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.

M990v4K 'Pink Ribbon'

$165

New Balance

FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $50

FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $50

Buy at New Balance

M996L 'Bringback'

$170

New Balance

FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $50

FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $50

Buy at New Balance

W990v4M

$175

New Balance

FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $50

FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $50

Buy at New Balance

M998XA

$180

New Balance

FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $50

FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $50

Buy at New Balance

W995

$180

New Balance

FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $50

FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $50

Buy at New Balance

M997NSB

$210

New Balance

FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $50

FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $50

Buy at New Balance

M997L

$340

New Balance

FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $50

FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $50

Buy at New Balance

Made in UK

M770

$95

New Balance x Norse Projects

Free Shipping On Orders Over $250

Free Shipping On Orders Over $250

Buy at END.

M991FA 'Flimby 35th Anniversary'

$175

New Balance

Buy at Caliroots

M991AEG

New Balance

No Offers

M770GKR

New Balance

No Offers

M1500GBG

New Balance

No Offers

M576GGG

$115

New Balance

Free Shipping On Orders Over $250

Free Shipping On Orders Over $250

Buy at END.

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  • Main & Featured Image: New Balance