When it comes to sneaker brands, footwear companies are always trying to find ways to stand out from the pack. Whether it be coming out with a new design, utilizing new tech or even trying something brand new with marketing and advertising, the likes of Nike, adidas, Reebok, etc are always looking to create their own lanes in any way they can. That being said, there is one thing that New Balance does that none of these other brands can claim. New Balance is the only major brand that can say that they make some of their footwear in the USA.
Founded way back in 1906, the Boston-based athletic footwear company now operates in several countries across the globe. Yes, this means that they do manufacture some of their sneakers in other countries, but like we mentioned up top, New Balance is the only major footwear brand that makes some of their kicks in the USA.
Some of New Balance’s most popular silhouettes that are Made in the USA include classics
such as the New Balance 997, New Balance 998, the New Balance 990 V4 and the New
Balance 1540 V2.
New Balance states that “1 out of every 4 pairs of shoes we sell in the USA are made or
assembled in American factories, by American workers.” That being the case, New Balance still sources the materials they get for that shoe from countries overseas. Yes, this means that the shoe is not 100% made in the USA, but it is still a far better ratio when taking into consideration that 98% of all the shoes sold in the U.S. are imported.
New Balance also makes it known that 70% of the value of their Made in USA sneakers reflects domestic content and labor. Parts of these Made in USA sneakers such as the soles are still imported from China. With all these percentages being thrown around alongside claims of being “Made in USA” New Balance has had an ongoing legal dispute for decades with the Federal Trade Commission since they have an “all or virtually all” standard when it comes to using the Made in USA label, something New Balance is in violation of.
In conclusion, New Balance is still the only major brand that can say that they make or assemble more than 4 million pairs of sneakers per year in the USA. This, in turn, shows New Balance’s commitment to domestic manufacturing, which creates more jobs in the US at their five facilities in Maine and Massachusetts. It goes without saying that New Balance is missing out on profits by having some of their shoes made in the USA. Although that’s a hard pill to swallow, the fact that they’re the only major footwear brand who can claim that they make some of their shoes in their own backyard is a title they’re proud of having.
Are you a fan of New Balance sneakers? Which Made in the USA model is your favorite?