A part of the market not talked about
Somewhat piggy backing on the article I wrote a few days ago, a part of the market that seems to be widely ignored these days are the sub-$90 boots. There was a time when you could an excellent pair of boots for less than $90 and would be considered the mid-tier level boots. These days, the sub-$90 price-points are low-level or entry-level boots. Again, the argument that inflation has a played a part only goes so far. For a majority of people, high-end boots are simply out of their price range, even though this is a large part of the global market.
Brands seem to treat this price ranges as an afterthought. Every once in a while, a decent boot will come out under the $90 price point, but it is few a far between compared to what it used to be. Nike used to have some excellent boots right at $100, which were the Tiempo Classics. Similarly, Adidas used to have the adiCore line which sat below $90. Diadora used to have some of the best value boots on the market with the Maracana Ks which originally retailed at $90. Even below the old mid-tier price ranges you used to be able to find some decent boots, like the older Tiempo Mystic IIs or the adiNovas.
Synthetic boots also used to be covered around the $90 price point. The Mercurial Talarias and the adidas F30s both came in below this price. One can make the point that the mid-tier synthetic boots are superior to the models that used to be offered and they would be right, in my opinion. In case of synthetics then its hard to say that things used to be better when they were cheaper because the materials had improved in leaps and bounds since the days of the F30s and Talarias.
The point still stands for leather boots, though. Yes, it has become more expensive to produce leather boots but no I don’t think that jacking up the price to their current levels is acceptable. There is a large gap in the market for a good leather boot that is under $100 and I think that the big 3 should produce more boots like. I am aware that the Copa 19.2, the Nike Premier and the New Balance 442 retail $110 and $95, respectively However, $90 always seemed like a price point where a lot of parents and players would reach their max. The thought of paying $100 or above is difficult for a lot of people and they often don’t think of in terms of relative value, but more that $100 is $100. This is similar to the idea that when a new brand enters the market, their high-end boots shouldn’t go above $200, but that’s a discussion for another day,
There is also an argument that can be made that people should look at boots that are on sale. My response is that it is true that these days there are so many boots on the market prices drop quickly, people shouldn’t have to rely on that. What’s more, as I have argued before, that’s telling people who do pay full price that their boots aren’t worth the full retail amount. There should be good boots on the market that always retail below $90.
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