Friday, October 14, 2011

The Emperor's New Cleats

Women take a lot of flak for their love of expensive shoes. Some of it's justified – every third store on Robson Street in Vancouver is now a shoe store and their products can definitely be a little unusual and expensive. Just look at these crazy double heeled things from Alexander McQueen:

But here’s a little secret’s soccer cleats are almost as bad.

Check out these men's offerings from Nike (sometimes favoured by Cristiano Ronaldo) and Adidas (who claim these shoes are worn by Lionel Messi):

I know the stars get free shoes, but how do regular guys decide which ones to get? It would be hard for me to choose between cleats whose colours are described on their website as 'anodized purple and electricity’ and ‘cherry, dark obsidian and metallic’, but it’s mostly because I don’t know what some of those words mean.

What’s worse, the ads for these cleats imply that you will actually play better if you buy them. Apparently the lace cover on the pink ones creates a ‘large inviting strike zone’, while its ‘dual density injected studs allow effortless cutting and instant acceleration’. The purple ones have a ‘new stud configuration that improves your balance at top speeds’. Gosh, why bother training? The shoes can do it all for you. And am I the only one who's giggling at all the dual-injected-stud talk?

The websites for men’s cleats also offer this weird looking thing called a ‘comfort chasis’:What does it do? I can only assume it is meant to go inside the shoe and lift you up so that your body can physically match the size of your ego.

At least the Alexander McQueen shoes ads do not exaggerate their life altering qualities or provide over the top descriptions. Black is black, and not 'obsidian'. A search though the shoe details on his website offers only the basics, saying things like ‘black velvet embellished wedge sandal’ or ‘suede pump with rubber platform’. Should I be proud, as a woman, that do they do not pander to us and say ‘buying this embellished shoe means you will never gain another ounce as long as you live, while it’s rubber platform gives you the oomph to throw spectacular birthday parties for your kids, making you the envy of all the other mothers’? I don’t know.

Because if it did do all those things, I would so totally buy them.

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