In short, yes New Balance does make eco-friendly shoes.

The brand has numerous sustainability initiatives and uses recycled and organic materials to create sneaker styles with less environmental impact.

Read on to learn all about New Balance’s eco-friendly shoes – from how they’re made to why they matter.

What Makes a Shoe Eco-Friendly?

new balance eco friendly shoes

For a shoe to be considered eco-friendly, it needs to be made with sustainability in mind.

This usually means using recycled and organic materials that have less impact on the environment.

Eco-friendly shoes also utilize manufacturing processes that reduce waste, energy and water usage.

Things like renewable energy, zero waste factories and ethical labor practices all make shoes greener.

The materials themselves also matter – an eco shoe might use recycled plastic, rubber or cotton, organic cotton or sustainably-sourced leather.

By carefully selecting materials and production methods, brands can make earth-friendly footwear.

New Balance’s Sustainability Initiatives

New Balance has made environmental and social responsibility a priority. The brand aims to use more sustainable materials, reduce energy and emissions and work towards zero waste factories.

They partner with organizations like PUR Projet to plant trees and focus on ethical labor practices.

New Balance also created the Responsible Leadership strategy which focuses on people, product and planet.

They’re working to integrate sustainability into every stage of their sneakers’ lifecycles – from materials to manufacturing to end of life.

The brand is committed to transparency and continues to set goals to lower its environmental impact.

New Balance’s Eco-Friendly Shoes

New Balance makes shoes that are either partially or completely eco-friendly. Some sneaker styles utilize recycled polyester, organic cotton, sustainable leather and other earth-friendly materials.

These materials replace non-renewable resources like virgin polyester and conventional leather.

Other shoes are made completely of recycled and organic components, like the Fresh Foam Hierro v7 Eco.

New Balance also has collections made with recycled plastic recovered from the ocean.

Not only does using eco-materials reduce waste, but it lowers energy and water consumption during manufacturing.

New Balance’s growing selection of eco-friendly shoes are better for people and planet.

How to Choose Eco-Friendly New Balance Shoes

If you want to buy a pair of eco New Balances, look for key terms when shopping.

“Recycled” means the shoes utilize recycled polyester, rubber, cotton or nylon. “Organic” indicates organic cotton components were used.

“Vegan” means no animal products were used. And models with “Eco” in the name designate sneakers made completely of sustainable materials.

Information on the product pages disclose exactly what recycled or organic materials were used. The brand also has designated eco-friendly collections you can browse directly.

To ensure you get the greenest option, read up on the model to understand its sustainable features before purchasing.

Alternatives to New Balance Eco-Friendly Shoes

If you like what New Balance is doing for sustainability but want even more eco-friendly options, there are other brands to consider.

Some shoe companies use recycled and plant-based materials for nearly 100% of their products.

Brands like Allbirds, Rothy’s, Veja, Nothing New and Cariuma are go-to options for sustainable sneakers.

Smaller brands specifically focused on eco-friendly practices tend to lead in this space.

But large athletic brands like Adidas and Nike also have growing environmental initiatives.

Doing a little research will uncover plenty of earth-friendly shoe brands to choose from beyond New Balance.

New Balance’s Eco-Friendly Materials

New Balance uses a range of recycled, organic and sustainably-sourced materials to make their shoes greener.

These materials replace virgin plastics, rubber, cotton and leather which have higher environmental impacts.

Some specifics include recycled polyester made from plastic bottles, recycled rubber from tire waste, organic cotton farmed without chemicals and sustainable leather from Leather Working Group certified tanneries.

New Balance also uses vegan materials like piñatex made from pineapple leaf fiber.

By choosing more eco-friendly materials, they reduce waste, energy use, and water consumption during manufacturing.

Recycled Polyester

New Balance sneakers utilize recycled polyester made from post-consumer plastic like water bottles.

Recycled polyester has a lower impact compared to virgin polyester made from fossil fuels.

It reduces plastic waste and stops additional plastic from being created. New Balance’s other apparel and accessories also use recycled polyester.

The brand has incorporated over 40 million bottles worth of recycled polyester into its products.

Using recycled polyester decreases emissions by 30% compared to virgin polyester. It also saves significant amounts of water and energy.

New Balance plans to continue increasing its use of recycled polyester across all products.

Recycled Rubber

Many New Balance sneakers feature recycled rubber outsoles. The recycled rubber comes from old car and truck tires that would otherwise end up in landfills.

Tire waste is shredded down and repurposed into new rubber materials.

Not only does this recycle an abundant waste stream, but it reduces the need for virgin rubber made from trees.

Recycled rubber lowers energy consumption by 45% compared to virgin rubber production. Using recycled rubber also decreases emissions and waste.

New Balance uses recycled rubber in the outsoles of popular styles like the 574 Core and the Made 990 series.

Organic Cotton

Organic cotton is another more sustainable material New Balance uses. Conventional cotton relies heavily on pesticides and insecticides that can pollute waterways and soil.

