We’ve all become more mindful about our fashion choices. While sneakers are among the best-selling footwear styles, most brands produce them in China or Taiwan.
Sneaker brands that manufacture their shoes in the United States typically offer higher-quality styles with more sustainable practices and better working conditions.
We share a range of sneakers that produce most or all of their footwear in the United States. These sneakers proudly carry the ‘Made in U.S.’ label as high-quality, splurge-worthy footwear.
Why You Should Buy ‘Made in the USA’ Sneakers
Chances are, most of the shoes in your closet were made outside the United States. We’re all becoming more aware of fast fashion, with shoppers calling for more transparency in the production process.
This transparency is difficult to get from companies that manufacture outside of the United States – especially when it comes to working conditions and sustainability practices.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a strict set of rules that products must adhere to to bear the label Made in the USA (Credit: Paseven / Shutterstock)
Choosing to buy ‘Made in the USA’ sneakers supports domestic craftsmen and is almost always the most sustainable choice.
Most sneakers by American brands were made domestically around the 1970s when production began to be outsourced to countries like Taiwan, China, and Bangladesh.
Exporting manufacturing has enabled companies to reduce their overheads, but very few pass these savings on to their customers.
Purchasing sneakers that are “Made in the USA” helps support local manufacturers (Credit: Victory Sportswear)
Any product to carry the ‘Made in the USA’ label must meet a strict set of guidelines – whether it’s sneakers or leather handbags. At least 70% of the final product must be sourced locally.
The Federal Trade Commission states that “all or virtually all” of the product must be made in the United States to carry the ‘Made in USA’ label. This threshold also applies to the materials used in the sneakers, including leather, canvas, and rubber.
6 Brands That Make Speakers in the United States
Finding sneakers with a ‘Made in the USA’ label is not always easy. We’re sharing six brands that make most or all their shoes in the United States to help you plan your next sneaker purchase. You can find many of the below styles on Zappos and Nordstrom.
1. Carson Footwear
Do you want trail-running shoes made in the United States? Carson Footwear should be at the top of your list. The brand is famous for its zero-drop minimalist running shoes that feature the brand’s signature built-in 5mm sock liner for extra comfort.
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Carson sneakers are made using a polyurethane midsole and outsole that offers extra durability without compromising on the lightweight nature of the shoe. Each sneaker’s silhouette is designed to be long-lasting with a lightweight profile. Carson sneakers are hand-crafted in the brand’s factory in Milwaukie, Oregon.
These American-made sneakers tick all the boxes with flexible designs, grippy soils, and stylish silhouettes that are designed to withstand even the toughest running trail.
2. New Balance
New Balance is one athleisure brand that likes to promote its American credentials. The brand has a dedicated ‘Made in the USA’ collection alongside a UK collection.
New Balance’s decision to make most of its sneakers in the USA is part of its “fearlessly independent” ethos. The brand has promoted authentic American craftsmanship for over 75 years and considers the ‘Made in the USA’ label to be vital for this.
New Balance offers a dedicated Made in USA collection containing a domestic value of 70% or more
The ‘MADE U.S.A.’ footwear collection meets the 70% or more requirement to carry the label. However, it makes up only a limited portion of the brand’s sales.
New Balance’s factory associates in the United States oversee each step of the manufacturing process, from sourcing raw materials to executing the final product.
3. Opie Way
Opie Way is an independent footwear brand with a ‘True American Luxury’ tagline. The brand creates classic sneakers designed, cut, and finished in America.
Opie Way sources its materials from US manufacturers, utilizing the best leathers and textiles to create their streetwear-focused sneakers.
An indie footwear brand, Opie Way provides classic sneakers that are designed, cut, and finished in America using materials from US manufacturers
Most materials are sourced within 200 miles of the Opie Way factory in North Carolina. Many of Opie Way’s employees are from the local area, enabling you to help support a community of American craftsmen and shoemakers.
Although Reebok started as an English company established in the 1890s, it was in America where it found its fame and eventual ‘Reebok’ name.
Paul Fireman, an American entrepreneur, is responsible for bringing Reebok to the mainstream of American fashion.
Some of the Reebok shoes that are made in the USA are the Postal Express, Nano X1 Adventure Work, and Speed TR Work
Reebok operates similarly to New Balance, with only some of its styles manufactured in the United States. The ‘Made in the USA’ sneakers are primarily waterproof workwear shoes and everyday styles.
The ‘Postal Express’ is the most popular American shoe in the Reebok range.
5. Victory Sportswear
Victory Sportswear is an American footwear company founded by Bart and Jan Hersey in 1982, originally known as the Hersey Custom Shoe Company.
This small family-run company started making custom running shoes in a converted Maine sheep barn. Each pair was made one at a time for specific customers. When the couple decided to retire, they searched for someone to take over the unique American-made custom sneaker brand.
The company was purchased by Stephen Keoseian, who moved its headquarters to Fitchburg, Massachusetts, evolving it into ‘Victory Sportswear.’
The brand now offers both custom and non-custom sneakers, following the original Hersey concept of American-made shoes created for everyone.
Victory Sportswear offers custom and non-custom sneakers that follow the original Hersey concept of American-made shoes
The Victory Sportswear sneakers feature double reverse flare foxing, making it easy for the shoes to be re-soled multiple times for extra durability and longevity.
The brand has been featured in Highsnobiety and GQ, making it an indie footwear brand that should be on your radar.
Another independent footwear brand that continues to manufacture American-made sneakers is Softstar. The brand was launched in 1984 by Tim and Jeannie Oliver, a husband-and-wife duo who learned how to sew shoes for their daughter.
SoftStar is an independent brand that offers minimalist shoes that are handmade in the US
Softstar is known for its zero-drop running shoes that provide minimal cushioning for a lightweight feel, making them ideal for everyday wear.
The brand aims to allow natural, barefoot-like movement with minimalistic, handcrafted shoes. As these sneakers are handmade in the United States, many styles are customizable. You can visit the SoftStar workshop in Philomath, Oregon, to see the shoes being made.