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New Balance is an American sports footwear and apparel brand founded in 1906 in Boston, Massachusetts. It’s one of the biggest sports brands worldwide, with Adidas, Nike, Skechers, and Puma. But can you answer the question: Where is New Balance made?
I can’t remember having a pair of New Balance shoes, but I did sell many to customers when I worked for Sports Direct. However, I do have some running tops that I really like.
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New Balance is an American brand, but that doesn’t mean all its products are made in the USA. To confirm, I have decided to review hundreds of product descriptions on the New Balance website to verify if the brand lists where the products are made. I also visited a couple of New Balance stores and some stores that sell New Balance products, checking multiple items. So let’s find out where New Balance is manufactured.
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Where Is New Balance Made?
Most New Balance products are Made in Asia, including China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia. The American brand is also manufactured in the USA and the UK.
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New Balance is one of those brands that, in my opinion, want to hide where their products are made and want to give their customers a perception that the majority of their goods are made in the USA.
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One of the reasons why I believe this is because they don’t state the country of origin on their website, and you have to wait to get the physical product to verify it. This is very common in many brands (especially luxury and high-end fashion brands).
When you buy a physical product, you can check where the product is manufactured since the US legislation and EU rules require the brands to determine the country of origin for any imported goods when it comes to physical goods.
Now check the image below that I screenshot from New Balance’s website.
New Balance is proud of producing 4 million shoes in the USA every year (even if we don’t know how many shoes they manufacture in total from all countries), and I think that’s great. However, on the New Balance website, you have a collection of shoes named “Made In USA,” but the shoes from that collection don’t even represent 10% of the shoes they have on the website.
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When I was in New Balance stores and other stores that sell the American sports brand, I didn’t find one single product, “Made In USA.” When it came to shoes, I only found shoes “Made In China”.
I just find that statement a bit misleading, especially when most New Balance goods are manufactured in Asian countries and not in the USA. (I just want to mention that I like New Balance as a brand, and I think they should change their marketing strategy regarding where the products are manufactured).
Is New Balance Made In The USA?
Yes, some New Balance products are “Made In USA”. However, I only found shoes “Made In USA” and not any apparel or accessories.
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Now I have told you that New Balance manufactures in the USA, but if you read what they state again, it says: “Where the domestic value is at least 70%, we label our shoes Made in the USA.”
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That means that the shoes start and end manufacturing in the USA, but that doesn’t mean they are 100% made there. The other 30% of the shoe can be made in China, Indonesia, or Vietnam. Again, this is misleading for customers because not everyone goes to the site to confirm that the shoes are “Made in the USA.” Instead, they will read the label and believe what is stated there.
In September 2021, the nonprofit organization TINA.org filed a complaint with FTC against New Balance. The FTC requires that products marketed as “Made In USA” need to be 100% manufactured in the United States, which is not the case.
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I wouldn’t be surprised if New Balance has to pay a hefty fine, change its marketing strategy, and state where the other 30% of materials are from for the “Made In USA” products.
Is New Balance Made In China?
Yes, many New Balance apparel, accessories, and footwear products are “Made In China.”
In the 2020 annual report (removed from the internet), New Balance says, “We outsource the production of our products to independent manufacturers, which are primarily located in Asia.”
The American sports brand has on-site supervisory offices in China and Vietnam to help independent manufacturers with anything to ensure the products are manufactured according to the New Balance guidelines.
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We all know many brands manufacture in China due to the inexpensive materials and cheap labor. However, in the 2020 annual report, New Balance states that they are transitioning footwear sourcing from China to Vietnam due to the uncertainty for all US businesses that source or market in China (the US has imposed import duties on imports from China). Some American brands like Nike, Converse, Columbia, and Levi’s are doing the same.
Where Are New Balance Shoes Made?
New Balance footwear is made in China, Indonesia, Vietnam, the USA, and the UK.
The majority of New Balance footwear is made between China and Vietnam. Virtually all of the New Balance shoes and shoeboxes I checked at the store were made in China.
Keep in mind that the American brand is transitioning the footwear outsourcing from China to Vietnam, so you will start finding a lot more “Made In Vietnam” sneakers.
The New Balance shoes I remember selling were “Made In China,” but also in Vietnam and Indonesia. I never found any sneakers “Made In England,” but the website of the brand states they have a collection of shoes manufactured in the UK.
New Balance also says they have “Made In USA” shoes on the website, but we know that those shoes are not 100% “Made In USA.”
Common Questions About Where Is New Balance Made
These are the most common questions about where is New Balance made.
Is New Balance Made In USA Better?
No, New Balance shoes are not better because they are “Made In America.” They have strict quality control that shoes must pass before being sold to customers, so it doesn’t matter if they’re made in China, Vietnam, the USA, or anywhere else.
Is New Balance Made In The UK?
New Balance has some shoes on its website from a collection named “Made In Uk.” However, I have never seen one in all the years I sold New Balance sneakers (I lived and worked in England), so it may be some particular styles.
Is New Balance Made By Nike?
Nike does not manufacture any New Balance footwear. These two brands are huge competitors in the footwear market.
Conclusion About Where Is New Balance Manufactured
In conclusion, when answering the question: Where is New Balance made? You can say New Balance is majority manufactured in Asian countries, especially in China and Vietnam.
The American sports brand needs to rethink its “Made In USA” marketing because most of its products are made overseas. Even the footwear branded as “Made In USA” doesn’t seem 100% manufactured there (New Balance is the first to admit that on their website), which can bring consequences and hefty fines to the brand.