Organic cotton is grown without toxic chemicals. It reduces impacts on ecosystems and farmer health.

New Balance sneakers that utilize organic cotton include the Women’s FuelCell Prism and Men’s 997H.

The brand’s apparel also incorporates organic cotton sourced through the Better Cotton Initiative.

Organic cotton may cost more to grow, but it has significantly lower environmental impacts. New Balance continues to increase its use of organic cotton across multiple products.

Sustainable Leather

In place of conventional leather, New Balance uses sustainable leather that has ethical sourcing and manufacturing.

The brand’s tanneries must be Leather Working Group certified for responsible environmental practices. New Balance’s leathers come from tanneries scoring gold or silver ratings.

The hides must also be sourced as by-products of the meat industry rather than from cattle solely raised for leather. This ethical sourcing policy ensures animal welfare standards are upheld.

Using sustainably sourced leather reduces the large ecological footprint of cattle farming and tanning processes. It’s part of New Balance’s efforts to make leather supply chains greener.

Vegan Materials

New Balance incorporates vegan materials that don’t use any animal products.

One example is piñatex which is made from pineapple leaf fiber. Piñatex provides a sustainable leather alternative with low ecological impact.

Its production generates income for farming communities. Another vegan material used by New Balance is Mirum.

This is a natural, plastic-free leather alternative made from natural rubber tapped from rubber trees. It has a 90% lower carbon footprint than synthetic leather.

New Balance uses piñatex and mirum in select shoe styles and accessories. The brand plans to expand its use of innovative vegan materials.

New Balance’s Eco-Friendly Shoe Collections

New Balance has designed several sneaker collections made completely from sustainable materials.

These showcase their efforts to create eco-friendly performance shoes. Specific collections include the Hierro, FuelCell, Fresh Foam Roav, Fresh Foam 1080 and Fresh Foam 880 – all with the “v” version numbers.

The cycling and running shoes utilize recycled polyester, rubber and nylon along with organic cotton.

New Balance also makes the Made 993 series with pigskin sourced from ethically raised heritage breed pigs. And their Ocean Plastic collection transforms marine plastic debris into shoes.

Fresh Foam X Hierro v7 Eco

The Hierro v7 Eco trail running shoe has an upper made from 50% recycled polyester. Its midsole utilizes sustainably-sourced FSC certified wood fiber to replace petroleum.

The outsole is also made from 15% recycled rubber. Finally, the shoe laces are created from 100% recycled polyester.

With recycled and natural materials, this shoe diverts plastic waste from landfills and lowers fossil fuel reliance.

New Balance intends for the Hierro v7 Eco to have 30% less greenhouse gas emissions across its lifecycle compared to a standard running shoe.

It represents the brand’s push for performance athletic shoes with smaller footprints.

FuelCell Rebel v3 Eco

New Balance’s FuelCell Rebel v3 Eco running shoe is made completely from recycled and organic materials. The one-piece upper uses 100% recycled polyester made from plastic bottles.

Underfoot, the exaggerated FuelCell midsole contains a minimum of 5% bio-based content from renewable sugar canes rather than petrochemicals.

The high-rebound compound is lightweight and responsive while also being more eco-friendly. The outsole utilizes 15% recycled rubber from car and truck tires.

Finally, the laces and lining are made from recycled polyester. With its recycled material content, the Rebel v3 Eco has much lower environmental impact.

Fresh Foam Roav v1 Eco

The Fresh Foam Roav v1 Eco casual sneaker is sustainably crafted. It swaps out virgin synthetics for recycled polyester from plastic bottles in the knit upper, sockliner and laces.

Underfoot, the signature Fresh Foam midsole uses premium bio-based Super Compound made with at least 5% renewable sugarcane.

This innovative foam delivers a plush, stable ride. The high-traction outsole also utilizes 15% recycled rubber.

The Roav v1 Eco proves eco-friendly materials can be used to make comfortable, stylish lifestyle sneakers. It’s a prime example of New Balance’s sustainable design practices.

Fresh Foam 1080 v13 Eco

New Balance’s premium stability running shoe 1080v13 just got a sustainable makeover.

The Fresh Foam 1080 v13 Eco uses recycled polyester in the upper and tongue. Underfoot, the bouncy Fresh Foam X midsole incorporates 10% bio-based Super Compound.

On the bottom, the flex grooved outsole features 15% recycled rubber content. Compared to the standard 1080v13, this Eco version reduces carbon emissions by over 30% across the product lifecycle.

It has half the global warming potential through more eco-conscious materials and manufacturing.

The innovative Fresh Foam 1080 v13 Eco performs like a traditional stability shoe but with less environmental impact.

Fresh Foam 880 v13 Eco

The Fresh Foam 880 v13 training shoe also comes in an eco-friendly version.

This 880 v13 Eco is made completely of recycled and biological materials to lower environmental footprints. It uses recycled polyester throughout the engineered mesh upper.

