Basketball sneakers have always been something particular to me. They are the hardest clothing article for me personally to buy because it is so hard to tell at a store if they are going to fit, only once you’ve been running on the court for an hour or 2 can you really tell and by that time it is too late to return them. In the past I only have bought Nike sneakers because they were “cool” and what felt the best of my feet. However it seems over the last few years the price has gone up ridiculously (or maybe I am just getting cheaper) and the quality of the shoes has deteriorated. I only play 1 or 2 times a week and the Nike Shox that I most recently purchased have worn down after only about 3 months of use and are slightly uncomfortable.
So a while ago I read about the Knicks Stephon Marbury launching a line of affordable sneakers at Steve and Barry’s retail stores. They claimed to be made from the same materials and with the same quality as the $120 Nike sneakers for only $15 and I have to say I was intrigued. I set out to the store to try on a pair for myself.
Unfortunately Steve and Barry’s is not a high tech store. They do not offer online ordering nor will they special order you sneakers – whatever they get in on the trucks is what they get in. And they don’t know ahead of time what is coming in on the trucks (or so the employees say) nor will they reserve it for you if what you want comes in. There is only 1 store in my area, which if I had to guess has about 500 pairs of the various Starbury styles in stock. However 98% of these are size 9 and 10s. If you are that size you can find 20 pairs of whatever style you want in stock. Unfortunately I am a size 13, which is almost impossible to find there. I went back many times over the course of the last 6 months to try to get the ones I wanted – Starbury IIs high tops in black/white. I never was able to find them in stock.
Finally this week I returned to find they had my size actually in stock in high tops, though it wasn’t the color I wanted. I gave in and bought them. I tried them out for the first time last night in a game and they worked very well. They were just as comfortable as my Nikes and did not give my feet any problems. The real test will be how well they hold up in 6 months time.
I wish Steven and Barry’s would make the process easier to get what you want. The whole point of these shoes is so they are accessible to lower income families right? What lower income family is going to make 25 trips to the store to get the shoes they want in their size.
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