Does "closeout" mean defective? Kyle L. August 10, 2017 20:39 Updated A "closeout" shoe is not defective. Closeout shoes are the remaining inventory of a style that is no longer manufactured. Think of them as overstocks. We simply have too many. New Balance Athletics, Inc. may have updated the technology, the look of the shoe or both. It is also possible that a style may not be replaced. Closeout styles appearing on our site offer a chance to save big on a high-quality shoe.