Serious runner seriously reviews $16 WalMart running shoes, and they seriously suck

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What sucks so bad about how they suck is that a pair of top of the line Nike running shoes really only cost 5 bucks to manufacture - I get making ‘cheaper’ shoes but seriously how lousy do they have to get to make them ‘cheap’…


A shoe like this is really a fashion accessory and not a tool like a proper set of running shoes. If you buy an expensive-looking watch for $5 you should expect that no effort when it to making it a quality timepiece.

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Back in the faculty a friend came to me telling me “Hey, I bought a dozen of this cool Rolex lookalike from a shady dealer for 12€ each! I could sell them to our classmates for thirty bucks each! They look just like the real ones!!!”.

Then I took one of those “Rolex” and looked closely. "Hey dude… the sweep hand doesn’t move… in fact the sweep hand is PAINTED directly into the clock face!". His face turned white with the realization he was not only going to sell those fake Rolex anytime soon, but that he was swindled.


Obligatory Pratchett quote:

“The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus
allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But
an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two
and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten
dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore
until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in
Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could
afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his
feet dry in ten years’ time, while the poor man who could only afford
cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time
and would still have wet feet.

This was the Captain Samuel Vimes ‘Boots’ theory of socioeconomic unfairness.”


That definitely works in our world too. A few years ago I was working at Walmart, and so I was nearly always broke. I needed a new pair of shoes to be able to make it through being on my feet for 8 hours a night, but being broke I could only afford a pair of cheap shoes from Walmart. As an employee, I also got a 10% discount. The shoes fell apart after about 3 months. Seriously. Three months of mostly standing and walking, no running whatsoever, and the soles separated from the rest of the shoe. But when you’re poor, it’s nearly impossible to save up for a really good pair of shoes, or a really good anything, so you’re stuck spending more money in the long run. It’s one of the reasons it can be so hard to climb out of poverty once you’re there.


God, I miss you, Terry.


This is such a great quote for - and observation of - our milieu/age/zeitgeist


For various reasons, I have a pair of Nike Free 4.0 They list for $120, I got mine for a bit of a discount.

The Running Shoes Guru says:

Cons: Questionable Durability

On the other hand, these shoes do encourage you to run, so it isn’t just standing around. And I think I’ve had mine for 6 months–not constant wear. They won’t last more than a year though.

The alternative is not buying a pair of shoes.


In Soviet Russian coffee shop have only two choices. Coffee, or no coffee.


Twenty-three dollars (when I bought them), two years, between 400 and 800 miles walking, both off-road and on.

They’re ready for replacement and I’ve been thinking about getting a nice pair this time, with more padding and stability, but after the very nice and knowledgeable salesperson brought out a visually stunning pair of Brooks Transcend 2 for (anchoring) $170, I may just go back to Target.

The sweep hand?
Are you telling me that these watches could not display seconds?

Why not just use a quartz movement?

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In my experience, it’s “Want fucking coffee or not? I don’t fucking care.”

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Came to say something similar. While I appreciate that cheaper shoes tend to be crap, I just can’t look past the materials and think “this dinky bit of plastic, cloth, and foam can NOT be worth this much.”


It costs Nike 25 bucks to manufacture a shoe, a buck for shipping, and the remainder of the $100 price is markup.


this is analogous to the bikes from Wal-Mart. in the cycling community, we use the term BSO for a department-store-bought bicycle, which stands for “bicycle-shaped object.”

I followed a link once to an interview with the ceo of IIRC Murray bikes where he was completely upfront about the fact that their bikes were engineered to withstand like ~40 miles of use, since their research revealed that’s the outside number of miles their average customer rode it before shoving it permanently in the garage.

seriously guys, don’t buy these. “B-but, it’s a Schwinn! those are good! Target is good!”

No. Don’t. You’re just buying something to feed the landfill.


That depends on your source. The material in the shoe is worth less than 5 - who puts it together is what makes up quite a bit (and it’s not uncommon to get stitching done piecework out of India for less than 5 cents per unit) but hey - it’s the internet - believe whichever sources you want. I would note that it costs so much to ship Iphones they could pay workers in the United States to do it for less than a 4 dollar per unit price difference, so I doubt shipping is quite as cheap as you claim. When shipping large units the space is as much of a factor in the cost as the weight.

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Hey, I’m not pretending to have any knowledge other than the source in the link.


Here’s a source from 1995 which claims that Nike’s manufacturing costs are $20 of a $70 sneaker.

That $20 cost includes
$9 materials. $2.75 labor.

How do you sell a $100 sneaker for $40?

Eliminate the middlemen. Don’t waste money on advertising.

How do you sell a $100 sneaker for $20?

Use shoddier materials? Waste less time on quality control? Labor costs are already so low that paying shittier wages than Nike doesn’t really move the bottom line.

Those savings are reflected in the review. Poor materials. Poor Quality Control, (and no R&D, judging from the blisters.)