New Balance's recent comment in support of president-elect Donald Trump has alienated one group of consumers and endeared the brand to an entirely different one. Neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer is calling New Balances the "the official shoes of White people" and calling on its readers to "buy a pair or two now" in a Nov. 12 post spotted by the Boston Globe.
New Balance sparked social media outrage last week after Matt LeBretton, the brand's VP of public affairs, said that "things are going to move in the right direction" with the coming Trump presidency. LeBretton's comment was addressing Trump's stance on trade and not his ideologies as a whole, as underlined by New Balance in a statement issued following the controversy.
When asked for comment, New Balance distanced itself from hate groups seeking to use its shoes as a symbol for their cause.
"New Balance does not tolerate bigotry or hate in any form," a spokesperson said in a statement sent to Sole Collector. "One of our officials was recently asked to comment on a trade policy that was taken out of context. As a 110-year old company with five factories in the U.S. and thousands of employees worldwide from all races, genders, cultures, and sexual orientations, New Balance is a values-driven organization and culture that believes in humanity, integrity, community, and mutual respect for people around the world."