Best Sneakers Made in the USA 2021 (Athletic Footwear)
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Sneakers made in the USA are made with amazing quality and expert craftsmanship.
However, it’s rare to find them because many footwear companies outsource their production to countries with lower minimum wages. In fact, about 98% of American footwear is made in other countries. This is done to reduce production costs.
So to help you find top quality sneakers, all the while supporting your local community, we’ve searched for the best sneakers made in the USA. We’ve included the brands and their specific sneaker models that are made exclusively in America. Let’s get started.
Our Top 2 Picks:
Best Sneakers Made in the USA Reviews
We’ve found 5 brands that create exceptional sneakers in the USA. Our favorite is definitely the New Balance 990v5, which is a super popular all-day shoe perfect for any activity. You can discover our other recommendations in the best made in USA sneakers list below:
1. New Balance 990v5
Founded in 1906, New Balance is an American sports brand that is proud to be the only major company to make more than 4 million pairs of shoes annually in the USA.
However, it’s important to note that not all of their shoes are made in America. In fact, we did some research on this topic and found out that most of their shoes are made in Asia. Only sneakers labeled “Made in the USA” are made in America.
Among their “Made in the USA collection”, our favorite is definitely the New Balance 990v5.
It’s incredibly comfortable, it looks visually amazing, and the quality is excellent.
Compared to other New Balance shoes that we’ve tested (most were made in Asia), the difference in quality is apparent. You can definitely tell that this “Made in USA” sneaker is primarily handmade with more premium materials, neater lines, and expert craftsmanship.
The shoe is dominated by suede and mesh materials. Even for a mass-produced sneaker, we were surprised that the suede and mesh materials are pretty solid. They do not feel “cheap”, but they feel smooth and elegant to the touch.
That’s the “Made in the USA” difference that we were talking about.
In terms of comfort, the upper of the shoe is very well-padded and is very cozy. It feels like you’re walking on pillows. We think that this is due to the combination of the dual-density foam collar and the Ultra Soft Ortholite insoles.
On the tongue of the shoe, you will find a shiny “Made in the USA” tag in the center, which is pretty dope. It will definitely make you proud to own a sneaker made in the USA. 🙂
Top to bottom, every single detail of the shoe is carefully designed and seamlessly combined to bring out the best of the 990v5, resulting in a beautiful-looking sneaker.
Final verdict: So to sum it up, the New Balance 990v5 is hands down, the best everyday sneakers made in the USA. We love the Castlerock colorway because it goes well with just about anything. Because of its popularity, go buy it quickly before it’s sold out.
*Last time we checked on New Balance, most sizes were sold out. We got ours from Amazon.
2. San Antonio Shoes
In 1976, founders Terry Armstrong and Lew Hayden opened the first SAS factory inside an unused aircraft hangar on the South Side of San Antonio. With just 13 shoemakers, they started small, but their reputation quickly grew into a high-quality footwear brand.
Fast forward to today, San Antonio Shoes feature footwear for all purposes including walking and athletic shoes to pumps, flats, sandals, and even a new boot for women.
We find sneakers made in the USA not only to find products of the highest standards, but to also support the local community. And by buying SAS shoes, you can help support the local community because SAS supports causes affecting the nation.
Currently, SAS supports military service members and their families through donations and volunteer participation in various activities. They are also committed to supporting cancer families through multiple charitable foundations.
But what about the quality of the shoes?
Overall, they are very comfortable. The quality is apparent on each shoe and the arch support is great too. While they may not have the production scale of major footwear companies, they make sure that every pair is carefully designed and made to last a long time.
One of our favorite models from SAS shoes is the Mesh Slip On Walking Sneakers.
We think that the shoe is very unique because it is a walking shoe with Velcro (hook and loop), which is easy to slip into and easy to get out of.
The shoe has heel stabilizers which provide a firm, yet gentle support for all surfaces. In fact, the shoe is Medicare and Diabetic approved. It also has durable suede and mesh uppers, which provide a sporty-comfort look, similar to popular New Balance shoes.
Putting it on for the first time, we were surprised at how comfortable it was. No break-in was needed. The shoes are very well-made and the stitching is on-point (because it’s American made). It’s cozy, it’s breathable, and it is very comfortable even for walking long hours.
