Which Running Shoes Are Not Made in China?

China produces a huge range of products that are high quality. However, some people prefer to buy products made only in certain countries. An increasing number of people are keen to buy products made locally in their country. Today, I will explain what running shoe brands are not made in China.

As a general rule, Mizuno, Diadora, Adidas, Karhu, Nike, and New Balance. Some of these brands such as Diadora are made exclusively outside of China. Whereas, others have local manufacturing facilities, as well as, China-based manufacturing facilities.

Some of the most well-known running shoe brands are made outside of China, and some are made in Western countries like the UK, and USA. Below, I will provide a full table showing where each of the different running shoes are made, and which of the top running shoe brands are made in various regions like the UK, Canada, the USA, and Europe.

Why Is Everything Made in China?

It’s a bit surprising to find that most of the well-known brands that most Western running shoe brands are made in China. And it seems that nowadays almost everything you buy is made in China. Here’s the long and short of why everything is made in China.

As a general rule, China has cheaper labor and manufacturing costs than other parts of the world. They also have very well-developed shipping networks, charge no export tax, and other countries don’t tax imports from China.

Before the 1980’s China did not export or import, but a change in policy designated various port cities in China as economic free zones. This is where there is next to no tax. China also began importing and exporting again. 

This encouraged a large amount of business development and led to massive growth of port cities such as Shenzhen. Not only for clothing, such as running shoes but also consumer electronics.

The City of Shenzhen in China

In recent times, these cities have become more and more expensive places to live. The rising cost to live in these cities has also driven the cost of labor up. For example, Puma, a well-known sports brand has stated that they have moved their manufacturing to inland China because the cost of labor is 60% to 70% cheaper than in the coastal cities of China, such as Shenzhen (source). 

There is now a trend where manufacturing that used to be done in China is now moving to countries like Bangladesh, and Vietnam, where the cost of labor is now cheaper than in many Chinese cities.

Also, many countries like the USA have negotiated trade agreements with China where they don’t tax imports. Together with Chinese policy where there is no export tax, it’s almost like China is part of a country such as the USA that they ship to. This has made it much cheaper to have manufacturing done in China.

Which Running Shoes Are Made in China?

There are many different running shoe brands and styles to choose from. Many brands have now moved their production facilities to countries where manufacturing is cheaper such as China. So, here’s a list of the running shoe brands that are made in China.

Brooks, Asics, Hoka, New Balance, Nike, Saucony, Altra, Mizuno, On, Adidas, Reebok, Puma, and Under Armor are made in China. Only 2 of the most well-known running shoe brands are not made in China. Most running shoe brands are made in China but also in other countries. 

Also, some shoe brands are only manufactured in China. Diadora and Karhu are made exclusively in Europe and are made in Italy, and Finland respectively.

To answer this question more fully I looked into 15 well-known running shoe brands such as Nike, and Adidas to see where they are made. Here’s a table that shows which country each of the different running shoes brands are manufactured in:

Brand of running shoeCountries where it’s manufactured
Brooks55% in Vietnam, 45% in China
AsicsVietnam, China, Turkey, Tunisia, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia
Hoka80% are made in China and Vietnam, and 20% are made in the Philippines, Cambodia, and the Dominican Republic 
New BalanceChina, Indonesia, Vietnam, the USA, and the UK
NikeChina, Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, Italy, and Indonesia
SauconySouth East Asia, China, and South America
AltraChina and Asia
KarhuFinland
MizunoVietnam, Germany, France, China, Scotland and Hong Kong
OnChina, Vietnam, Latvia
DiadoraItaly
AdidasMostly in China, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Minor amounts made in Argentina, Austria, Cambodia, Canada, Mexico, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Chile, Colombia, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, India, Italy, Japan, Jordania, Korea, Lesotho, Lithuania, Madagascar, Mauritius, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, United States, and the United Kingdom.
ReebokChina, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines, Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka.
PumaChina, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Indonesia
Under ArmorChina, Vietnam, Indonesia.

As you can see from the table, virtually every brand is made in China, and Vietnam. And a large percentage are made in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Cambodia. Here’s a table that shows what percentage of each of the most popular running shoe brands are made in the each these more popular countries.

