Two of New Balance’s recently released basketball sneakers have been pulled from the brand’s retail stores and e-commerce channels due to possible quality issues.
In recall notices communicated via New Balance Japan earlier this month, Kawhi Leonard’s New Balance Kawhi 3 (BBKLV3) and the Fresh Foam BB (BBFRSH) models were identified as having potential issues. A Google translation of the now-deleted pages indicates that the Kawhi 3 could have been susceptible to eyelet damage, while the Fresh Foam BB was prone to cracks on its outsole.
On March 15, New Balance Japan posted an update about the Kawhi 3, which released on Feb. 10. “Some users may have deformed or damaged the material used for the eyelets while wearing them,” read the message, which added that New Balance Japan would stop selling the affected product and offered refunds to those who had experienced issues.
Meanwhile, a lengthier message was shared on March 17 pertaining to the Fresh Foam BB, which is worn by NBA players including Zach LaVine.
“We have received reports of cracks in the outsole of some of the same model number products sold in other countries for the ‘Basketball Shoes (product name BBFRSHA1/U1/S1)’ that have been on sale since February 2023,” reads the Fresh Foam BB’s translated notice, which was posted on March 17. “Although no similar cases have been confirmed for products sold in Japan, we have decided to suspend future sales of the product in question at the discretion of our US headquarters.”
In a statement shared with Complex, a New Balance US spokesperson confirms that sales of the aforementioned models have been paused and encourages customers to reach out with further inquiries.
“New Balance has always been committed to providing our consumers with high-quality products,” a spokesperson said. “Due to possible quality concerns, we have paused sales of our BBKLV3 and BBFRSH New Balance basketball shoes. Customers who purchased the shoes and have any questions can reach out to New Balance Customer Service.”
As of publishing, the Kawhi 3 does not appear to be in stock online at any US retailer. Some sizes of the Fresh Foam BB “All-Star” colorway remain on sites like Foot Locker for $130.