I grew up in a household that always bought the generic brand. Mom really knew how to stretch that dollar for our family. But I remember the day when I began tennis lessons (a special treat from my dad who loves tennis) and he insisted that I own a legitimate pair of tennis shoes. (Now little background on Dad. He is a marketer’s dream. He is swayed by commercials and brand names and loathes shopping.) So I was given my very first pair of brand-named Tretorn tennis shoes purchased right there in the tennis pro shop no less. I was so proud of those shoes and was anxious to show them off. They were all the rage in school. I was of course sworn to only wear them for tennis not every day wear. Now I am an honest kid so I was true to my promise – only for tennis lessons. But if any of you remember Tretorn sneakers that soft rubber soul and pliable canvas top with light cushioning on the inside (a dream coming from keds) and imagine the wear and tear of tennis running and stopping on a clay court…it was not long before they began to wear out. At first the canvas began to pull away from the rubber top. next the inside started to wear out from the inside movement of my sweaty foot and finally the rubber was wearing away from the bottom of the sneaker. Inside 3 months the shoes were almost worthless for tennis.
I will never forget my Dad’s reaction to seeing their deterioration. I don’t know what was worse his initial disappointment in me thinking I had in some way reneged on our promise or his subsequent understanding that not all brand names are worth the hype. I knew I could in time convince him I did not over-wear my shoes but I was seriously worried that this of course meant the product was not worth it. And he might never buy another brand name product for me again.
Well after some time we decided to continue buying the brand, as they were the best for the price, and I could be a very persuasive daughter.
And on the bright side I was now allowed to wear my old shoes to school : )