CountryPercentage of running shoe brands that manufacture there
China86.6%
Vietnam80.0%
Indonesia53.3%
Bangladesh20%

China and Vietnam are by far the most popular countries for running shoe manufacturing for the top running shoe brands. Indonesia is the next most popular with over half of the running shoe brands having at least some of their manufacturing done there.

Which Running Shoes Are Made in the USA?

Many running shoe brands have headquarters in the USA, and virtually all running shoe brands are available in the USA. But, here’s which running shoe brands are sold AND manufactured in the USA.

New Balance and Adidas are the only major running shoe brands made in the USA. Most running shoe brands are manufactured in countries where the cost of labor is cheaper such as China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

New Balance has an option on their website where you can filter shoes by those made in the USA. They currently sell 14 different styles of running shoes that are made in the USA.

 Shoe brands can typically manufacture running shoes for about 1/3rd the cost of what it would they would spend if they manufactured them in the USA. In a competitive market, shoe brands need to find ways to keep pace with their competition.

Therefore, any company that can keep the manufacturing costs down, has more available capital to spend on marketing, advertising, and improving their brand in other ways.

Which Running Shoes Are Made in Canada?

Canada is a country well known for its natural beauty and its proximity to the United States. If you live in Canada or prefer Canadian-made products, here’s what running shoe brands are made in Canada.

Adidas is the only major running shoe brand that has manufacturing facilities in Canada. All other brands are manufactured internationally. With the majority being made in China, Bangladesh, and Vietnam. 

As you can see, only one brand out of the 15 most well-known brands is made in Canada. Some brands like New Balance allow you to shop for shoes that are made exclusively in certain countries like the USA. 

However, Adidas does not provide this option. Therefore, if you want to buy Adidas running shoes that are made in Canada you would need to call around a bunch of different stores to find them. In my research I was only able to find one running shoe brand, equivalent to the most popular running shoe brands, that is made exclusively in Canada, this brand is Strike Mvmnt.

Which Running Shoes Are Made in Europe?

Europe has a reputation for manufacturing high-quality fashion. But, isn’t as well known for running shoes. Here’s a list of running shoe brands that are made in Europe.

In general, Mizuno, Diadora, Adidas, Karhu, Nike, and New Balance running shoes are made in Europe. Diadora and Karhu are made exclusively in Europe and nowhere else. However, most well-known brands are imported into Europe, with the select few above made locally and internationally.  

Interestingly, Karhu originated the 3 stripes design that is not synonymous with Adidas. They sold the trademark to Adidas in 1950, according to the official Karhu website

Karhu state that their shoes are very popular because they have a custom-fit feel. And say that it’s because they have designed the shape of their shoes based on scanning over 2 million feet to find what shape is the best for the average person.

The other running shoe made exclusively in Europe is Diadora. They make running shoes, as well as, casual shoes, clothing, and shoes made specifically for certain sports like tennis. Their factory is located in the town of Caerano di San Marco, in the very north of Italy. North of the city of Venice. 

Which Running Shoes Are Made in the UK?

The countries that make up the UK, England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland aren’t well known for making shoes. But, have numerous world champion runners. Below, are the running shoes that are made in the UK. 

New Balance and Adidas are the only major running shoe brands that are made in the United Kingdom (UK). All other brands are manufactured in numerous countries. But, the majority are manufactured in China, Vietnam, and Bangladesh.

New Balance and Adidas are not made exclusively in the UK, and both companies have many factories around the world. 

For this reason, if you want a running shoe that is made in the UK, you’ll need to check each New Balance or Adidas running shoe to see where it’s made. Although, there are no hard facts about this online, market forces would make it safe to assume that most New Balance and Adidas shoes are not made in the UK.

Interestingly, on the New Balance website you can filter the shoes they sell by only those made in the UK or the USA. They sell about 10 different styles of running shoes that are made exclusively in the UK. However, Adidas doesn’t provide this option on their website.

Final Thoughts

Most of the most popular running shoe brands are made in China. As well as, in Vietnam, and Bangladesh. The main reason is the cost of labor is much cheaper. New Balance is unique because they make running shoes in China, and other countries where labor is cheaper but also allow you to select shoes that are only made in the USA, and the UK.

Some popular running shoe brands – but very few are made exclusively in Europe. These are Diadora, Karhu. Adidas running shoes are made in the most countries. In total, they are made in over 40 countries. However, the majority are made in China, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

Sources