$60 vs $9 Shoes

In around the last week of June or the first week of July, I bought a pair of Adidas Neo shoes for around $60. I figure Adidas is a reputable company, and these should last me a bit. A week ago, I noticed on the left shoe, the glue connecting the bottom half of the shoe to the top, the part that seals the shoe, was separating almost completely. This angers me, especially anytime I encounter a puddle, because I am a man who does not appreciate wet socks. Nor do I appreciate a shoe that depreciates so rapidly after some three months. Now look, Adidas is a fine, competent shoe company typically, I probably just bought the shoes that were made Friday night. But this also isn't the first time a pricey pair of shoes crapped out on my in a relatively short amount of time.

Could the fault be placed on me? Possibly. I don't know what the normal life expectancy of shoes should be, but I wear the same pair of shoes every day, sometimes walking around in them for at most 12-13 hours in a day. So could this be considered over-use? Maybe. Should I alternate between shoes? Possibly. But my question becomes can I get the same performance from a cheaper pair of shoes? This is what I intend to find out.

I bought my Adidas shoes from Kohls, which has pretty good prices for shoes, but I am looking for bottom of the barrel pricing. So I checked out Payless Shoesource, mainly because the title suggests lower priced footwear, but also because they're a part of the "retail apocalypse," and I want to help out because I'm a nice guy. Plus, if Payless is good enough for Jay Leno, it's good enough for me. They had some low priced shoes, the lowest being $14.99 for what looked like an okay pair of running shoes. But I wanted to seek out the competition, sorry Payless. I went to Walmart just to see what they could possibly have, and I found a Faded Glory brand $9 pair of shoes. The website, shelf peg, and tag list them at $16, but they were half off when I scanned them. Either way, these are the cheapest pair of brand new normal shoes I could find in store, and I intend to test them out.

What does a $9 shoe feel like? I'm going to be completely honest; They don't feel like real shoes. They're very light for their appearance. The Adidas shoes feel very solid, with not much flex, aside from the shoe falling apart. These have the same weight as flip-flops, they're just deceivingly light and flexible. The upside is they have decent memory foam in them, so they're not bad to walk in. They do feel a bit unbalanced when walking. I'm a flat foot, which may be contributing to the uneven feel, but I've gotten used to it so far. The laces don't stay laced tightly for long, which can either be due to the shoes not being broken in yet, or maybe I just don't know how to tie shoes. It could be both. Also, the memory foam pad doesn't stay in place very well, so be ready to adjust it when the laces become loose enough to move it. I'm not sure they're extremely grippy, so take caution in certain conditions. Aside from these annoyances, they're still a pair of shoes for $9, shoes that I was not expecting to be as comfy as they are, and as decent as they are. The past two days of ownership have been pretty positive, at least nothing major to report.

What do I expect out of these shoes? I just want to see if they can last three months. If they can, awesome! If not, at least I'm not out $60. The main goal is to see if you really do get what you pay for. How bad can $9 shoes be, and if they're not bad, why haven't I been getting them all this time? I'm not a name brand guy, I don't need to represent the latest in fashion, so if I can get away with $9 shoes every three months, that's a lot of money saved in a year.

So expect more riveting shoe-related blog posts from the #1 shoe related blog in the world me in the future.

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