Let's face it. Big money and some very large numbers are behind the production and marketing of footwear.
|The consumption of nonrubber
footwear in the U.S. was running at 1,218,897,000 (that's
1.218 billion) pairs per year in 1996. Import penetration is 90.2%. This contrasts with 735,063,000
(that's 0.735 billion) pairs in 1966 (when import penetration was 13.1%. (source: Footwear Industries of America)
This gives a pairs per person per year level of 4.6 in 1996 and of 3.74 in 1966. We took the U.S. population numbers for each of those years and figured it out
|Athletic Footwear... The surveys found that total spending for athletic footwear reached $14.73 billion in 1997, compared to $14.08 billion in 1996. Total pairs purchased rose to 346.6 million, from 341.8 million. Thus the average price paid rose for the third year in a row, to $42.50, 3% over $41.20 for 1996||Nike .... Yearly revenue for Nike is $9.8 billion (but that includes all apparel). They are the market leader with a 36% overall share. Reebok is second. Nike spent a whopping $978 million in 1997 for advertising and promotion. They paid $200 million to "buy" the Brazilian soccer team.|
.... $978 million by one brand in one year on ADVERTISING and PROMOTION
Wow! It's a shod, shod, shod, shod world.
How can our tiny little website have any impact in the face of these numbers? Well, it can have some .... you are reading it :-) To illustrate how we feel about this, we are going to relate the following story:
A gentleman was strolling along the beach just at the waters edge. After he had walked for sometime he came upon several starfish that had been washed up on shore and then left behind by the tide. The man stopped and looked at the starfish a moment and then shook his head when he thought of the fate of the starfish, for they would all surely die if left out of the water for long. He then continued his stroll along the waters edge. After he had walked a bit further he came upon a young boy. The boy was furiously picking up starfish that had been left by the tide and throwing them back into the sea. The man watched the boy for several moments, then spoke to him.
"You can't possibly save them all. So why bother ? It won't matter."
The boy paused, a starfish in hand, and thought about the man's words. He looked out at the sea and then down at the starfish in his grasp. He looked up at the man and replied
"Well, it matters to this one."
If just a small number of children are permitted healthy barefoot living because of this site being available ... then it is all worthwhile. Please, use your own common sense and our research to balance the barrage of TV and print advertising that strongly implies that footwear is required for your children nearly 100% of the time. It just isn't so.