A “Made in USA” label is becoming a more actively coveted item. But local footwear brand New Balance has long been crafting a number of their sneakers domestically.
New Balance, the Brighton-headquartered sneaker company, frequently releases Made in USA collections and, this year, they’ve already announced two different lines of shoes that will appear in 2015 under that label. Not only are these babies domestically made, but they’ll be chic additions to your athletic wear collection.
The first New Balance collection is dubbed the Connoisseur Guitar Pack, available in men’s 991, 996, 997, 998, 1400 and US574 styles, half of which were released Jan. 1 (The 998, 996 and US574 will be released Feb. 1). The shoes are influenced by popular guitar styles, and come in colorways like grey, tan and baby blue; black, red and blue; and mustard yellow and black.
According to a press release, the Guitar Pack is meant to celebrate the “beginning of the rock revolution and iconic American guitars as design classics.” The sneakers will retail between $149.95 and $199.95, and a New Balance-branded guitar pick will be included.
New Balance also offers a second Made in the USA collection, the Weekender Bag, comprised of three tiers of sneakers made from different quality materials. There’s the Connoisseur, the classic suede New Balance you’re familiar with; the Distinct, made with upgraded, high quality materials; and the Bespoke, made with premium leathers and materials all sourced in the U.S. These tiered lifestyle offerings are meant to cater to the customer who’s shopping domestically and looking for higher quality products. They’ll be available in the New Balance 574, 900 and 990 on March 1.
New Balance’s portion of Made in USA products are especially prevalent now. Last year, the Pentagon decided to issue armed forces recruits shoes that are U.S.-made, and both New Balance and Saucony are aiming to be the brand to craft those military shoes. New Balance might have an edge in the competition, as it’s currently the only major footwear brand to produce athletic footwear in the U.S.
The local company makes or assembles 4 million pairs of domestic shoes, with the Made in USA label implying that 70 percent of the shoe is made of domestic values. Here in New England, New Balance operates five factories: two in Massachusetts and three in Maine.