But don’t stop there.
While their casual sneakers are our favorite, you can browse their extensive selection for both men and women right here on their website, or browse their collection on Amazon. They aren’t cheap, but they offer serious quality for the price.
Final verdict: From the quality of their shoes, to the commitment to support the local community, San Antonio Shoes embody what it means to be an American-made brand. The mesh Velcro sneakers are our favorite, but they have other shoes in their huge collection.
3. KEEN Utility Braddock Work Shoe
While the two sneakers above are perfect for light, day-to-day activities, sometimes you need a reliable and durable work shoe for heavier activities.
Enter the KEEN Utility Men’s Braddock Work Shoe.
This work shoe is as comfortable as it is functional. A soft lining cushions the foot, and the non-slip outsole guards against slips and falls. It is also designed to avoid electrical shocks, making it ideal for jobs in construction, manufacturing, warehousing, and transportation.
But KEEN Utility does not only sell work shoes. In fact, they have a series of different shoes in their collection. They even have hiking shoes and casual sneakers.
However, since this is a list of the best sneakers made in the USA, we’ve decided to feature only the work shoe because it’s the only shoe from KEEN Utility made 100% in America.
The KEEN Utility Work Shoe alone has 5 models which include:
- Low (Soft Toe)
- Low Steel Toe
- Mid Waterproof (Soft Toe)
- Mid Waterproof Steel Toe
- Mid Waterproof All-Leather Steel Toe
We like the Low (Soft Toe) the best because it is versatile enough for most people.
Additionally, KEEN Utility is all about safety first. Their work shoes feature KEEN Patented Toe Protection, where the shoe outsoles wrap up and over the toes for ultimate protection.
Overall, KEEN Utility is a work shoe that you can count on.
Final verdict: The Braddock Low is assembled in Portland, Oregon, with a minimal-waste design using the finest materials from around the world. So if you’re looking for America’s finest, the KEEN Utility is a great work shoe to consider.
4. SOM Footwear
Going back to the sporty casual sneakers theme, we feature an American brand that is proud to make all of their shoes in the USA: SOM Footwear.
SOM Footwear is an American footwear brand which specializes in minimalist barefoot shoes. Even though they acknowledge the fact that it’s difficult to produce shoes in America, the founders of SOM Footwear are committed to keep their business in the States.
Every pair of SOMs are created under one factory roof in Colorado.
We like the fact that they manufacture responsibly too. From using eco-friendly materials to minimizing waste by reusing materials, SOM Footwear is protecting the environment.
Now let’s move on to the actual shoes.
Our favorite pair is definitely the TRAILHEAD model.
It’s a minimalist shoe with a zero-drop sole, which means that it allows your foot to lie flat on the ground, emulating the feeling of walking barefoot.
The insole of the SOM Trailhead is made of EVA and synthetic rubber which provide a comfortable ride, finished with a ribbed polyester fabric that wicks moisture and sweat. It’s removable too so you can replace it with an orthotic.
But the highlight of the shoe in our opinion is the Super Fabric, which covers the uppers of the shoe. It is water-repellent, abrasion and stain-resistant, while being breathable and quick-drying at the same time. All this means that you don’t have to worry about wet socks!
Additionally, minimalist shoes often receive a bad reputation for being cramped, but surprisingly, SOMs have wide toe boxes that fit nicely for most people.
Final verdict: If you’re into minimalist barefoot shoes, SOM Footwear is your go-to brand for American-made products. They are ultra thin, super breathable, and highly flexible, so you can walk around “barefoot” just like nature intended you to do.
5. PSUDO Shoes
Sticking to the eco-friendly theme, we are featuring another made in USA brand that makes eco-friendly slip-on sneakers at affordable prices: PSUDO Shoes.
Most of their shoes are priced around $128, which are affordable considering the quality offered by PSUDO. All of their shoes are made in the USA and are built for all-day comfort.
But what is most unique about the shoes is that the laces are printed on the shoes.
PSUDO Shoes wants you to ‘ditch the laces’ because not only does it minimize waste and streamline manufacturing, but it also provides better comfort and convenience for you.
