As basketball shoe prices rise, Starbury 1 offers just as much for less
By Brian Vigna
In schools and playgrounds around the world, kids try to emulate the moves and styles of their favorite athletes. Collecting basketball shoes has become a hobby, even an obsession for some.
With prices sky-rocketing to more than $200 a pair, having the latest, greatest kicks is almost impossible for kids who don’t have the money.
The pressure to have the newest shoes can even lead kids to violence and thievery, with cases of assault becoming more common as the price of sneakers rise.
In Atlanta, police report more than a dozen violent muggings for sports apparel. In Chicago that number is double.
Michael Jordan’s shoe, the Jordan, is the perennial winner for the most popular basketball shoe. The latest version of the Jordan is priced at $175, but do these high priced shoes make any significant difference in basketball performance?
There is no definitive answer to this question, but NBA players haven’t always worn these high priced, supposedly superior shoes.
Just 20 years ago in the era of Julius Erving (better known as Dr. J) and Magic Johnson, superstars wore the cheapest shoes made — Chuck Taylor’s — which, today, aren’t even considered performance sneakers.
So if these high priced shoes don’t impact performance they must be made of high-quality, high-priced materials, right?
Not necessarily. In fact one NBA superstar decided to dispel the myth that a shoe has to cost over $100 to be stylish.
Stephon Marbury of the New York Knicks agreed to create his own sneaker and clothing line that would be affordable for kids who can’t afford the new Jordans or Lebrons.
Marbury is the sixth of seven children in a family where money was always tight. He grew up in New York and understands the pressure to have the “cool” new shoes.
To help kids like himself, Marbury’s shoes, the Starbury 1, are only $15 or less. According to Marbury, they are made from the same materials as the leading Nike basketball shoes.
The shoes and apparel are only available through Steve and Barry’s stores, with just four locations in Florida. The line is, however, showcased online at Starbury.com and includes jerseys, jackets, jeans and warmup gear, all priced under $10.
Through his agent, Marbury released a statement answering why and how he would launch this brand: “People need to understand that even the hottest threads and kicks don’t cost a lot of money to make.”
Marbury has openly criticized players like Lebron James whose newest shoe costs more than 10 times the price of the Starbury 1.
Even with players like Marbury trying to change the current trend of outrageous prices, the cost of shoes will likely continue to escalate until the consumer becomes more informed about the actual value of the product.
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