Underfoot, the dual-density Fresh Foam midsole incorporates 5% sugarcane-based content.

The high rebound cushioning remains responsive and smooth. Finally, the outsole is partially made of recycled rubber from tires.

The lightweight 880 v13 Eco achieves the same versatile performance as the original with more earth-friendly construction.

How to Care for Your New Balance Eco-Friendly Shoes

New Balance’s eco-friendly shoes require some specific care to ensure their materials last.

While made from recycled and natural materials, the shoes still need to be properly cleaned, conditioned, stored and eventually recycled.

Taking care of your eco sneakers will keep them in rotation longer and prevent excess waste.

Follow these tips to extend the life of New Balance shoes made with recycled polyester, rubber, organic cotton and other sustainable materials.

Cleaning and Conditioning

Eco-friendly New Balance shoes can be cleaned just like regular sneakers. Use a brush and mild soap to gently scrub off dirt.

Avoid submerging shoes in water when possible. For deeper cleaning, wipe insides with a damp cloth. Stuff with paper to retain shape and air dry.

Condition occasionally with an eco-friendly shoe cream free of harsh chemicals. This nourishes sustainable leather and materials.

Rotate your eco sneakers between wears and clean after each use to prevent buildup. Handle gently, brush debris off and spot clean for the best care.


Be sure to store your eco shoes properly between wears. Keeping them in breathable mesh bags or boxes allows ventilation to prevent moisture buildup.

Store in a clean, dry place away from direct sunlight which can damage materials. Avoid excess heat which can cause glue to breakdown.

Don’t store in a garage or attic. Use cedar blocks or silica packs to absorb excess moisture and keep shoes dry.

Stuff with paper to retain shape if needed. Proper storage keeps eco-friendly shoes fresh and extends their lifespans. With some care, your sustainable sneakers will last even longer.

Repair and Recycling

Eco shoes can last years with proper care. But when they do wear out, repair or recycle them.

New Balance offers shoe repair services to mend shoes when possible. For torn or damaged areas, patches and glue can prolong shoe life.

If soles wear through, resoling preserves the upper. Ultimately, worn out sustainable shoes should be recycled rather than trashed.

New Balance accepts shoe recycling in its stores. The components get broken down and reused to create new products.

Recycling keeps waste out of landfills and recovers valuable materials. It’s the final step in responsible eco shoe ownership.

The Future of Eco-Friendly Shoes at New Balance

New Balance plans to continue innovating and expanding its selection of sustainable shoes.

Developing new eco-friendly materials and practices will allow them to lower impacts further.

The brand is committed to transparency around social and environmental issues.

It will take responsibility for its products entire lifecycles. New Balance aims to deliver performance, comfort and style through greener means.

New Materials and Technologies

Product developers at New Balance are constantly assessing new materials and technologies that are better for the environment.

They look to incorporate recycled and bio-based materials whenever possible.

New Balance also utilizes 3D knitting methods that reduce waste versus traditional cut-and-sew manufacturing.

The company works to minimize all materials used without sacrificing durability and quality.

Future shoes will likely incorporate more vegan and plant-based materials as well. New Balance prides itself on staying at the forefront of material innovations.

Circularity and Closed-Loop Systems

New Balance strives to embed circularity into its product design and business models.

This involves maximizing recycled materials at the start and ensuring shoes can be recycled at the end of life.

But New Balance wants to go beyond basic recycling. The brand’s goal is implementing closed-loop solutions where old shoes and scraps feed directly back into new ones.

This eliminates more waste and virgin resource reliance. Developing these circular systems at scale remains an ongoing challenge.

But New Balance is dedicated to evolving its production processes to enable robust material circulation.

Sustainable Manufacturing Practices

New Balance is optimizing its manufacturing facilities and processes to boost sustainability.

The company’s owned factories have installed LED lighting, upgraded equipment to recycle heat and switched to renewable energy sources.

These improvements lessen energy consumption and emissions. New Balance also meets stringent sustainability standards at its stitching facilities.

And it works closely with material suppliers to assess and reduce impacts across upstream production.

Assessing each step allows New Balance to create shoes responsibly from start to finish.

The brand will continue strengthening its sustainable manufacturing into the future.


New Balance is rising to meet consumer demand for eco-conscious activewear. Their growing selection of shoes made from recycled, organic and vegan materials demonstrate a real commitment to sustainability.

While New Balance isn’t a small sustainable brand, they are making measurable progress when it comes to lowering footwear impacts.

Consumers who want performance shoes with less environmental harm can feel good about choosing New Balance’s eco-friendly options.

The brand seems dedicated to increasing recycling efforts, sourcing responsibly, and innovating greener materials and manufacturing processes.

Overall New Balance is headed in the right direction when it comes to sustainable shoes.

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By The Sagor ChicChronicles

Hi, I'm Sagar. I am on this website working as a writer. And I share various fashion and shoe tips for men. I hope you enjoy reading my blog. Thank you.

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