Damn Consumer Ethics

I’m not one to shop ethically. I just don’t believe it’s possible to be haughty about what one company donates to, and not another. It’s too hard to trace the trails of associations to be certain that the socks I bought my kids are made/sold by ethical companies who I can proudly stand behind.

The short of it? I’m lazy.

The one exception is Chik-fil-a…BUT…that has WAY more to do with an emotional connotation than donations from the CEO. It’s because; within the LGBT community I’m associated with, Chik-fil-A is seen as evil. And me shopping there? Might upset someone I love. So, it’s not as much a boycott as it is avoiding negative interpretation should someone I love/care about within the Gay community see me spending my money there.

(But LORD GOD, I miss their sandwiches.)

Well…it seems I’m making another consumer ethics decision. I’m quitting Nike.


(That’s the part of me I hadn’t told yet screaming in agony.)

I love Nike. I’ve been wearing Pegasus for over a year and have never had even ONE complaint. Their dry-fit short-sleeve tops are my staples and have the perfect length sleeves. Their compression shorts/tights/capris are the only bottoms I wear outside my Lululemon Pace Setter skirt. 9 times out of 10 I’m wearing head-to-toe Nike.

And this has always bugged Donnie. Because of Michael Vick, and how Nike still sponsors him.

Now – Donnie isn’t on a platform anti-Nike. He’s not going to turn down free Nike stuff, he just doesn’t like spending his money on Nike. And obviously – my money is his money. He understands how hard it is to find gear/shoes you like, so he doesn’t complain too much. But every time I’m due for new shoes he casually mentions it’s too bad I won’t try anything else.

So, I’m due for more shoes. He mentions it again. And I remembered – Wait. They separated from Lance Armstrong and still sponsor Vick? And suddenly I just had a bad taste in my mouth. It’s not that I think you can compare the two athletes and their infractions, but I really HATE that Lance Armstrong is going to be remembered so much for the doping and not for the good he’s done in the world of cancer research. And I’m not sure if I have any positive connotations with Michael Vick…just negative.

And I thought…SHIT…now suddenly I don’t want Nike stuff.


Running shoes are tricky. Even if you go out and wear them all day, until you get 5+ miles in on many occasions, you really don’t know how running shoes are going to work for you. So, I did some research, tried on some shoes, and decided that – more often than not – people who loved the Nike Pegasus liked the Brooks PureFlow. So…that’s what I got.

It helped that they were a pretty awesome color.

I’ll run in them tonight and I REALLY HOPE they’re as awesome as they look. I hate wasting money by having to replace shoes that don’t work. I’ve had to do it with trail shoes and I really don’t want to do it with these. Especially because they’re PURPLE.

Because – let’s face it – screw how they FEEL. If they’re pretty? That’s total bonus points.


  • Steph T.

    My friend swears by her Brooks. Unfortunately, they don’t have enough arch support for my messed up feet (but neither do Nike or New Balance)…so I wear Mizuno. I hope they work for you! 🙂

  • Liv

    On my work it pinterest board I have a link to a site that asks you questions and then generates a list of recommended shoes. I also have one that I pinned talking about different ways to lace your shoes based on your foot. High/low arches, and black toenails. I tagged you in it I think.

    • zoot

      I still haven’t figured out how to look up tagging and comments in Pinterest. I only see the most recent activity on my sidebar but that’s usually just telling me that people pinned things I pinned. Can you send me the link if you get a chance?

  • stephanie

    Did you go to Fleet Feet (or another running store) to get fitted? The ones near us are really great, plus will usually let you return them if it turns out they were wrong even if they’ve already been worn. I also usually buy my running shoes on Zappos now and do my first few runs with them on a treadmill, so I can return them if needed. (Their website says to try them on indoors… a treadmill is indoors, right?)

  • Christina

    My beloved Saucony Kinvara changed dramatically from the 2 to 3 version so I thought I was going to change shoes. I have not done Nike shoes in years because generally they were too big for me even brand new but especially after a bit of use. I was planning to try out Nike and/or New Balance. I went to a couple of shops around town here and one just outright does not sell them. They called Nike ‘inferior’. The other place had them and said we do not recommend Nike because they are “not well made”. Both places are running company type stores (Fleet Feet kind of places). It made me laugh and it could just be a snobby running community here but the fact that two places had a similar opinion was very interesting to me!

    I ended up googling Kinvara 2 and found a pair in my size for a great price so I have a reprive on buying a new running shoe! I never even considered Brooks, would love to hear what you think of them. I did try Mizuno last year when I was having some foot/ankle trouble but oh my they were horrible and caused even more trouble (to my ankles). I have had Adidas (will never go back to those, they totally destroyed my legs) and Asics (eh).

