New Balance emailed me to tell me about their new olympic shoes, made in the USA to celebrate Team USA. The subject? “Show Your Support for the USA.”
The email brags (above) that New Balance is “the only athletic-footwear company still making shoes in the US.” Hmm. There might be a reason for that, New Balance…
So, how much were these shoes? $114.95? Ouch.
Now, New Balance makes fine shoes. I’ve owned a few, though they were made abroad. But New Balance only makes some of their shoes in the US — most of them are made abroad in countries like China. I did some quick searching, and guess what? There is the same model shoe in different colors, but for the “Road to London” for $64.95, or 43.49% less.
Where is that shoe made? China.
Remind me again why our legislators — like Ohio’s Sherrod Brown — want to legislate away our choice to purchase comparable goods at more affordable prices made by people who might live elsewhere? Or, since it’s worded that way, they’ll say they just want to make things “fair” for domestic producers, making domestic consumers poorer all the while.
I’ll tell you what, when I look for shoes next, I’ll still show my “support for the USA” by buying a nice Nike or New Balance shoe at an affordable price. Will it be made in the USA? Who knows? (Probably not.) But, I’ll be happy knowing I got a good at a price I was willing to pay, and supported an American company whose designers, marketing staff, and other employees benefit from my purchase.
That is, unless Adidas has a comparable alternative that’s even more affordable.
Do I care where the shoe was made? No. Nor should I.