Have you ever thought that it would be cool to wear unreleased shoes and apparel for a big brand such as New Balance? I have been a wear tester for New Balance for the past 5 years and I will show you how you can test shoes too.
What is wear testing?
Wear testing or product testing is a process to measure the quality, fit, function and durability of a product. Many companies do this to make sure that their products perform well and so that they can identify and eliminate any potential problems before they head to the consumer market.
How does it work?
As a wear tester, you will receive products to wear before they are released to the market. Based on the test’s objectives, you will wear the product and be the judge of its comfort, durability, and performance. At the end of the test, your feedback will ultimately improve New Balance products.
What kinds of shoes can I test?
New Balance has a family of brands of which you can test:
- New Balance
- PF Flyers
Prototype products from these brands are available for a number of different sports and casual/lifestyle use.
How can I be added to a test?
There are currently 3 different ways to be added to a test. The first is to click on “Available Tests” and opt in to an upcoming test. The analyst will review the profiles and add the best testers for that test. The second way is to get an invite to a test which you can choose to accept or decline. The final way is for an analyst to add you directly to a test. The benefit of New Balance inviting testers is that they get a confirmation from each tester that they are able and willing to participate.
How often are tests run?
Tests are entered to frequently, often on a weekly basis. Since there are no email notifications, you will need to log in and check manually to see the upcoming available tests.
I have been wear testing shoes for New Balance since 2011 and I absolutely love it. I actually just finished a test just a couple of weeks ago. I have gotten to test a number of different shoes from New Balance, Warrior and PF Flyers, and each new pair has always been more exciting than the last. The surveys are very easy and fun to fill out because I know that my feedback is actually going to be read by the New Balance team and contribute directly to improving the shoes. Additionally, it feels great to be able to say things like, “these shoes are not out yet” or “New Balance sends me shoes to test periodically” when people comment or ask me about the test shoes when I am wearing them. New Balance definitely loves hearing what others are saying about the shoes too. My wear test administrator is always courteous and has been extremely helpful whenever I have had a question and contacted him.
I’m ready to sign up. What’s next?
If you are ready to sign up, I am excited for you! There are a couple of things that you will have to do outlined below. Keep in mind that there is not a guarantee on how frequently you will receive pairs of shoes to test, but I will definitely do my best to show you how to be the best applicant possible.
- First, read about the New Balance Wear Tester program by clicking here. Scroll down to the footer and click on “Program Details.” Make sure you click and read through all of the links on the left sidebar. Pay particular attention to Process, Product Categories, Requirements, Tester School, Written Feedback, Considerations, and FAQs.
- The Tester School page contains a lot of universally useful information about shoes such as the type of shoe to wear for specific sports and for specific foot types. It also shows how testers are graded.
- On the application, you will be asked for specific details about your foot size and preferred shoe size. I would recommend that you make a trip to your local footwear store such as Foot Locker to have your feet measured with a Brannock Device.
- If you receive a pair of shoes to test, I would wear them as much as possible (within reason) and take the time to provide constructive feedback. They are looking for the positive and negative aspects of the shoes so be honest and have fun. This will give you the best opportunity to receive shoes more frequently in the future.
When you are ready to become a New Balance tester, click here. Type in your email address in the box on the right side and click on “Join Us.”
If you have any questions or comments, I would be more than happy to respond – just post them below. Here’s to your new journey as a wear tester for New Balance. Good luck!