Nathan Deuel, author of Friday was the Bomb, has written a piece about his New Balance 990s for the NY Times Magazine:
“I suppose looks prevented me from buying New Balances before my walk. There’s something aggressively earnest about them. New Balance initially made only arch supports, and slowly moved into manufacturing entire shoes. In 1982, the company debuted a new model that would go on to become one of its most popular: the 990. An early advertisement featured a picture of a clunky gray sneaker alongside copy that declared, semimodestly: ‘On a scale of 1,000, this shoe is a 990.’ ”
You can read the rest of the essay at the NY Times Magazine site.