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Cheap Chinese Shoes

Created by dave. Last edited by dave, 10 years and 50 days ago. Viewed 4,203 times. #2
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Sometimes You Don't Get What You Pay For

October 2008

This probably isn't what you think it's about.

So over the last fifteen years or so, my shoe of choice has been the "walking" style shoe. This is because they usually are available in all-black which can pass as an acceptable shoe in a business setting, while still remaining comfortable enough to wear all day.

Over the years I've had shoes from a bunch of manufacturers. Addidas, Brooks, Nike, you name it. All of them ranged in price from $60 on the low end to over $100 on the high end. And all of them gave me one year of service, with a second summer dragged out of them if I was careful.

Well in spring of 2007 I was wearing a set of Nikes which were just a year old. These happened to have been the $100 shoes I mentioned earlier. I was in the Wal-Mart parking lot on my way in to get something, probably to check for Hot Wheels, when one of the shoes exploded.

Well maybe it was more of a "came apart in a sudden and unexpected way", but it was dramatic to me since I was the one wearing them at the time.

So since I was at Wal-Mart I figured I'd take a spin through the shoe section and see what they had, since I was suddenly a motivated buyer. I walked up and down the aisle, noting the range of shoes seemed to be from around $20 to over $100. And style-wise, the only ones I thought were acceptable was a $20 pair of walkers.

On the one hand, I'm conscious of the economic realities of cheap chinese shoes, in that a pair of shoes purchased from china is a pair of shoes not purchased from presumably canadian makers. On the other hand, they are $20, and if I only get more than two months of life out of them I'm probably ahead given how long these $100 things lasted.

Well I needed shoes. This turns out to be the most important factor in the buying decision: do you need them.

So I bought them.

I bring this up now because after a year and a following summer, these $20 shoes have only just now (October 2008) given up. They've lasted nearly twice as long as the $100 shoes they replaced, giving me almost a 10x value-for-money over the previous set.

Now I know that most of these other shoes are all made by the same people in Taiwan or China or whatever, so realistically I'm not helping my local economy much by buying the more expensive shoes. But I was surprised at how long these shoes lasted given their cost.

Sometimes "cheap" just means "inexpensive".

Anyways, I bought new shoes yesterday, and I went back to Wal-Mart. They didn't have any of the $20 shoes I got last year, so I got a $40 set instead. These feel reasonable so far, and I hope I'll at least get next summer out of them.

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