The backlash, evidenced by a number of Americans posting videos of their trainers being symbolically thrown in the rubbish, or worse, came as emotions ran high following Trump’s shock victory.
The brand responded to the criticism by clarifying on what grounds it supports Trump and pledging its community values and tolerance.
The "New Balance supports Trump" story went viral after a tweet by Wall Street Journal retail sports reporter Sara Germano, which was picked up by sneaker enthusiast media such as Sole Collector:
New Balance: "The Obama admin turned a deaf ear to us & frankly w/ Pres-Elect Trump we feel things are going to move in the right direction"— Sara Germano (@germanotes) 9 November 2016
It provoked this kind of reaction:
Germano’s tweet had been followed by another explaining that the quote was from New Balance’s vice-president of public affairs and was about the Transatlantic Trade Partnership deal pursued by the current administration that both the company and Trump have opposed.
New Balance has argued that TTP would punish the company because it would put its US-made shoes at a cost disadvantage from overseas-made shoes on which TTP would lift tariffs.
In reaction to yesterday’s backlash New Balance has provided a statement to the media saying "we want to make more shoes in the US, not less" and that it had publicly supported the trade positions of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders as well as Trump prior to election day.
It has put out a different statement to its social media followers about its support for "all walks of life".
This article first appeared in PRWeek sister title Campaign