Posted: 30/03/2015 at 23:12
I tend to gear-watch at runs and races, and an awful lot of people do run in Karrimor shoes. I think that does show that there is a place for them in the market - people are shelling out and getting out there with these things on their feet. It's snobbery and denial to suggest otherwise. Certainly there are plenty of Parkrunners creaming me in these shoes whenever I go along.
I just wish they were being marketed properly though for what they are - a budget equivalent to the bigger brands. There's no shame in that, and armed with that knowledge people will happily shell out ??30 knowing it probably won't be as good as a ??60 shoe.
It's when it's so aggressively pushed as the NO-BRAINER purchase, EXACTLY as good as the competition and IT'S BEWILDERING why it's so cheap, and (I've actually heard this in a branch of Sports Direct) TO BE HONEST I HAVE NO IDEA WHY WE STILL STOCK NIKE AND ASICS BECAUSE THESE ARE BOTH BETTER AND CHEAPER.
You can probably leave one of Mike Ashley's stores with ??60-worth of kit and shoes that will all be perfectly suitable for running. And that's fine. In fact, that's great.
But why bend the truth? It's cheaply made, cheaply sold gear. Nobody has a problem with that if they're armed with that knowledge and able to make their buying decisions accordingly. Many will still buy it - it all certainly looks alright.
The tactics leave me utterly cold though, and being told a pair of shoes is the best thing in the shop when they're on your feet and almost feel like the shoe box they're packaged in does nothing for the brand's reputation.
If you run in Karrimor shoes and are happy doing so and content to look no further, congrats, frankly. But they're not for me and both Sports Direct and Sweatshop are last-resort destinations nowadays.