So you may have noticed around your mall or your local shopping center that, everybody’s favorite sneaker punching bag, Payless shoes is going out of business. Prices have been slashed as the once retail giant is trying to liquidate its stock before closing 2,100 stores in the United States and Puerto Rico. Its other 1,500 stores across 40 other countries will remain unaffected. Who would’ve thought that their reach spanned that far?
I know that it may seem odd for me to bring up a discount off brand shoe store on Planet Hopper, this isn’t an an article to rip on or make fun of store, but a recognition that it definitely has played a role in the lives of many. While my mom never got me sneakers from Payless, we were more of Bradlees’ family, those shoes got me through my elementary years and early on in middle school (much to my dismay). I definitely remember not until middle school noticing what brands people were wearing, but I think that’s normal, and hating the fact that my mom wouldn’t buy what the other kids had. But I was still going through my growth spurt, I wouldn’t want to spend that money then either. It’s so weird to look back and see things through your enemies eyes and know you are wrong. Damn you Mom.
Needless to say since I started buying my own shoes I hadn’t been back. However you wanna know what I do go to Payless for? Slip resistant shoes. I’ve worked at restaurants for many years and they have all required employees to wear slip resistant shoes which are a god send in the service industry. To be able to confidently walk on a wet floor makes the job so much easier. I tried to not give in and wear regular dress shoes, some all black Nikes, Lugz, anything. I suppose I could’ve bought a nice pair of non slips, but I’m not wasting my money work shoes that were gonna get food on em. I needed a pair of beaters and so I got my shoes at Payless and let me tell you they worked wonderfully, they lasted for a couple of years until I bought another pair.
Something I never understood is why the major brands never catered to this audience. I’ve tried working in a few different pairs of Nikes and never quite got what I needed out of that $30 Payless shoe. Two years ago Eddie Huang, the Vice personality, chef and author, collaborated on an Adidas Superstar that was supposedly a non slip, it looked good, had a metal shell top and suede upper. I was a fan of his for awhile already and you know what, I slipped in those shoes! Pure garbage! They didn’t work for the main reason I bought them.
The food service industry is an untapped market for Nike and Adidas, that is still growing because they seem to be the one job that computers can’t do better. There are millions of people just like me that want heat that they can wear at work. So will one of you make make a non slip react or non slip Ultraboost already so I can give you more of my money!