Monday, September 3, 2007

Going Domestic

My employer makes sure we enjoy working and playing by organizing many sports activities after office hours.

I joined the tennis group and we play once a week at a university which happens to be across the street from us.

And for the past month and a half I've been playing with shoes for running, not for tennis.

So this weekend I was on the hunt for court shoes. I checked out Nike and Adidas, only to find they were on the expensive side, over 500 and 600RMB a pair. And honestly, Beijing being on the dusty side, I wanted shoes I didn't mind getting roughed up.

On a whim I checked out Li Ning, one of China's top sportswear manufacturers which also makes NBA apparel and shoes. It's not an official sponsor for the 2008 Olympics, but will be fitting out many of China's teams as well as sports channel CCTV-5.

It's trying to emulate the big boys. Nike has the swoosh, while Li Ning has a kind of wavy tick. Adidas' tag line is: Impossible is Nothing, and Li Ning's is Anything is Possible.

And the domestic brand's selection was not bad, but what got me was the price.

Following the advice of my brother, I tried on several pairs, trying different shoes on different feet until I settled on this pair for 329RMB (US$43.60).

Admittedly the colour wasn't the selling point, but the comfort and cushioning.

I'll try them out later this week and let you know how they did on the court.

In the meantime I wonder if this means I'm becoming sinicized...


ks said...

li ning is one of china's pride in the olympics some years ago. he was dubbed 'prince of gymnastics'. decades ago when china was struggling with its modernization the olympic games was a luxury and took a back seat. little attention was paid to sports. li ning stood out and won some medals for china. the details of his story i cannot recall.

IheartNY said...

lenovo bought out ibm's laptop computer division and the new lenovo brand is considered the premium line of laptops. if the chinese can do it for laptops, why can't they do it with shoes?