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I grew up when Nike made the best (most comfortable/coolest looking/good for sports, etc.) shoes. Therefore, whenever I need another pair, I still buy Nikes even though I mostly just wear them for everyday shoes now (Kicking a soccer ball around with a 7 year-old girl doesn't count as a sport in my book).

My last two or three pair of Nikes really hurt my feet. I couldn't wear them around the mall for two hours without hurting. I naturally assumed this was me. I was buying the wrong size or was out of shape or something. Well, I've gotten back in shape, and had the shoes sized by a "professional" (I use the term loosly here) last time and still they just frickin' hurt. It's like the arch hits the wrong spot or is the wrong shape or something.

Anyway, I complained about this to some friends who all said.. "That same thing happened to me and I bought New Balance and life is good again!" So I finally bought some. They were cheaper than the Nikes and WAY more comfortable and for the middle-age man styles I buy they look about the same. No more little piggies going wee wee wee all the way home.

So I have three questions for the group on this off season day:

1) Nike, New Balance, other?
2) Did Nike change or did my foot?
3) Is New Balance a publicly traded company?

I have been looking for a new pair of workout shoes.

I used to wear Nike Size 14 mid height cross trainers.
The ones I have found so far do not fit as well as the old ones.
They provide no arch support and they seem smaller across the front width and length.

As you can imagine finding a size 14 or 15 in any shoe is a challenge.
Do they make a basic white shoe anymore? I am not into zippers, velcro or glow in the dark soles.

I am not sure what but something has changed with Nike. Maybe they are made in a different third world country now.

Are you asking about NB for investment purposes?
It seems to me the shoe world is fickle and the brands come and go.
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1) Both ... Nike for casual wear, New Balance for running/jogging.

New balance just make a better performing shoe for running ... at much less cost.

2) Not sure, Nike still fit my feet just fine for casual wear. They are not NEARLY as comfortable for running as my NBs.

3) No idea
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I have read several articles in recent years about NB gearing its product to 30+'ers and actually putting more thought into real-world function than flash. I have a pair of NBs that are decent, but I liked the Nike trainers I used to have, which were discontinued, more. My biggest problem with NB is that they don't make, or at least I can't find, any mid-rise shoes.
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Are you asking about NB for investment purposes?
Mostly tongue in cheek, but when everyone I know is switching from Nike to NB it makes me wonder what that might be doing to the bottom line at both companies. I think I'm a little late in realizing NB makes a good shoe to actually profit, but they are privately held anyway.

"Privately held Boston-based New Balance has grown from a small company to an industry leader. While we do make some shoes overseas, we also operate five USA factories, remaining committed to our domestic workforce who has remained dedicated to us through the years." -- Jim Davis, Chairman & CEO

I just found out these things are actually made in America too... I feel even better about my purchase! No more Nike for me!
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I am on my 4th pair of new balances. They are very comfortable and look great. The price is reasonable, but not exactly cheap. They are a great all around athletic shoe weights, running, pick-up sports. My biggest complaint is that they do not last. I do not where them daily, just 3 or 4 times a week and sometimes if I am hiking or just want comfort on the weekend. They fall apart way to easily. I keep buying them mainly for the look and because they are wider than nike, but I have not been impressed with the durability.

New Balance has been huge on the preppy college campus seen for atleast the last 7 or 8 years. They blew up about the same time as North Face became an every day jacket and backpack. I do not know about the 30+ marketing campain, I see it as a transition shoe and the anti-flashy gangster B-ball shoe that is worn by suburban want-to-be high school thugs.
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For casual or dress shoes I sware by Rockports. They are the most comfortable shoes that I have found and I can wear their casual ones with khakis to work. I also used to wear their dress shoes when I worked in a suit & tie job.

I can't help you with the exercise shoes though.
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