It’s always interesting to see what good marketing can do: convince people that certain diets are the best, tell the masses what music to listen to or what products to buy. The same goes for shoes. Remember when the toner shoes were at the height of their popularity? The companies that sold them were making millions convincing people (mostly women) that they would get nice legs and a nice butt just from wearing those shoes. Unfortunately, many wearers suffered injuries, and some companies became the victims of lawsuits. All because of “good marketing”.

Another case in point: barefoot shoes. This situation was a little bit different in that there wasn’t quite as much damage done by these shoes. There is a time and place for them (in my opinion). There is also a certain stride for them (topic for a different day). But when I was selling shoes, I still saw the negative effects of the marketing campaigns surrounding these shoes. Some customers had pulled muscles; one even had suffered a stress fracture. Granted, just like the case with the toners, often the wearer was just as much to blame as the shoe itself.

And finally, there is this new shoe out there called the crossfit trainer. Ah yes, companies are once again capitalizing on the height of a popular method of exercise. Toners were geared toward women who were too busy to work out; barefoots were geared toward extreme runners; and crossfit shoes are geared toward, you guessed it, crossfitters.

I polled my Facebook friends recently to see what the hype was about. Are they any different than regular cross trainers/gym shoes? The overall verdict? Not really. So why do people spend money on them? Because ads and marketing tell them to. Sure, all of these shoes have great ideas behind them; they have their place when worn correctly. But when all is said and done, who is the deciding factor when you purchase your kicks? That’s food for thought next time you’re shoe shopping.

Until next time, shoe lovers!