New Balance started producing shoes all the way back in 1906 to help relieve the foot pain of laborer’s and keep them working comfortably on their feet. Through out the years, they started producing athletic footwear with their first running shoes appearing in 1938. Since then, New Balance has been committed to innovating and evolving their footwear to meet the needs of the athletic community for over 70 years.
With the trend of all footwear and most everything else being produced overseas, New Balance started a campaign back in 1992 advertising that their shoes were still being made in the U.S.A. That commitment is still true today. New Balance relies on five different ‘associate’ manufacturers in New England to produce 25 percent of the shoes that they sell in the U.S. or approximately 7 million pair. They are the only manufacturer to still make athletic shoes in the United States.
New Balance does have two different ‘tiers’ of shoes made under the U.S. label. The first is ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ – this is footwear that has 70% or more of U.S. produced materials in the shoes. The other level is ‘Assembled in the U.S.A.’ – these are shoes that are sewn here, but have less than 70 percent of the material produced in the U.S. New balance does not shy away from this fact as is evident through this statement:
25 percent of New Balance shoes sold in North America are produced by our US workforce, using US and imported materials. When possible, we obtain materials from domestic suppliers. At times, due to availability, economic or quality reasons, there is a need to import components from foreign sources. Where the domestic value is at least 70 percent, we have labeled the shoe “Made in the USA.” Where it falls below 70 percent, we have qualified the label referencing domestic and imported materials. This determination is based in part on the Federal trade Commission’s survey of consumers.
Along with New Balance’s devotion to domestic manufacturing, they are also proud to be an official supplier to the U.S. military and a sponsor to numerous military competitive events.
“We’re proud to be an official footwear and apparel provider of the United States Military. Building on our long-term relationship with the armed forces, we recently created a special in-house team devoted to determining and meeting the unique performance footwear and apparel requirements of each branch.”