Decreasing Returns

Why mid-tier boots are poor value for money

With the recent release of the X Ghosted series, and the earlier release of the Predator 20 series, adidas seems to have fixed a lot of issues with the mid-tier boot range. Nike seems to finally have a competitor at this level and there are now a lot more options for customers at the under $150 price range. It can only be seen as a win-win for customers since adidas and Nike will both be expected to keep pace with each other at the $100-$150 price points, which is an extremely competitive price range.

There is a major issue with boots at this price point though. Over the past few years there has been a massive influx of colourways and releases at the highest price points for football boots. This has led to more high-end boots being marked down on sale in order to clear out inventory when the next releases launch. Even though some brands high end boots don’t always immediately drop to the same price points as mid-tier boots, there are so many releases that you are almost guaranteed to find at least one colourway dropped to a similar price point.

This is especially true when a new model is released. Think of how cheap the adidas X19.1 can be found now that the X Ghosted has released. The same can be said for Nike when the Vapor 13 replaced the Vapor 12. There are almost always bargains that can be found somewhere. And the less said about Puma’s messy releases, probably the better.

Both of the previous examples can be used as arguments for reasons why you shouldn’t ever buy a newly-released boot since they are bound to quickly go on sale or you can save money by just buying the previous model. The deeper point that can made is that since there are so many price drops on high-end boots it virtually renders the mid-range price points pointless.

For example, if you found a Vapor Elite 12 on sale for the same price as a retail pair of Mercurial Pro 13, there is no reason why you wouldn’t want to choose the older, higher-end boot, even account for colour preference. This isn’t even going into the second-hand market, where there are almost always decent deals to be found.

There are exceptions to this, with Diadora recently dropping a good mid-tier model with the Brasil B-Elite Pro and Mizuno and ASICS both offer excellent options at these price points but in the case of the Japanese brands, these are really only offered in their home market.

A conundrum now exists for brands and consumers. The mid-tier boots are getting better but at the same time are becoming more expensive and overlap with the sale prices on high-end boots. Even if you aren’t buying the boot yourself and someone else is, you’re going to want to get the best bang for your buck. This also means that mid-tier boots are becoming less important and less popular at a time when they should be trying to offer better value for money.

The market saturation won’t allow this to happen and it would be understandable if some brands begin to drop their mid-tier price points. Though it’s not like this will happen because since Nike and adidas won’t, everyone is forced to play along.

What are your thoughts on mid-range boots?

BootWizard is still trying to raise money for a new camera (while also selling his collection to help as well) so if you can donate, please help and support a small creator!

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All photos credit Kishispo/Kemari87

aglockhart

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