Manolo says, here is the inexpensive shoe the Manolo heartily endorses.
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.