The city of Arnedo sits on a sandy area, which was the inspiration for its original Latin name, Arenetum. Having existed since the Neolithic era, it was an important center of passage that linked Numancia with Calahorra during the domination of the Romans. Under Muslim rule, Arnedo was a prominent administrative and military headquarters. It was ruled by the dynasty of the Banu Qasi until, towards the year of 909, it was reconquered by Sancho Garcés I from Navarra.
During the following two centuries, the city was owned by both Aragón and Navarra until finally, in 1256, it was indefinitely incorporated into the crown of Castile, and stayed under its dominion during the following centuries.
In 1388, King Juan I of Castile signed the Treaty of Arnedo with the Ambassador of the King of France. This was based on a mutual defense pact and an alliance to invade England. In the 15th century, one of the first banks known in the world was founded in the locality to finance its inhabitants. In addition, the Vico Monastery was founded.
In the modern age, Arnedo was distinguished by several monarchs, such as the Austrian king, Felipe IV, who granted the title of city in 1653, or the Bourbon king Carlos III, who created a nine day fair and the idea of a weekly market during the eighteenth century.
During the nineteenth century, different factories manufacturing sneakers were formed. These would eventually become important factories for all kinds of footwear. On January 5, 1932, shortly after the Constitution of the Second Republic was created, there was a fight between workers from one of these footwear factories and a Civil Guard member, who opened fire and killed fifteen people. The military court acquitted the officer in charge of the guards, and Arnedo became a symbol of oppression for the workers.