Here’s a little quiz for you. I’d like to you to look at some pictures and then we’ll have a chat.
What do all these shoes have in common?
You might say, “They are all minimalist barefoot-simulated zero-drop shoes.”
Yes, that would be correct.
But they have one more thing in common, and that is the thing I want to talk about. They all retail at around $100. (The exception is the Vivo – the yellow and gray shoe – which comes in at an astounding $160.)
“What the… Tami, has the world gone insane?” you are probably all exclaiming.
Yes, unfortunately, I’m afraid it has.
The barefoot running, minimalist shoe, zero drop fads are all the rage now. All the cool kids are doing it, it would seem. Runners, CrossFitters, kettlebellers, Zumba dancers. I have no beef with them, what I do have a beef with is the shoe companies going back to the retro shoe styles and charging one hundred freaking dollars a pair for them.
So, let me get this straight. The shoe companies realize that we all realize the ultra-padded pronation controlled zig shox air shoes don’t work as good as an old fashioned pair of flat soled racing flats, or better yet, our own bare feet. So they strip down their shoe designs to pretty much nothing, and then charge three times as much for them?
Does anyone else think it is absolutely insane to charge $160 for a pair of barefoot shoes? Why don’t you just go run barefoot for FREE, for the love of Roger Bannister?
I remember ten years ago when I first started getting into running and I devoured each issue of Runner’s World and pored over the forums on their web site. People ran barefoot back then. They would go to the golf course or infield of the track, take off their shoes and just run. They did not pay a company $100 to give them a shoe that simulated barefoot running. THEY RAN BAREFOOT! IT WAS FREE! IT’S STILL FREE!
Sorry, don’t mean to yell. This whole thing is a travesty, a sham, a mockery. It’s a travashamockery!
In the meantime, I will continue to wear these:
New Balance cross country shoes. I bought them on sale for $30 after cross country season. The original zero drop minimalist shoe. Can you tell the difference between them and the shoes pictured above? The correct answers would be: “No” or “$70.”
A pair of Chinese-made knockoff Chucks that are actually a better quality than real Chucks. Procured at my local Alco for $9.
Don’t even get me started on the new Reebok sponsored CrossFit store. $100 for a plain gray half zip hoodie? You have got to be kidding me.