Finished with Finish Line

Revised: 11-8-13

Close to a year ago I purchased my annual pair of Mizuno running shoes. They were the Mizuno Wave Creation 12, which I wrote about back in April 2011. It was my first time taking advantage of Finish Line's 15 Day Test Run offer, which is designed to allow you to purchase a pair of qualifying shoes and run in them for up to 15 days to then decide whether you are satisfied with your 15 day trial purchase. If you are not, you would think that the policy would allow you to return the shoes for your money back, but this is not the case. Your chance taken on a 15 day test trial running shoes is now treated as an exchange. This means, if you cannot find a proper replacement at Finish Line then your money must be spent in the store on other items. My experience may have been an isolated case at this particular store and its management (Sawgrass Mills, Sunrise, FL). After my 15 day trial, the store would not grant me a store credit to use at a later time. I had to use it that very same day. I argued about this policy with the manager for quite some time (What if I can't find the right shoes today? Can I think about my purchase before I'm forced to buy something?), but no one would budge. Later email exchanges with the corporate office said that I should have received a store credit to use at my convenience and that the issue could be resolved if I knew the name of the manager.  I did not.

If you are a long time runner you probably already had a hunch that this might be a swindle tactic to get you into the store and committed. Obviously running in a pair of shoes for 15 days will show wear--this is why you cannot return them, even if you hate them.  Here is their reason, found in the middle of my exchange receipt stating:

Reason Description: 3351 Bottom, discoloration.

I asked the clerk what happens to this perfectly good pair of running shoes? She said that they will be returned back to the manufacture as DEFECTIVE. One can only hope that this means that the worn shoes may be recycled or donated in some fashion.  This will depend on the policy of the individual manufacturer (Nike, Mizuno, Reebok, Saucony, Asics, Brooks, etc.) and I highly recommend inquiring about these sorts of questions to the manufacturer if you are concerned about the life of the product and wasteful manufacturing (consideration for energy and resources put into the production, distribution, and recycling/discard of the product). My hope is that these shoes find a good home in the end, or are recycled back into something useful.  

An interesting tidbit I found about Brooks and their efforts at being green. Read the article - Green Silence Running Shoes, and then go visit their Green Room.

Also, read about the Environmental Impacts of Simple Running Shoes.


_erica said…
I walked past a girl the other day who was running barefoot. You could just go that route...
Kimbrolynn said…
Vibram Five Fingers, all the way.

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