Nike: Good on paper, bad in bed.


Six months ago, I retired my Nike Pegasus, after years and years of being in a relationship, I had to face the facts. We were over. It was a difficult decision. There had been so many good memories. Why the change? Well, I had put up with multiple changes in the Pegasus line until finally, the shoe no longer resembled the one I initially fell in love with. My legs started to hurt, my ankles felt unsupported. I could feel that a change was necessary. So I took a walk in Maine Running Company and allowed a lovely salesman to pick out a shoe for me, I went with Saucony, a brand I had begun running with when I was 15. They felt great instantly and I have had six months of blissful running with them. However, this is not to say that every time I saw a Nike commercial I didn’t cry a little. Just a little. It’s like an elite crowd, I was no longer part of.

Right before Christmas I ventured into Nike Town on Newbury St in Boston, looking for gifts for Josh and my kids. This salesman must have honed in on me right away. I was wearing running clothes and my running shoes from Sweden, not Nikes, god forbid. He followed me around the store and helped me to pick out all of my purchases. I told him he was pushy, he was like, yea, that’s cool. And on and on the banter went. Finally he asked about my shoes and I explained to him that I no longer ran in Nikes. This triggered some sort of mechanism in his brain because all of a sudden this speal comes tumbling out of his mouth and he is showing me like ten pairs of shoes. Ok, I said, I’ll try them on.

So one by one, I try on these shoes, and they all feel fine. None of them feel great. But I ended up buying a pair of Nike Structures partially to shut him up and partially hoping to restore my faith in this brand. He promised me great things would happen. He promised me that I would come back to the brand, that everything would be alright. Bla Bla Bla. I dropped the $110, shoved them in my closet, stumbled upon them yesterday, took them out, put them on, hated them, hated them, hated them, took them off, put them back in the box and continued my run with shoes I feel comfortable in. I will return them and I will chew his ass out all at the same time.

The point of this whole rant is that Nike has indeed, lost its touch. The grand allure of the brand is still strong through outstanding marketing campaigns that are meant to inspire, however, the actual product is not built for real runners. Or at least, that is what I believe. Nike has the idea down more than anything, without the substance to back it up. And their sales people, are completely lost. Without asking my mileage, watching me walk, asking if I was prone to injury, what my stride was like, nothing, this man had chosen a shoe for me. I pushed information on him but he didn’t want to hear it. He was in his own little world of selling me something I didn’t want. The shoes have become clunky and  built without the runner’s foot in mind. Their clothing has become geared more for style than for function. The pants fall down, or they are transparent, or they are retardedly designed for a runner. The GPS watch is the size of my face, without anything really impressive inside of it, that say I couldn’t do with my phone. If you go into any high-end running store, you don’t see a lot of Nike. The products just don’t measure up.

I’m disappointed for having to write this. It makes me sad. But Nike has to get back to its roots. It has to represent. Otherwise it’s just like a hot man who doesn’t measure up. Good on paper, bad in bed.

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