In His Shoes

If you live in Manhattan and want to get in on the $15 Starbury basketball shoe action, you must first ascend the escalators of the Manhattan Mall, a suburban mall flipped on its side and smushed into a midtown skyscraper that is more commonly known to New Yorkers as the Tenth Circle of Hell. Steve and Barrys, the only store that carries the Starbury, is located in the back of the second floor of the Tenth Circle. Once inside, it's obvious that this is the Temple of Stephon; besides the shoes, the aisles are filled with Starbury apparel--shorts, jerseys, sweats—and everywhere there are posters of the Knicks guard with the slogan: "This is my life, my vision. Are you feeling me?" Maybe. That's what I'm here to find out. My basketball team, the Exterminating Angels, has been obsessed with the Starbury1 since it hit stores in August. It started with an email from T, our point guard:

Did you guys see the article today in the Times re: Stephon Marbury's new shoe? It only costs $15 bucks, and he's going to wear them during the season. What do you think? I'm dying to get a pair (or 5). Should we make them the official shoe of the Exterminating Angels?
Of course, as you might expect of a team named after a Bunuel film, the Ex Angels are concerned with matters of social justice. So T’s email was quickly followed by this one, from J:
What's the labor story? That's why I've been buying New Balance. I'm I misguided on that?
After much discussion, in which we concluded that, on balance, NB’s are a good choice because they have some of their manufacturing done in the U.S., they, like all basketball shoe manufacturers, are probably producing at least some of these in sweatshop conditions. The Starbury1 is produced in China, and our question became, since these are so cheap, are they produced in, um, especially bad sweatshops?

The Nation came to our rescue, with a nice piece concluding that it’s likely the Starburys are produced in some tough labor conditions, it’s probably not any worse than the other guys. Thus, here I am, on a Tuesday afternoon, trying on Starburys in the Manhattan Mall. The feel is good, and, for $15 you can’t go wrong. I splurge and drop another $9 on a pair of black and white Starbury shorts; total bill is $25.

Starbury1 shoe

Now its off to the court. Playing in his new shoes on opening night, Marbury played 46 minutes and scored 19 points. Me, not so much–7 points, 5 rebounds as the Angels lost our first game of the season.

So, how do they drive?

Actually, pretty well. Sure, The sole is thinner than most shoes, and so is the collar. So they’ll wear out pretty quickly. And the insole isn’t glued to the bottom of the shoe; it’s like a Dr. Scholl’s thing. On the other hand, lots of people tell me that it’s better to get cheap shoes and replace them every few months than to get expensive shoes and keep them for a year, since the main thing you want in a shoe is padding, and that always wears out fast. On the whole, I think this is a really good deal; they look cool, kids can afford them, and they’re a legit basketball shoe.

I hope the Angels loss doesn’t kill our endorsement chances. Because, really, Stephon, if you’re reading this, oh yes, we’re feeling you.

2 Comments on In His Shoes

  1. I love the Starburys!

  2. This story from Yahoo by Adrian Wojnarowski brings up an interesting point on how the techonology- age of hand- held cameras, video phones, the Internet, message boards and youtube affected the Mayo incident. In the past, Mayo would have been made out a thug just for his connection to bumping a referee after an ejection. That reputation probably would have followed him into USC. Because videos can be put on the Internet and circle the country so quickly, people were able to see Mayo get a second technical…

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  1. Our Continued Fascination With the Starburys « I’m Not Going to Do This Every Day

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