Alright fellas, it’s great to see you and as always, I’m glad you’re here. In the sneaker example I have for you today, we’re looking at a cheap pair from Zara at $40, and a higher priced pair from Greats coming in at $179, roughly 4x the price, so let’s cruise through both pair and see what we can uncover. First up is the pair from Zara. I bought these for $40 a few months back. I wanted to try the black & white sneaker look, but at the time wasn’t sure if I’d like it. So I went cheap just to get my “feet wet” and see how I liked the black & white look. That’s one good thing about the cheap fast fashion stores like H&M and Zara, is it makes trying new things a heck of lot more affordable. Needless to say, I fell in love with the look. Black & white sneakers are a super versatile casual shoe that goes great with jeans and chinos.Okay, so I’m assuming the Zara shoes are made with some sort of ‘pleather’ material because the website doesn’t say anything about the material. I mean, usually if a shoe is made from leather, even poor quality leather, they’d say so on the website. They’re also not fully lined inside and from what I can see they’re using synthetic material in there, and the foot-bed padding leaves a lot to be desired. One quick thing about synthetic materials being used as lining inside your shoes; each one of your feet has roughly 250,000 sweat glands. Bacteria, as we all know thrives in warm, damp environments. So these bacteria consume your sweat and dead skin cells and deposit waste. This waste is what smells. A cheap shoe lined with synthetic materials traps bacteria and provides the perfect environment for it to thrive, and the odor gets worse.
Surprisingly though, the collar on the Zara shoe is padded and the tongue stitching is on the inside, but the canvas material is a bit rough against the skin when I wear them with no-show socks. The main issue I’m having with them is the sole is coming apart. The sole is glued, not stitched and as you can see, it’s de-laminating right at the stress point on both shoes. This happened within the first few wears and I’ve been selective when I wear these because it’s a little embarrassing to see this IMO. The rest of the shoe actually looks decent from a distance, but the more you handle them and wear them, the more you realize how little support your foot has, and how little structure the shoe actually has.
Now on to the higher quality shoe from Greats. Greats is an American company based in Brooklyn NY, and the shoes are made by craftsmen in Italy using some of the highest quality, full grain leather you can get. The shoes are extremely comfortable and extremely well made. As you can see in the video, the entire inside of the shoe is finished with the same full grain leather, and remember what I said about synthetic materials trapping bacteria? Totally different ballgame here. Natural leather is far more breathable than rubber, plastic or synthetics, so shoes lined with leather are a lot less likely to retain odors. The foot-bad padding is very comfortable, and even the inside of the tongue is finished in leather. If I could turn the shoe inside out, I bet it’d look just as good. The soles are stitched on and the entire shoe just has that look and feel of quality. Greats was nice enough to ship these to me for this post, and I’m extremely thankful because I’m already a huge fan of Greats. Now, here’s the thing, I’m such a fan of the company and I trust the fit because I own another pair in all white, I took these straight out of the box and wore them all day on a trip to Universal Studios with no prior break-in. My step tracker said I walked over 7 miles that day and the shoes were phenomenal.
Okay, let’s try to wrap this up with my opinion on whether or not it’s worth spending more money for quality sneakers. I think in this case, yes, it’s absolutely worth spending more. I mean, if I continue wearing the Zara shoes once or twice a week, the sole will keep deteriorating and I’ll have to replace them within the next month or two. So, let’s say that works out to $40 for new shoes roughly every 3 months. So in a year, you’ll have replaced your shoes 4 times and spent the same as one pair of quality shoes. And, I can tell you from experience, I’ve had my other pair of Greats for over a year and they still look and feel like new.
Fellas, leave me a comment and let me know how you feel about this subject because I’d really like to hear your opinion on this and get a friendly conversation going.