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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I Joined the Starbury Movement -- Will You?

I remember some cruel scenes, even when I was growing up, of kids being mocked because they got their sneakers from some bin at a five-and-dime store as opposed to Pro Keds, Converse or whatever brand was hot at the moment. I didn't care what people wore and was taught that it didn't matter, but unfortunately there were kids who were either too dumb to know better or who just simply weren't nice. Some of the kids in my neighborhood referred to the non-designer sneakers as "bo-bos", and as far as they were concerned you shouldn't have been caught dead in them. I know that I didn't participate in making fun of those wearing non-designer sneakers, and I recall telling them that it was wrong. My guess is that as an elementary schooler I didn't do it loud enough or soon enough, and I felt bad about the whole situation.

Fast forward by several decades, and the situation got exacerbated when Michael Jordan teamed with Nike to create unbelievably expense sneakers. Parents in all neighborhoods felt pressured to keep up and drop a lot of coin for sneakers, and it became a vicious cycle because kids grow fast and need new kicks all the time. It was hi "cha-ching" time for Nike and Jordan, but the societal good that resulted was non-existent, except for some fund managers who rode a Nike wave (or swoosh) every now and then.

And who wants to pay $40 or more for a pair of sneakers that will last six months? Especially if you have a couple of kids, and especially if you don't make a lot of money. Sure, you don't want your kids to wear Shawshank Prison-style footwear, but you also don't need to be like Mike.

Or Nike.

And that's where Stephon Marbury comes in. He worked with the retailer Steve & Barry to create Starburys, some funky sneakers that are sold exclusively at the retailer -- for $14.98 a pair! That's right, in case you can't read my decimal point -- fourteen dollars and ninety-eight cents a pair! We bought 4 pairs -- high tops for the kids for their basketball leagues (my daughter's have pink trim, my son's are all-white), high-tops for me (with Carolina blue trim, quite stylish) and some everyday low-tops for my son (they have some of the Knicks' blue and orange in them). They look good, feel great, and I saved a bunch of dollars by not going to Foot Locker or somewhere else.

Again, in case you missed it -- 4 pairs of sneakers for $60. As opposed to, say, $140.

Stephon Marbury and Steve & Barry's are an oasis of sanity in an otherwise commercial desert as far as affordable sneakers are concerned. They look good and feel great, so join the movement!


You'll be glad you did.


Anonymous A fan said...

It is truly a shame that Marbury used a sweatshop like most of the other apparel manufacturers. It would have been a much better story if he employed workers are livable wages either here or in a foreign country. Jim Keady is still trying to create awareness on this subject. Take a look at his website for more information

8:10 AM  
Anonymous The Sports Curmudgeon said...

I live in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington DC. The nearest store to my home that sells Starburys is more than 30 miles away. And that's 30 miles driving on a very busy Interstate...

If these shoes were more readily available, I might consider them but a roundtrip drive of almost 75 miles is not gonna happen.

4:41 PM  

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