Okay, Asics, since you’ve bombarded me with emails and targeted advertisements since my first (and only) purchase on your website, I’ll tell you about my experience.
I’ve bought your sneakers a few times over the years. They’re comfortable, usually wide enough for my feet, and provide some support when walking on trails, up hills, and on typical walks. I had no complaints.
A few months ago, the pair I’d been wearing for the last year or so began to wear down. First there was a tear near the mesh part near the bottom of the laces. Then the sole wore down near the heel. I realized I needed a new pair. Juggling a toddler, it isn’t the easiest experience to go into shoe stores and try on a bunch of sneakers. So I ordered online. Not on the Asics website. Mistake. The sneakers looked good and were on sale. They arrived a week later. From Japan.
Nowhere on the website was Japan mentioned. Nothing about size discrepancies. Apparently a size 10 in Japan is actually a size 9.5 in the U.S. I tried to jam my feet in them. These sneakers would’ve hobbled me, so I put them back in the box. There they waited to be returned. Like most items purchased online that are meant to be returned… they were not returned in time. Instead, the box sat on the dresser for two months. When I called a local Asics store, they told me I couldn’t return them and wouldn’t receive store credit. I had to fly to Japan if I wanted my money back. The third-party bastards know you won’t return your sneakers, and so you’re stuck with them. I asked my students if anyone wanted a new pair of black-and-red sneakers. They had to be size 9 or 9.5. None of my students wanted them.
Every time I put on my old sneakers, I watched the tear in the mesh increase. Still, the sneakers worked well enough to keep me from falling over on our walks up the hill, stroller with toddler who now wears her own sneakers, dogs who choose not to wear anything on their paws.
Finally, I went on your company’s website, and searched for deals. I ended up finding a pair of all-black sneakers, not one of your top-shelf items, but they were on sale for $45 (before taxes and shipping) so I added them to my cart. I added a bag of black socks to the cart. I included my information, sure to unclick the box that would add me to 5000 email lists. I paid. They arrived. They fit. Hooray.
That isn’t the end of the story. We live in an age of targeted advertisement. Now, everywhere I go online, I’m reminded of my sneakers. I don’t want to buy anything else for my feet. I’m reading about the NBA Playoffs and its sneakers, sneakers, sneakers. I’m reading about politics and sneakers are lurking. I delete emails every day, telling me about sneakers. When asked about the all-black choice (and not the bright green ones that had now worn down to nearly nothing), I told my wife, “They were on sale.”