New Balance Mens FreezeLXv3 Turf Shoe

overall rating:



Amanda Williams
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This New Balance lacrosse turf shoe is my favorite lacrosse cleat that I have used because it's comfortable and of good quality. It is the most popular amongst my team, but they face a lot of wear and tear and I find that I have to buy a new pair after each season. As I went to the New Balance website to order new ones, I realized how great these would be for a review. While this is a great shoe for playing lacrosse, its detrimental when it comes to the environment. 

What it's made of:


There was no information listed about what exactly this shoe is made of. It is described on the website as being made of synthetic fabrics and mesh, and has a a rubber outsole. Synthetic materials are made of plastic and rubber, both of which are made with natural gas and petroleum. Nowhere on the New Balance website was I able to find information about these materials. Instead, they discuss the biggest three materials they use in all their production are cotton, leather and polyester. They talk about improving the sustainability of these three products, but do not discuss other materials they use for their products. Its not clear if any of the sustainable materials are used in this product. The lack of information makes me think New Balance is afraid to disclose what materials are in their products because of how unsustainable they may be. New Balance does provide a descriptive Restricted Substances Manual to ensure safety in the workplace. They also mentioned that they do not use polyvinylchloride (PVC ) in footwear production. PVC is a widely used synthetic plastic polymer that is a known carcinogen. I was happy to see this information, but that is not enough to make up for the lack of information regarding materials used. 

How it's made:


I was unable to find any information about how this shoe is made. New Balance owns all manufacturing sites in the US and UK but they have suppliers in over 30 countries. They say suppliers have to abide by their regulations and that they are selective in who they choose as suppliers. New Balance doesn't approve of 1 in 5 prospective suppliers because they don’t meet social and environmental standards. They provide a supplier manual which outlines requirements New Balance has for suppliers.This is great to hear, but not being able to find information about where and how this specific product is made shows a lack of transparency. They provided a map of their suppliers in China where the public can view pollution and supplier information, but when I clicked on each factory there was no information found. 

Who makes it:


New Balance created the New Balance Foundation which has many initiatives to promote wellness in communities around Boston. They also seem to be a part of various programs working to make environmental change, but after looking at some of these programs they seemed more for show and greenwashing rather than making real change. One program they are a part of that I looked at is RE100. This is a global initiative to bring together companies that are committed to 100% renewable electricity. There are over 300 companies involved in this effort, including Apple, H&M, and Pepsi. I was surprised to see this initiative celebrated. These companies might use renewable energy, but their products are very unsustainable because they promote fast fashion/tech and create excess pollution. New Balance has goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water usage. These goals were set for 2025 or 2030 and appear to be greenwashing rather than actually attainable. With no timeline or progress report there is no way to know if they are working towards these goals. As of 2019 they sourced almost half of their electricity usage from renewable sources, and compared to previous years, it does seem like they are making progress on this goal. Compared to competitors, New Balance’s energy usage seems to be less because they are able to manufacture their products in the US and UK. Their main markets are in the US and UK so they spend less energy and resources getting their products around the world. On the company level, New Balance is making changes to be more sustainable, but there is a huge lack of information when it comes to products. Little transparency in how and what this shoe is made of says a lot more than the other things they are doing to be sustainable.