Thursday, December 21, 2006

Whatever happened to just plain athletic shoes?

Yesterday I spent over four hours shopping for a pair of running shoes. I need them for two purposes. First I might actually do some running to make sure that I am in top shape coming into this drum corps season. The second thing I am going to use them for is drum corps season itself. Basically these shoes are going to get used, abused, and then used some more.

Thanks in part to hip hop culture shoes that fit exactly that purpose do not exist in stores anymore. Shoes are all leather (well synthetic leather with the leather price tag) and look entirely too fancy to take out and beat the crap out of. Also these materials that they are using will never withstand the elements. They are designed to be worn with your baggy jeans and your phat pharm 3XL t-shirts. If that is your style then great, go and be an individual and spend $200 on your favorite pair of kicks.

For someone like me who wants a certain look along with function the only option is to go online and shop directly from the manufacturer in hopes of finding a shoe that fits this purpose. Unfortunately those little pictures on the websites don't do the actual shoes any justice. I want to physically hold the shoe in my hand because I actually know the function of how the shoe works. I know what the different soles and uppers do. I know how much support each lacing and arch style gives. I also want to be able to try them on before I buy them. Each shoe fits differently and depending on the brand name and model I can wear one of four different sizes.

I urge the folks at Nike, Adidas, Reebok, etc. to reconsider what you have done to the athletic footwear market. All companies have made great strides towards improving the from and function of their shoes for athletes. I hate to say it but I am a shoe snob. I know exactly what I want, and I know that all of the companies listed above make it. Let the people that just want to look cool in their sneakers buy them online and let the athletes find what they want and need in the stores. If you want to buy fashion shoes in a shoe store, visit your local Aldo, Steve Madden, Diesel, Puma, or other name brand shoe store.

In the mean time would the true athletic shoe stores please stand up?


Serra said...

I feel your pain.

As a former member of a marching band that did things drum corps style, I don't know what I would have done during camp and the marching season without a very good pair of shoes that fit just right. I'd love a pair of the Nikes I used to buy every summer--but they just don't exist anymore.

Dawn Marie said...

Shawn, Im a huge sneaker snob too, but am partial to Addidas myself while I know you like your Nikes. That being said, I was shopping for a pair a few months back and did find something that is most ideal for what we do. (and comes in black & red...woot!) It is defined as a dancing shoe, but is highly flexible and has a circular tred on the ball of the foot for what we need. Not sure if it is ideal for your other sports... Unfortunately, Im unable to find a Men's pair perse at this time, but maybe for Christine or you can find it in your research. Hoe this helps in your search for the elusive perfect footwear :)

Dave Csonka said...

Do you have any Sport's Authority stores where you live?

I gave up shopping for athletic shoes at the mall. They basically only cater to basketball shoes in stores like Champs or Finish Line.

Jeremiah said...

Interesting post!! Now a days, Many brands are available in market for shoes...