While proud of its Boston heritage, New Balance has never hidden its transatlantic roots. The company was founded Stateside by British emigrant William J. Riley in 1906 — a whole 76 years before the opening of its famous Flimby factory in England. Operating separate licenses in each country, as well as Japan, these days New Balance connoisseurs can be classified into three categories: British, Japanese, or American?
Sure, it goes without saying that all NB kicks are awesome, but depending on which side you opt for, the differences in construction are telling. In the UK, softer materials are used and can be found on iconic silhouettes like the 1500 and 991, while the Made in USA stable — all complete with the famous tongue stitching — boasts heavyweights including the 997 and 1300.
Below we’ve rounded up our favorite models from each roster and pitted them against one another. Which do you prefer? Peep them, then head here for more shopping tips.
Made in U.S.
Made in UK
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- Main & Featured Image: New Balance