New Balance, an iconic American brand of sports shoes and apparel, was founded in 1906 in Boston. It is one of the most recognized brands in sports, alongside Nike, Skechers and Puma. But, the question that many consumers ask is "where is New Balance manufactured?"
New Balance is a famous American brand, however, that does not mean all of its products are made in America. We reviewed hundreds of product descriptions on New Balance's website, visited several New Balance stores, as well as some New Balance product stores, and checked multiple items; all to find out where New Balance shoes are made.
Are New Balance Shoes made in the USA?
Nearly a quarter of all the shoes New Balance sells in America come from the five New England factories of the company. This is far from common in a time when 98% of shoes sold in America are imported.
New Balance acknowledges that less than 70% of Made in USA shoes' value reflects domestic labor and content. For example, the outer soles of the shoes are made in China and do not conform to the U.S. government's definition of "Made In USA." According to the Federal Trade Commission, a product must be "all or nearly all" made in the U.S. in order to be eligible. In the 1990s, New Balance was subject to an FTC enforcement action.
This sparked a legal dispute that continues to resonate in U.S. manufacturing. While the FTC ultimately dropped its lawsuit against New Balance for using the label on footwear from U.S. factories, it reiterated its "all or virtually" standard. Critics claim that this has created confusion.
Does New Balance Support American Manufacturing?
About 1600 U.S. workers are employed in five American factories producing New Balance shoes in the highly respected Made Collection. There is much more to New Balance; there are many options to fit every shape and size of feet and they are also fashionable and highly collectible.