The topic of shoes is a favorite among members of USF’s Men’s Basketball Club.
Bruno Lopes, a sophomore shooting guard, owns about 75 pairs of shoes. Sean Davis, a junior point guard, owns about 150 pairs. The teammates agree that about 90 percent of their shoes are basketball footwear.
“Running shoes are more flimsy,” Lopes said. “Basketball shoes give you more ankle support. They absorb shock differently, they mold to your feet. Running shoes don’t really do that.”
On average, basketball shoes cost about $135, according to Marco Lumpkin, the assistant manager of Champs Sports at the University Mall.
“The shoe game has come a long way,” Lumpkin said. “You do have certain shoes out here that do the same thing the expensive shoe does. It depends whose name is on it. People are going to buy it.”
Even though the price of some basketball shoes may rise to about $300 next year, Davis is willing to open his wallet. Currently, he spends approximately $600 per month on shoes.
“It’s a lifestyle now, it’s not like a fad,” Davis said. “It’s more than just a hobby.”
Money from some of these shoes have even contributed toward special causes such as the Kay Yow foundation and breast cancer research. The Nike Zoom Kobe VI “Think Pinks” were released on Aug. 26, 2011. The “Think Pinks” have a unique pink exterior and interior. Kobe Bryant released the shoe near October, breast cancer awareness month, because he knew they would sell to both genders, according to Lumpkin.
“They’re great to look at and it’s for a good cause, so I was like, ‘Why not buy them?’ I mean, they’re comfortable shoes and plus they’re by Kobe and Nike,” Davis said.
Lopes and Davis each paid $140 for the “Think Pinks.”
As summer approaches, Lopes and Davis anticipate the release of several shoes such as the LeBron 9 “Summit Lake Hornets,” the LeBron 9 Elite “South Beach” and the Air Yeezy 2 by Kanye West.
“If I ever went broke, I would never go broke. Meaning, if I ever go broke, I can sell my shoes and not struggle,” Davis said.
Lopes and Davis plan on buying six more pairs of shoes within the next month.
Photo Credit: Suchanun Ovathanasin
Rebeccah Westol makes chips on Monday, April 23, 2012 at Moe’s Southwest Grill at the University of South Florida. Moe’s is located in the food court of the Marshall Student Center. Westol, 21, is a senior at USF majoring in biomedical sciences. She is graduating in May and would like to be a physical therapist. Westol has worked at Moe’s for three years and must drive through the Tampa traffic to get there several days a week. Along with Westol, several full-time students must balance a job with their school work to afford rent, bills and food.
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