The primary materials of the shoes contain a minimum of 20 percent recycled content, which are very breathable. Overall, they are very comfortable and versatile, so you can wear PSUDO Shoes anywhere you go, including the beach, the park, or the great outdoors.
Final verdict: We really like the simplicity of PSUDO Shoes. They are so easy to slip into and can be worn by both men and women. Best of all, they produce eco-friendly products which are beneficial to the environment. Currently, they are for sale on Zappos only.
6. PF Flyers
For those of you who don’t know, PF Flyers is a brand owned by New Balance. Similar to NB, not all of their sneakers are made in the USA, but they do have an exclusive “Made in USA” collection featuring three models:
- Made in USA Center Hi
- Made in USA Center Lo
- Made in USA Windjammer
Out of the three, the Center Hi is our favorite. We had friends who own them and said that the sneakers last a very long time. In fact, one guy had one which lasted for 4 years, even though he has gone to the mountains, beaches, and skated in them.
The design is similar to a high-top Vans, with canvas uppers and rubber midsoles. The rubber sidewalls and the sole are durable, unlike Chucks, which may fall apart within a couple of months. Yes, they may become discolored over time but they provide a wonderful retro look.
The leather accents and lining are super soft and comfy, with insoles that are tough at first, but support your feet very well. This is because the sneakers have premium running shoe inserts that rest atop a PU midsole, which provides great cushioning.
Final verdict: As part of the New Balance brand, PF Flyers have select styles which are proudly made in the USA. They are tough, durable, and last a long time. So if you are keen on buying retro skate sneakers made in America, PF Flyers is the one to buy.
7. Carson Footwear
Last but not least, Carson Footwear finishes our list of the best sneakers made in the USA.
Similar to SOM Footwear, Carson Footwear sells minimalist, zero drop running shoes which are also popular with cross fit athletes. Their racers can be ordered with a more aggressive tread for trail running or a less aggressive sole for gym and urban use.
On the Carson Footwear’s official website, founder Everett Carson had this to say:
I needed a better shoe. I found most options were uncomfortable, poorly conceived, and imported. Like you, I want neutral running shoes that I actually enjoy running in, and I want them made in the USA. So I’ve started making them myself.
Founder of Carson Footwear
They are very proud of the fact that their shoes are made in the USA.
Founder Everett Carson saw that most American footwear producers sacrifice quality and outsource labor to build more profitable shoes. So he decided to create a better shoe using better materials and artists from America. That’s the mantra behind Carson Footwear.
In terms of quality, Carson footwear is truly amazing.
Their 9.5 oz shoes are built with a zero-drop, polyurethane soles and a light, flexible upper. The shoes are finished with a 5mm sock liner for ultimate comfort and added protection too. In addition to infinite sizing, all of their shoes are handmade in Milwaukie, Oregon.
And the best part is, if you are unhappy with their shoes, you can refund or replace them. Now that’s what we call true confidence in your own products!
Final verdict: If you’re not happy with what you find, then make it yourself -- that’s what Everett Carson, the founder of Carson Footwear did. Because of their quality, it’s easy to see why Carson Footwear is one of the premier trail running shoe suppliers in the United States.
And there you have it, our list of the best sneakers made in the USA.
Sneakers made in America are known for their superior quality, often made with better materials and more attention to details. With that said, here’s a quick recap of our list:
The best sneaker made in the USA is the New Balance 990v5. There’s no denying the popularity of this particular model, as many sneakerheads seek after them like crazy. Plus, the “Made in the USA” tag on the tongue makes you proud for buying American sneakers.
If you want something unique and stylish, San Antonio Shoes is for you. The velcro mesh sneakers are not only beautiful, but convenient to wear because there are no laces. You also help families in need by buying their shoes because they directly support the community.
If you need a durable work shoe made in America, check out KEEN Utility. Their work shoes are reliable and tough as nails, all of which are made in Portland, Oregon, with a minimal-waste design using the finest materials from around the world.
We hope that our curated list of sneakers made in the USA can help you find better quality shoes which also support the nation and the environment. By buying sneakers made in America, you are creating more jobs and helping the United States economy thrive.