03 August 2007

After my post about basketball shoes I read this article on Slate that details how Chinese shoe companies are picking up some high-profile athletes for endorsements, including Shane Battier, Chuck Hayes, and the North Korean table tennis team. The article notes that these Chinese brands are "often made in the same towns and the same factories as [Adidas and Nike]." I'm sure Wal-Mart is salivating at the prospect of importing these shoes. (Not that this would alleviate the problems outlined in my earlier post. You can get cheap shoes at Wal-Mart already. The problem is that they fall apart. I'd try out Chinese shoes if I had some indication that Chinese companies cared about quality more than the cheap U.S. brands do, but the point of this article is that those companies are following Nike and Adidas in focusing more on marketing than design. Ah, consumer capitalism.)

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