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I emailed New Balance Numeric some questions regarding the involvement of Black Box and where their new upcoming shoe line will be manufactured. Today, they hit me back. From what they wrote, Black Box will be handling the whole thing outside of getting certain stuff approved to keep up with the New Balance standard of quality. The shoes being made in China part didn’t surprise me. Even if there were factories in the US that could produce vulcanized shoes, they most likely wouldn’t be able to make them in mass quantities and at a reasonable price for skaters. Skate shoes are designed to be repeatedly rubbed against the equivalent of sand paper after all. It would be cool if they could make some of the shoes in the US… maybe have a special line that costs a little more, but that you know it’s made in America when you buy it. What I think, is that with the success of other athletic shoe brands in skateboarding (Nike, Adidas, Converse, etc.), the opportunity was there to use New Balance’s established shoe brand in skateboarding, but instead of the company having a “skateboard division” they opted to license the name out to a skater owned and operated skateboard product manufacturer, which in this case is Black Box. I don’t think Jamie Thomas would have supported it otherwise.For what impact the New Balance Numeric brand will have in skateboarding is yet to be seen. I hope it’s a positive one and nothing sketchy like what Anthony Pappalardo said happened with Converse in his recent 48 Blocks interview. For a text version of whats written in the image, go here: http://bit.ly/viinbn

I emailed New Balance Numeric some questions regarding the involvement of Black Box and where their new upcoming shoe line will be manufactured. Today, they hit me back.

From what they wrote, Black Box will be handling the whole thing outside of getting certain stuff approved to keep up with the New Balance standard of quality.

The shoes being made in China part didn’t surprise me. Even if there were factories in the US that could produce vulcanized shoes, they most likely wouldn’t be able to make them in mass quantities and at a reasonable price for skaters. Skate shoes are designed to be repeatedly rubbed against the equivalent of sand paper after all.

It would be cool if they could make some of the shoes in the US… maybe have a special line that costs a little more, but that you know it’s made in America when you buy it.

What I think, is that with the success of other athletic shoe brands in skateboarding (Nike, Adidas, Converse, etc.), the opportunity was there to use New Balance’s established shoe brand in skateboarding, but instead of the company having a “skateboard division” they opted to license the name out to a skater owned and operated skateboard product manufacturer, which in this case is Black Box. I don’t think Jamie Thomas would have supported it otherwise.

For what impact the New Balance Numeric brand will have in skateboarding is yet to be seen. I hope it’s a positive one and nothing sketchy like what Anthony Pappalardo said happened with Converse in his recent 48 Blocks interview.

For a text version of whats written in the image, go here: http://bit.ly/viinbn

I hollered at New Balance Numeric

I hollered at New Balance Numeric…

Greetings

I’ve read on the New Balance website that they manufacture 1/4th of their shoes in the United States. I was wondering where the New Balance Numeric skate shoes will be manufactured at… overseas? in the US? or a combination of both?

I assume you guys have already read the criticism regarding a non-skateboard shoe company getting into manufacturing skateboard shoes. It would be really awesome if the shoes (or even a portion of the line) were made in the US which would add credibility to the NB# brand.

Also, on the NB# website’s contact page it states “Black Box Distribution, LLC is an authorized licensee of New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. New Balance, the flying NB and Numeric are registered trademarks of New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.” does that indicate that Black Box is handling the NB# brand in all aspects (branding, shoe design, team management, etc.) other than the manufacturing of the shoe by New Balance? or that Black Box is simply handling the distribution of the New Balance Numeric shoes made and handled by New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.?

I appreciate your reading (and hopeful reply) of my questions.

Thank you.

…and New Balance Numeric hollered back.

Thanks for your enquiry. The New Balance Numeric initial range is designed and developed in California but manufactured in China. New Balance as a company is committed to manufacturing in the U.S. but it is not currently possible to produce this line here. For example there are no vulcanised shoe facilities in North America. In the future if there is this opportunity we will continue the same commitment and if we can manufacture in the U.S. we will do so.

Black Box handles the manufacturing, sales and marketing of the New Balance Numeric shoes but everything we do is approved by New Balance, including the factories we use. The people who work on the design, sales and marketing all have skate backgrounds and expertise. We work closely with New Balance on all aspects to make sure they meet their high standards but we bring our knowledge of skateboarding.

NB#

Here’s the commercial I made for the Vans x 17th Street Surf Shop collaboration shoe, the Stealth Low.

Available exclusively at 17th Street Surf Shop.

Featuring the 17th Street skate team (In order of appearance):
Evan Middleton, Austin O’Brien, Brian Ashley, Chris Vaneekelen, and Daniel Dudley.

Music:
Mansions on the Moon - Cold Water (Gabe Niles Remix)

From their Paradise Falls mixtape, available for free at: http://mansionsonthemoon.com/paradisefalls