Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Same Shoes?

My beloved Asics GT-2150 running shoes have been discontinued!  What to do, what to do?
About a week ago, I decided I would drive around my town and buy up all the size nine 2150’s I could find.  My first stop was Kohl’s.  I really love Kohl’s because if you have one of their credit cards, they send you coupons all the time.  I had a 30% off coupon.  I walked directly to the shoe department—and there they were!  My 2150’s!  They had one size nine—on clearance!  With my coupon, I paid forty two bucks for them!  Score!!!
My next stop was our local running store.  I walked in and was immediately greeted by a nice sales woman.  I told her I was looking for Asics GT-2150.  She told me they had been discontinued and to try the 2160’s.  I explained to her I was not interested in the new ones and asked if she had any 2150’s in stock still.  She went to look and came back with a pair!  She opened the box and there they were—the exact same shoes I just bought at Kohl’s—accept the prices.  These shoes were 80 dollars.  I told her I just got a pair at Kohl’s for half that and ask if she could give me a better price.  The sales woman then told me that the shoes I got at Kohl’s might look the same and have the same name as the ones she was holding, but there are not the same shoes.  She explained that shoe companies make different models of shoes for different stores, even though the shoes look the same and have the same name.  I questioned her as to the specifics, but she would not tell me anymore. I decided against paying full price for the shoes, thanked the sales lady, and left the store. 
This has been bothering me all week.  Is it true what she told me?  Do big shoe companies make different shoes for different stores that carry the same name and same look?  If so, what are the differences?  What has been your experience with this? 
A dream is a wish…
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  1. My guess is the materials in the department store sneakers aren't as good as the specialty store. But, if you use the Kohl's ones and they work? Who cares? you got one sweet deal! ;-) That being said, keep in mind -

    1. you might want to go back to the running store and buy your Asics since they discontinued the brand and you won't find them next time you need a new pair. And my guess is, it will be right before Princess, and I'm not sure you want to try a new brand of shoes right before your first half marathon.

    2. or call around to some other Kohl's in the area and see if they have your Asics. Maybe you can grab another pair cheap and have them set up for the next few replacement cycles.

  2. It really wouldn't be all that surprising to me, but I'm not going to say if it's definite or not. I can ask around to some friends who work in specialty stores though and see what they say.

    I just switched over to Asics again after jumping around brands. I've used Asics before and liked them so we'll see how these new ones are. I got the Cumulus and I keep thinking that those were the shoes I had before too...

  3. It's possible that because a new model came out, the first store that you went into put the older model on sale. That's why you got a huge discount.

    If the old model of shoes worked well for you, I guess it's a good idea to buy the same model.

    For 40$ it's a good deal. Try to bring your old shoes for detailed comparison.

  4. I was under the impression that if they have the same "model" number they were the same shoe. I knew the that chain dept. stores typically carried a lesser quality "model"number and the fancy sports/running stores carried the higher quality "model"number......but I thought they just meant different shoes altogether. I didn't know they meant same shoe/different quality.

    It doesn't seem feasible to me that the shoe companies would make the very same model number shoe in two different qualities. Seems like a waste of time...that's why they have different models and styles, right? I'm sure if you went to the Asics web site they would not offer you 2 different quality 2150's. Also if you go the Runner's World website they have tons of info on shoes and I've never seen this mentioned.

    I'm thinking that salesperson just didn't want to give you a deal and thought they could persuade you into paying full price!

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  6. I would not be surprised either way. Like I am sure companies want to save some money, however, I would not be shocked if the sales woman was lying just for commission... You should write Asics and ask! :)

  7. I talked to a friend who's husband reps shoe lines and she asked him. FYI, running shoes apparently do have a shelf life. If they sit around too long the become less effective and while this may not be a big deal for most, for long distance runners can be an issue. It is possible they were right at the running store in my friends opinion, however its also just possible they rounded up all the old ones and shipped them to Kohls. Since I am training for a 1/2, I am going to skip the deals on 2150's at this point for running, however for my everyday use - I wear sneakers alot as I am getting over Plantar Faciitis....If I see a pair for the price you paid, I will jump all over them. Hope this makes sense....either way, great deal!

  8. Thanks everyone for the great info. I e-mailed Asics. I will keep you guys posted on their reply. I wil be hitting up another Kohl's tomorrow, LOL.

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  10. I've heard that companies like NIKE have lesser quality products that are sold big box stores for bargain prices. I've never heard of a show company doing that, if they did I would think the product number would be slightly different like GT 2150X or something. It could be the shoe store just trying to get more money. You might check back in a month or so and see if they are on sale. If they aren't promoting the shoes anymore they might have an old model shoe sale a couple times a year.

  11. My sports doctor (who has nothing to gain from shoe sales) says that even though the shoes may look the same that they can definitely be made from different materials. Also, that the do have a shelf life and the that rubber and other materials will breakdown overtime, whether they've been worn or not.

  12. I have sold running shoes at a specialty store for 28 years. The shoe companies do make "lesser" technical product for many big box, discount retailers and they do use similar looking upper patterns and colors of their "better" product (however, they would not use the same style number). When a shoe is discontinued most of us running specialty stores will not bring in the old product and move to the new product. The shoe companies don't want to be left with the old stock so they will find stores that specialize in this type of product (Kohls is one of them).

    Just beware before you go out and buy a lifetime supply of 2150's. Shoes do become shelf worn. Meaning you take out a seemingly brand new pair of shoes 2 years from now and they are hard as a rock. Midsoles dry out and depending on where you live this can happen in 1-3 years. You are not always wearing new shoes. We see lots of injuries and people who don't understand why their 5 year old never been worn shoe just gave them shin splints (or worse).

    Good luck!

    I love the Kayano 17 (and am always nervous when they change but who knows, they Kayano 18 may be even better!)

  13. Thank you! I guess I will change my plans for tomorrow. Instead of hitting every Kohl's within 100 miles of me, I will hit my running store and try on like 100 pairs of shoes till I find "the one". I appericiate all the wonderful advise!

  14. Beware! I love my old Asics, and was so sad when the new model didn't fit me as well. So I bought up a bunch of pairs at Sports Authority, and ended up with bursitis and tendonitis because they do not perform the same way. So frustrating! Now I have to wear a brace while I heal, and I've lost a few weeks of training. Stick with the running store shoes. I had to switch to a Saucony shoe instead of the Asics. Hopefully your running store will allow you to return after you try them out until you find the right shoe.

  15. did you look en EBAY? ... you can find anything there...just check the feedback before you buy something....

  16. Thank you so much for all of your posts. My husband and I were debating this issue this morning. It's good to know the truth!

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