New Balance has been in some hot water for a while with the FTC over labeling some of their shoes "Made in America" when in fact they have been made only 70% Made in America.
Is 70% enough to say that? Would 51% be enough? I don't know. I'm just asking.
Now New Balance's umpire and referee shoes are made in China, so it's a moot point as far as that's concerned, as all are officials' shoes to my knowledge (Reebok, Pentagon, 3N2, Official Footwear included).
My mention of this is not to badmouth New Balance in any way. They are our best selling shoes, are an excellent company to work with, and are trying hard to be competitive and true to their U.S. roots at the same time. So kudos to them.
Just something for you to be aware of with any of the products you buy, not just umpire or referee clothing or gear.
The issue with New Balance and the FTC has just been a disagreement in the standard of when you can say something is truly "Made in America". The FTC says that in order to label products with such the product has to be made entirely or virtually entirely in the U.S.. At that standard, 70% is not quite enough.
The FTC also says that if it's not entirely made in the U.S., then companies have to write a sort of disclaimer such as saying "Made in America with foreign components". In New Balance's defense, such an explanation can be found on tags of New Balance shoes in question, so says the article, which is an interesting read and can be found here.
When we say "Made in America" or "Made in the U.S." on our Ump-Attire.com products, including Ultimate Referee and Umpire Shirts, Ultimate Ball Bags, even penalty flags and bean bags for football officials, they are truly entirely made in the U.S. including using U.S. materials.
More specifically, they are made in our home state of Kentucky ultimately by Amish families, which is really an interesting and noteworthy story in and of itself.
Just some food for thought.
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