needs of the customer, accurately measures your feet, and encourages you to try on several pairs of shoes.  Knowing the role feet play in life and exercise, I realize the importance of being educated by experts. I'm sure we've all been guilty of buying a pair of shoes that don't fit properly and had to pay for it later with cramping.  All I can leave you with is.. they're experts - trust them!

We take the time to get to know people and their needs. We combine our shared experiences to create the most thoughtful interaction with our clients as possible. We understand the convenience of shopping online, but know the difference in being able to touch, see and experience the product first hand. We have the resources to order in any online product for our customers if we do not have it in house. We absolutely want our customers to be taken care and beyond that be treated like our friends. We love to shop as much as they do!

New Balance Saskatoon is also more than just a 10am to 6pm business. During the summer they run a program called NB GO which engages different local fitness professions and provides a weekly club to showcase their activity. Another separate program New Balance Saskatoon runs is NB PM - this program is an after hours event series which started with Zombie Apocalypse.

We never want to repeat what’s been done, we aim to move past people’s expectations and create super fresh ways of keeping people talking about fitness and most importantly getting off their butts!

To get a better understanding of 'Zombie Apocalypse' and New Balance PM, watch this video! It's a little freaky and also pretty cool. Click HERE!

New Balance has been around for over 100 years! The brand has been ever evolving to be a top contender in the athletic world and be the fashionable lifestyle choice.  It's an exciting time for the brand right now as there's a hyper focus on apparel.  New Balance is working towards being a global brand, and is putting a significant amount of effort into research, development and design of the apparel . 

The marriage of style and function means clients no longer have to choose between what is practical and what is fashionable. It’s a really great time for Saskatoon to be getting a New Balance store as the city moves becomes more involved with active transportation (yes, bike lanes) and becomes more engaged with healthy living

I would definitely recommend making the trip over to New Balance Saskatoon (704 Broadway Ave). Whether you're actually in need of some new kicks and/or athletic apparel, or curious to check it out, it is well worth your time.  I would also encourage you to check out their instagram and twitter account (newbalancesaskatoon) where they have some pretty amazing and inspiring photos.  

Thanks to Stevie (on left) and Tyler (on right) for assisting me in store!  Another huge thank you to Tyler for taking the time to answer my questions for this post, and to my fabulous models Chad Reynolds and Chelsea Schellenberg, you guys rock!