Friday, April 4, 2014

Shoe Shopping

Being the completely objective and unbiased parent that I am, I think our kids are pretty cool on a number of levels, but one thing that impresses me is that they don't ask for an inordinate amount of stuff, most of which is just junk, anyway. Sure, they do want things at times (they're kids after all), but they don't make a stink about getting the newest and best stuff, and that's probably a good thing because we are not consumers. Shopping is not our thing, and I have issues with the whole consumer culture, anyway. I know all sorts of people, some of whom I'm related to, who get the latest and greatest stuff (iPhones, cars, TVs) every year, and then all they do is pine for the next model. It's really amazing how the consumer mentality is embedded in our world.

Now for years A&N have played sports with second-hand gear, including our beloved hockey, though certain things you have to buy new, like skates and jocks. Now A has been running track for the past few years, and N has been playing lacrosse, and again, they don't have new stuff. A has been using on an old pair of cross-training shoes (not running shoes like hardcore runners have), and N uses and old pair of cleats. I got both pairs at the Listen Center for about $5/pair. You can't beat that, and they've worked fine, but I've always felt that A should get a proper pair of running shoes, at least ones that stylish and cool. She's a teenager now, and image concerns simply can't be ignored. N, on the other hand, is growing, and his cleats are starting to pinch.

So we set off on a mission to find some shoes, and it worked out nicely. My original plan was to go to various stores, get size and style info, and then check online for better deals. This approach is not foolproof, but it has worked out for me in the past. Our first stop was our favorite store, Stateline Sports. We love that place, and they have an amazing selection of gear, unlike anything around here, and they're local. We tried on several pairs of cleats and found that N's foot is one the wider side, which makes choosing specialized shoes like cleats a little tricky. They are all narrow.

The experts at Stateline informed me that Adidas makes a wide size, which we tried on and he liked. Best of all, they were real "lacrosse" cleats. He's been using soccer cleats all this time, not that I really knew the difference, though the guys at Stateline explained it to me. The bottom line, you can wear soccer cleats for lacrosse, but lacrosse cleats don't work as well for soccer. Plus, lacrosse cleats are mid-tops, so they wouldn't work so well for soccer, but they look cooler.

Anyway, we went home and I looked online for the same pair, but for the life of me I couldn't find them. In fact, I couldn't find wide cleats anywhere, at least not for under $100. We went back to Stateline the next day and got them, and the price was very competitive with what you see online. N was stoked, and now we're ready for the season, which BTW begins next week.

Then came A's needs. We looked at Stateline for running and track shoes, a double-whammy. The track shoes are what kill you because they are specialized (they have metal spikes) and can't be used for anything else. They had everything we needed, but I decided to run over to the mall to see if we could do better, and sure enough, we could. We found a killer pair of running shoes on sale, and more importantly, they really look cool. Hot pink with green and purple trim. What girl track star wouldn't love it?

I then found her track spikes online for a bargain price, so we were all set. I will say this, running shoes have really become stylish and hip. When I was kid, there was only one running shoe, New Balance, and they made their shoes dark and ugly. They were functional. Now they have all these crazy colors, most of which I wouldn't be caught dead in, but I'm old and boring. Such is life.

I think we're all set for spring sports. Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Mathew Schwartz for the pic.

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