Believe It! There are tennis shoes made in the USA (by New Balance). I have, therefore, named New Balance as one of my favorite stores because they produce one thing that no other shoe company does in the United States..and that is produce athletic shoes that are manufactured in the United States. Although their U.S. total production is 25% of their total, they still fulfill a giant niche. I had known they produced many great running shoes, and I had previously seen some of their walking and training shoes being made in the US. But not until now did I find out that they made tennis shoes. The model # MC656WN.
The New Balance Story
New Balance was created in 1906 by an Englishman, William Riley in Boston, Massachusetts. It was originally called New Balance Arch Support Company. Riley was inspired by a chicken foot, its three toed foot helped the chicken keep perfect balance. From this, he developed the flexible arch support. His purpose was to relieve laborer’s foot pain and help them stay on their feet.
The First Towards Innovation
New Balance developed the first running shoe in 1938. In 1941, NB customized baseball shoes for the Boston Braves. NB was the first shoe company to offer shoes in different widths in 1960.
In 1972, entrepreneur, Jim Davis, bought the company, just before the start of the Boston Marathon. At that time, New Balance was a very small company. It employed 6 people and made only 30 pair of shoes per day. Davis greatly enhanced New Balance through design improvements in the shoes, improving production and advertising. NB shoes have always been considered top of the line in performance, stability, comfort and prevention of injuries. Soon, New Balance became one of the leading running shoe manufacturers in the world.
1995, New Balance introduces the first cross training shoe. Two years later, NB develops the first walking shoe. During the 1990’s there was a great outsourcing of shoe manufacturers, however, New Balance, continued to manufacture in the United States. NB continues to produce footwear for all 5 branches of the Armed Services. Customization: If you would like to customize your shoes through New Balance, you can choose your colors, mix and match as well as embroideries.
New Balance is still headquartered in Boston, (actually, Brighton) Massachusetts. It employs 5,000 U.S. workers. It operates five factories: Boston, MA; Lawrence, MA; Norridgewock, Maine; Norway, Maine; and Skowhegan, Maine. Plus, it has a factory in Flimby, England which manufactures about 30% of its shoes to the European market. New Balance does have factories in China, Vietnam and Taiwan as well.
New Balance, also, makes apparel (socks, running shirts, running shorts), probably <2% is made in the US. NB also owns: Aravon, Brine, Cobb Hill, Dunham, PF Flyers, and Warrior Shoes. I do not believe any of these brands are made in the USA, however.
Hats off to Rob Demartini, CEO, and New Balance for continuing to make athletic shoes in the United States. Look for the American flag displayed on the shoe box. Unlike certain clothing chains, “Made in USA” New Balance shoes can be found at the outlets.
If you believe in the Made in the USA movement, as you visit the store, ask if the article was made in the US, and request that they add more US made items. Better yet, write to their corporate office. With enough response, corporate will tell their buyers to look for more US made items at the trade shows, which means more selection for the consumers, and more jobs for Americans to make these items. You don’t need an Economics specialist to tell you this – that this movement will strengthen our three decades of outsourcing and seriously injured economy.
(I have a problem with Economists in general – first, they are not scientists; Second, they do not deal with logic. Third, they love certain mathematical formulas which don’t mean anything. Fourth, they only like to talk within themselves and many times corrupt data when it doesn’t meet their theory – they can do this, because they are not scientists and do not follow a scientific code of ethics. In sum, economists are practicing a type of religion and they want to convert you – so far they have done a pretty good job. How many economists think that bringing back jobs to the US will help the economy of the US? Sadly, not that many. It’s because they love outsourcing, they love that China is doing so well, they love that the Chinese government is greatly helping out the private and public sector, but at the same time do not want the same thing (government help) for the United States. Is it a conspiracy? Or is it they think the “World is flat”. I think it is the latter. “Outsourcing floats all boats” is their “World is flat”.)