Story of my unbranded shoe that lasted 9 months, 14 countries - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Story of my unbranded shoe that lasted 9 months, 14 countries

This is a story of my unbranded that I had to discard after using it for past 9 months. While bollywood actor Rishi Kapoor was amused when he spotted 27 lakhs worth shoe in New York, this story of mine at the exact opposite spectrum offers the perspective of low cost products.

Back in 2008-2009 I bought my first most expensive shoe- of woodlands brand. [Details]. This shoe lasted for over 7 years. So in 2015 I bought same brand shoe again, for another INR 3500, but this time, I had to abandon this shoe in about 3 years. [Details]. Thus last year October, I was scouting to buy a new shoe. That time, instead of spending 3000+ on a branded sports shoe, I decided to try a cheaper one.

Thus, sometime in October 2018 for about 550 Rs (USD 8), I picked up a shoe from a local shop in Chennai. The shoe had a name "Fast". There was nothing unique about it, just another shoe which served the basic purpose of protecting the leg while walking.

Since then, I have used this shoe for all my travels. From New Zealand and Australia in October/November 2018, to China, Brunei, Nepal, USA, Bahamas, Costa Rica, Colombia, Panama, Canada, Myanmar, Malaysia and of course within India, till end of June 2019. During the US trip alone I have walked about 500 kms over 34 days. During the whole 9 months, I might have walked over 2000 kms total using this shoe.

Recently I had to abandon the shoe as its base because too thin and worn out and also developed a hole. Water started seeping in and I could feel all the small pebbles on the road - it had lost most of its grip, so walking became more slippery.  So I decided it is time for a new shoe before next travel.
Now, 9 months on an unbranded shoe worth Rs 550 vs 3 years of a branded shoe (woodlands) worth Rs 3500- which is better? If a Rs 550 shoe lasts for 9 months, over 3 years I can buy 4 pairs of such unbranded shoe for Rs 2200 and still save over a 1000 bucks. Had the branded Woodlands lasted more than 7 years as earlier, it would have been a great value for money.

Point to be noted is that all unbranded goods are not bad- they do last reasonably well. All branded goods need not be great as well- brands spend a great portion of the money on marketing, celebrity endorsement, dealer margins and other such overheads that has nothing to do with product quality and durability. Of course, if you don't care for "what people think" of your unbranded stuff, then at times ordinary brands can also give good value for money.

I am more inclined towards buying another lesser known brand shoe and try to manage for another 9-12 months, than spend several thousands on a Nike/Adidas/Woodlands brand shoe. What do you think?


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