Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Price Of American Made

Photo courtesy of NewBalance.com
In four days, I'm going to walk in a 5K.  I needed new sneakers.

I haven't bought sneakers in years.  And the Skechers I have, although comfortable, aren't really great for walking long distances.  They're more a comfy running-around shoe.

I first went to Famous Footwear in the mall because they have tons of shoes and lots of different brands - Nike, Converse, Adidas, New Balance, ASICS, Reebok, Saucony - I was bound to find something I liked.

Can you believe I didn't find anything?  I tried on at least 20 pairs of sneakers and couldn't find one that felt comfortable.  They were too tight in the toe, binding across the top, slipping off the heel.  I was losing hope, and by the end of trying them all on I was sweating and pissed off.  My feet have been killing me lately and I really wanted something that was going to make my feet feel better.  

So I decided to go to Alan's Shoes because they specialize in orthopedic shoes and I knew if they carried sneakers, they'd know which would be good for my feet.  I walked into the store and told the salesman that I need fat-girl sneakers.  That I was planning on walking a 5K, that I wanted to be more comfortable doing it, and I needed something that was going to cushion all the weight coming down on my tootsies.

He measured both feet - length and width - suggested a pair, got my size, and added an ortho-insert. There's something to be said about a full-service shoe store with a clerk who knows his product inside and out.  It reminded me of shoe shopping as a kid, when we went to a real shoe store, with people who pampered you and made the shoe shopping trip an experience that ended with the right shoes for growing feet.  True customer service.

So after the salesman told me about how the shoe was made, the materials it was made of, and why this shoe was good for a heavier person (something to do with denser rubber for fatties), he slipped them on, I did a few laps around the store, and then sat down and told him I was sold.  They were perfect.

They were also $164.95.  Plus $60.00 for the inserts.

My mother, who was shopping with me, was shocked at the price.  My best friend called me a moron. And Ed said, "I run several times a week, miles at a time, and I've never bought a running shoe that expensive."


I know they're expensive, but I need my feet to feel good.  They hold up my whole entire being.

Personally, I think it has something to do with the shoes being Made in America. The Made in America slogan was proudly displayed on the advertising in the store, the shoe box, and embroidered on a tag ON the shoe itself. People should get used to this, though, because if we start fucking with China and all the other countries that make cheap products for us, everyone is going to be paying more for everything.  I guess that means my shoes make me a patriot.  Hmmm.

But really, I haven't bought sneakers in at least ten to twelve years.  It's unlikely I'll ever wear them out, and if I divide the cost by the numbers of times I'll be wearing them over the years, they'll probably cost me less than twenty-five cents a wear.

And I'm worth it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2015: Sunset In The Brick City
2014: The King Of Light
2013: The End Of WiFi???
2012: Through A Canopy Of Oaks
2011: Clap Your Hands
2010: Wishing For A Blizzard But Will Settle For Flakes
2009: A Hideous Thief Exposed
2008: Southwest Sunset
2007: Subtlety Is SO Not His Middle Name
2006: Bridging Chicago
2005: Oxymoronic Holiday


Anonymous said...

You are worth it. They are NOT expensive, unless you never wear them again.

Colin N MacKenzie said...

You are so right. Personal service and Made in Britain has gone as much as in the US. I mourn the fact that everything is based on price rather than quality. The UK lost so much manufacturing due to the obsession with stocks and shares and financial 'products'.