By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Manolo says, here is the inexpensive shoe the Manolo heartily endorses.Stephon Marbury's Starbury

Waiting in a winding line for autographs from his favorite NBA player, 15-year-old Brian Cox lifted the lid of a shoebox to show off his synthetic leather high-top sneakers with black sides and blue-and-orange soles.

At a price his mother doesn’t mind — $14.98 — he got his fourth pair of Starburys this week, a sneaker created by New York Knicks point guard Stephon Marbury. Joanne Cox brought her two teenage sons to Steve & Barry’s University Sportswear after church Sunday for the launch of Marbury’s spring line.

The NBA star “grew up in a poor neighborhood just like we did,” said Cox, who is raising the boys on her own. She says it is not easy on the wages she earns as a city traffic officer, and she has spent thousands on her sons’ shoes over the years. “Now that we got a price of $15, we’re not going higher than that.”

This is the world the 10-year NBA veteran is trying to change with his $15 shoes — a world where parents are pressured to shell out money for expensive sneakers while struggling to pay rent and buy groceries; a world where kids get robbed, shot and strangled over the latest styles. (In January, 10 Detroit middle school students were robbed of their Nike boots and Air Force One sneakers at gunpoint.)

Marbury knows it will take a while to pull off a Michael Jordan impact at a Wal-Mart price. So far, he says, he’s willing to do it one sneaker-crazed teen at a time. Starburys have been holding their own in schools and on basketball courts alongside kicks that cost 10 times as much.

Marbury is so confident of the sturdiness of his shoes that he is wearing them on the court this season. He says his pair is straight off the shelf, with no alterations or enhancements. Chicago Bulls center and four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Ben Wallace has also partnered with Steve & Barry’s to release his own inexpensive sneaker — Big Ben — in late August or fall.

As always, the Manolo would recommend the better quality shoes for those who can afford them, but for young peoples of limited means the Starubury sounds like the good choice.


20 Responses to “Starbury”

  1. aimlessjoys Says:

    I am so pleased to hear about this! A good thing, for a change! Whooop! I wonder if I could find some size 7’s in black for dogwalking & quick stepping around the Mastodon Parish?

  2. blondiebimbo Says:

    I… this. I love that some basketball player did something so seemingly insignificant that is really TOTALLY awesome.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    It is this label “…for young peoples of limited means…” that those who cannot afford $100 Nikes is trying to hide from…

    How about we say “…for young peoples of limited or unlimited means…” instead? A 10 year old does not need a $100+sneakers, period!

    It sounds like this Starubury is of acceptable quality – good enough to play in the big leagues “NBA” – so qualifier needed regarding “better quality.”

    I don’t mean to stand on my soap box, I actually enjoy your blog…

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I mean NO qualifier needed regarding “better quality.”

  5. e Says:

    It’s a pretty stylish shoe, and why not have multiple pairs when they’re so inexpensive?

  6. g-dog Says:

    How freakin’ fabulous! What a great idea – especially when other stars couple with other companies to nearly rob the masses (with their eager participation).

    Now – who will do this for adults that would like some more affordable stylish shoes – for work, for dress-up, for partying, for fun?

  7. Gina Says:

    How long have these shoes been on the market? I’m thinking over the boy who just got his 4th pair. Maybe his feet are growing so fast he needs new shoes every 6 weeks or so. I seem to remember my mom saying that about my brother.

  8. Elvira Says:

    Excellent idea! And overdue.

    I’d like to give a plug for a related idea, TOMS shoes ( They are a cross between espadrilles and Keds, and for every pair you buy, a pair is donated to a needy child. These are not shoes for the attorney’s office, the formal dinner, or the White House reception, but they are just fine for the best friend’s living room, the backyard barbeque, or the child’s birthday party.

  9. isaac Says:

    yea, good idea, but where can i buy them, the closest place is 250 miles away

  10. me Says:

    What a great idea! I work in a school where 90% of the students come from lower income families and yet, they manage to deck themselves out in the latest footwear from Nike. I don’t want to think the worst, but I know for a fact that not all of them are acquiring the shoes legally. Hopefully, stylish and affordable shoes can (somewhat) curb this rampant materialism.

  11. daisyj Says:

    What is this? A highly paid celebrity athlete who has made a decision to sell shoes at a reasonable price to his fans, rather than pocketing the usual 9000% markup? Unheard of!

  12. Big Red Says:

    These are the third ugliest shoes I have seen on the Manolo blog. I applaud a celebrity developing a cheap shoe, but with the exception of the shoes crocheted from grocery bags, and the crocs, these are the most horrid things I have seen. And Manol likes these?

  13. ConeyBean Says:

    I think it’s great that a rich celebrity is providing these inexpensive shoes…but how is he able to provide them so cheaply? It’s still at the expense of a young, underpaid, sweat-shop worker, I bet.
    Of course, any OTHER sneaker they buy will be the same.

  14. john marzan Says:

    Chicago Bulls’ Ben Wallace was STarbury’s first endorser because both STephon Marbury and Wallace wear #3 (the shoe has a #3 mark on it.)

  15. phan Says:

    I saw something on one of the news magazine shows (20-20?) where they did a comparison of the sole of these shoes and $150 Nikes. The only difference in quality was that the Nikes were made of leather and the box they came in was much more spiffy. Good for you, Marbury!

  16. Christina Says:

    Phan, I saw that too. Marbury actually made a deal where he didn’t get paid until after the shoes showed whether they would sell or not. And the other thing was that the Nike had those “breathing” spots that didn’t work anyway b/c they were covered up. The shoe scientist guy also said that leather was totally unnecessary in an athletic shoe and was only for status and probably wasn’t the best material for the common use for the shoe anyway.

    When they shipped these shoes to the stores, they shipped each store a two month supply. Well, that two month supply was sold out in a day or two nationwide.

  17. amber Says:

    i love u stephon marbury u were always my favorite basketball player ever sisnce i went to ur basketball game at the age of 7 now im 12 and u came out wit tha best affordable shoes ever i love u so much n im gonna buy so many pairs

  18. amber Says:

    i love u stephon marbury u were always my favorite basketball player ever sisnce i went to ur basketball game at the age of 7 now im 12 and u came out wit tha best affordable shoes ever i love u so much n im gonna buy so many pairs

  19. amber Says:

    i love u stephon marbury u were always my favorite basketball player ever sisnce i went to ur basketball game at the age of 7 now im 12 and u came out wit tha best affordable shoes ever i love u so much n im gonna buy so many pairs

  20. C-man Says:

    Im gettin me six pairs 4 my B-Day. I turned twelve and theres twelve shoes in six pairs so hooray 4 me!!! Im gettin Crossover LE’s the red white and blue TWO’s and some CYCLONE 2’s. Of course if u wanna see more options check out the awesome site. Its It shows all the Shoes but thats not it. Kool videos and guess what… Ben Wallace is part of the new team :) . Hats and clothing are available 2. Im definetly gettin the Velour Set. Its amazing. Just go 2 Steve and Barry’s. Im not even old enough 2 work there but I still compliment ’em like im tryin 2 suck up to my boss about how smart he is about makin these Shoes :D.

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