Training and motivation

The Kid v Adult price gap: The Great Shoe Rip-Off?

Me in shoes

My name’s Daisy Bee, and I have funny feet. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no Cyndi Lauper;ย a fair few of my favourite people do too.

What it means when it comes to running, is that I’ve been through quite a few pairs of shoes in my quest to find the ones that are right for me.

I’ve worked up the ranks from my mum’s battered gym trainers (brassic times), through cheap and cheerful neutrals, and then, when I arrived in Taunton and discovered Tony Pryce, onto Asics. So the past couple of years I’ve flitted between two ranges: the Asics GT 2000s and 1000s to be exact.

Now, these shoes don’t come cheap: we’re talking around the ยฃ100 mark a pop, but as an investment that would keep me (in my experience) colourfully cushioned against injuries spanning shin splints, sciatica (gah), hip and knee pain, I never questioned it.

But when time came around for my next purchase, I decided I was going to do something revolutionary. I decided to shop around online for my next pair of Asics GT 1000s online. And not got to a real-life physical shop.

What I found was – obviously no shocker – is that you can rip a lot of ยฃยฃยฃ off the RRRRRRRP by doing this. And even more if you’re stumpy like me with size 5 feet by opting for children’s shoes.

This is where the bone of contention started sticking its calcium-ated nose in, because:

RRP for the women’s Asics GT 1000, size 5ย is ยฃ100:

Asics 1000 women's shoe

While, the child’s Asics GT-1000s, size 5, come out at ยฃ40 RRP:

UntitledKids GT Asics 1000

Por quรฉ? Is this just a cynical commercial tactic to charge people more for the same product defined differently? Certainly that’s an easy conclusion to jump to.

Or is it actually – as I found reasoned in one Runner’s World forum thread – a fair reflection of the simpler supportive mechanics required for the shoe of a child who is soon going to burst growth-spurtily out of it, compared to that of a grown woman who’ll be pacing up way more miles?ย Or even more simply, are the kids’ trainers cheaper because children’s clothes escape VAT?

Well, I have no idea. The internet doesn’t seem to garner me any conclusive answer.

But I now have my new Asics GT 1000 children’s shoes. They’re bright blue with bright orange laces (see specimen A above), and they ran well on their first outing. I am going to do the only thing I can do – see how my electric blue feet beacons fare in the weeks and months ahead, and get back to you… hopefully with my shins splint-free :-0