    I do buy varying gear for running mostly depending on what is on sale and what fits. I do tend toward Nike clothing because it is generally well made and fits well. Never thought about who they support as a whole but who actually makes the shoes/clothing I spend so much money on and how much those workers are getting paid. There are few companies that are run ethically however. I guess it all depends on what you want and how well it works for you. Or that is how I justify it…

  • Chelsea G.

    I ran in Nike Zoom Structures at the beginning of this year and LOVED THEM. Switched to Mizunos during our half training, and while they feel okay, they give me ever-lasting blisters on the inside of my foot. Frustrating. Might just go buy some more Nikes… The blisters are getting unbearable!

    • Zoot

      Oh…I have a LONG and PAINFUL history with blisters. When I did the 13.1 class last year the pain from them almost took me out. Seriously! I tried EVERYTHING. I finally just gave up but the colder months they kinda stopped. They came back again in the summer. I think for me it ended up being about sweat! I didn’t get them as bad in the cold! Either way – they SUCK. Blisters are just awful. I hope you find something that works for you!!!!!!

  • Bre

    Hey Zoot, just wanted to comment as someone from Philadelphia, where Vick plays QB. As far as I’ve seen living here and following the Eagles (sigh), the guy seems to have learned from his despicable past and has tried to pay back some moral debt by helping our community. He’s made a few contributions to renovate some truly dismal athletic fields for local kids and speaks at local schools about his animal abuse. I just wanted to mention that as you said you didn’t have any positive connotations, not to change your mind and definitely not to support him. I guess it’s just encouraging to see some evolution in the guy, especially being in a weird spot as a fan of the team he plays for, both before and after his time here. I hope you find a good replacement shoe!

    • Cindy

      I actually want to give a +1 to this comment. You [Zoot] are totally allowed to feel however you like about whoever you like. 🙂 And I totally understand why Vick’s past still troubles many people. HOWEVER, I think one thing that gets left behind a lot is the fact that he went TO PRISON for what he did. In theory, based on our judicial system and the idea of justice in America, he broke a law, he was convicted, he did his time and he was released. Ideally at this point? He’d get a clean slate.

      It turns out, he’s a football player. Sure, we could force him to go work at a grocery store or Starbucks or any number of other jobs we deem ‘acceptable’ for past criminals to hold down. But how would that best serve him, the community or his family? He’s a professional football player. That’s what he DOES.

      What he had going was awful. Truly awful. But unlike many people who are currently dallying in criminal activity, he was caught, did his time, and is now in the position of trying to right his life.

      Now, does that mean he deserves millions of dollars from Nike? Nah, probably not. But I don’t think he deserves any less of a chance of redeeming his life and supporting his family [and hopefully his community] than anyone else. Post prison, we’re supposed to give people a chance at a clean slate, and I for one am open to granting Vick that.

      • Zoot

        No one’s saying he shouldn’t be forgiven or allowed redemption! My husband just doesn’t want to buy his stuff. Neither one of us would ever say he shouldn’t be allowed redemption, but part of making giant mistakes is dealing with the ripple effect of those giant mistakes. People will dislike you because of those mistakes. And there’s nothing wrong with that. You get a clean slate legally, but not on a personal level. I’m never going to let him dogsit for me, you know? Donnie just chooses not to like the guy. He’s not fighting to keep him in jail or demanding he not be allowed to play football. He just doesn’t like him and therefore prefers to buy products that don’t sponsor him. He’s not signing petitions to ban him from society, he just doesn’t want us to buy Nike stuff whenever there’s a choice.

        And I’m just choosing to respect that since he respects my request we don’t eat at Chik-fil-a.

        I promise we’re not saying he doesnt deserve the right to be redeemed. We’re not like that! 🙂

  • Roberta

    I’m just so jealous that you can buy fancy-colored running shoes. I have such crap-ass flat feet and orthotics, and there is pretty much ONE PAIR of shoes that works for me, and they are never purple. Sigh. P.S. Please do not tell me if you uncover any ethical issues with Asics.

  • melaniek

    Nike bugs me because it does seem sort of fickle what they can support and what they cant. Luckily for me we rarely if ever have a need to buy nike. I am trying to be more aware of what I buy in general and purchase products made in the USA if/when possible.

  • Sarah @ TM2TS

    If you don’t like the Brooks, a friend of mine got me onto Asics. I’m not sure on their supporting policies, but they’re pretty well made (I’m prone to ankle rolls, and since I purchased my Asics, I haven’t rolled when I wear them once!

  • Katy McDonald England

    Athleta. And have you tried the lululemon run:swiftly tops? MAGIC! MAGIC, I tell you! I’ve heard people love them some brooks. I think they do translate well. I loved saucony and mizunos for running and nike shocks for weight training and insanity-style HIIT.