Intelligencer Journal from Lancaster, Pennsylvania on July 19, 1990 · 23
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Intelligencer Journal from Lancaster, Pennsylvania · 23

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Location:
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Thursday, July 19, 1990
Page:
23
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Two-year-old Michael Collins shows off one of his two pairs of Air Jordan sneakers to the accompaniment of a chorus line of Andre Agassi cross-trainers, Reebok Pumps, neon aqua socks and Asics running shoes. u Chris Noonan Sturm Intelligencer Journal Staff ustdoit. Just pick out a pair of sneakers, rather, athletic shoes, from the 100 or more that cover a wall at the sporting goods store. Confused? Dizzy? Pining for the good old days when all you had to choose from were Converse andKeds? Too bad. They dont make sneakers anymore. They make athletic shoes or sports shoes. Sure you can still buy Chuck Taylors, those canvas hightops your dad played basketball in, but youre more likely to see them on a fashion show runway than a basketball court. If you need guidance on whats hot, just drive by the nearest hang-out of the male junior high school set. Youll find Reebok Pumps that cost a wallet-busting $170. And Air Jordans, already a classic in sports shoes. And Nike Airs, the must-have shoe on the basketball court. And, if youre in the city, British Knights in their trademark black and white. How important is it that a kid get the right shoe? Listen to what happened to Jeff Binzen, a salesman at The Inside Track sports shoe store at Lancaster Shopping Center, when a youngster couldnt afford to buy the popular shoe. Ill show a young kid a Nike shoe and hell ask Can you write Air on it? Binzen says, smiling and shaking his head. They say, This is what Jimmy has or This is what Bobby has. Most of the f a ve shoes are hightop basketball shoes. But dont assume that it means these kids spend every waking hour playing hoops. And dont assume its only kids who buy sports shoes. Adults buy them for all types of exercise including doing the couch potato. Retirees buy sports shoes for walking and toddlers buy them because, well... They look just like the guys, explains Air Jordan wearer Michael Collins, 2, son of Chanabelle Reinoso, Lancaster. He has four other pairs of sneaks: anotherpairof Air Jordans, a pair of Ree-boks, and a pair of Stan Smith shoes. These days, many sneakers are made primarily for fashion rather than athletics. According to one estimate, at least 80 percent of the athletic shoes sold are not used for playing sports. Experts say wearing fashion shoes such as L.A. Gear and British Knights can be harmful to your feet if you wear them to do serious exercise. Some manufacturers go out of their way to feminize their sneakers by accenting them with rhinestones, . studs, fringe or even black and red lace. More people are buying shoes for fashion. That is the biggest change in the business, says Scott Fix, owner of Bargain Sneakers in Rockvale Square for the past six years. And this is serious business. Americans spent $5.2 billion on athletic footwear last year, a 39 percent increase compared to 1988, according to the National Sporting Goods Association headquartered in Mt. Prospect, 111. Sports shoes have become a deadly serious business in some cities, where poor youths are killing one another over sport shoes and other athletic wear, Sports Illustrated recently reported. What designers and engineers did for the car industry they are now doing to the sneaker business. I first gotem because they were controversial. People said It must be nice to spend 200 bucks on sneakers. Robert Downard gj On why he wears Reebok Pumps J . Sports shoe companies come out with new models every year, sometimes each sports season, to much fanfare and advertising expense as much as $200 million a year. Next years Air Jordans wont look like this yearss. No longer simply black or white, sports shoes come every color in the rainbow, and then some. Neon is every where this year. The newest shoe on the block is the $27.95 aqua sock a light-weight rubber and mesh slipper dotted with splashes of neon. Its used for traction around the pool or while wind surfing. New designs are touted as the latest in style and or performance improvements. A Reebok shoe with the Energy Return System has coils in the bottom which contract on impact then spring back and, supposedly, return energy. Airbags and packets of gel placed in strategic points throughout the shoe promise more cushioning, support and comfort. Some of this stuff may help someone with weak ankles experience fewer sprains. But thats about it. Its not going to help you play better, says Binzen, 21, who is a runner. Nothings going to make you run faster or jump higher. Only practice will do that. But at Manor Township park, where youre liable to find a pick-up basketball game every fair evening, Robert Downard, 20, sat on the sidelines wearing a pair of Reebok Pumps with their trademark orange basketball pump on the tongue of the shoe. I first gotem because they were controversial, says Downard, talking about the companys controversial TV ad showing two men bungee jumping off a bridge. And people said It must be nice to spend 200 bucks on sneakers. He doesnt tell them he bought the shoes for $100 while he worked at Foot Locker. John Jones, 23, who sits beside Downard on the sidelines, smiles and shakes his head as he continues. Im kind of like a sneaker freak, says Downard, who owns nine pairs. I buy sneakers for fashion, so people say Look at his sneakers. And they do, especially when hes wearing his purple and green Air Jordans. John Im a Nike man Jones is full of disdain when you bring up the energy return coils exposed at the bottom of some sneakers. You could have a brick in there, he says of their usefulness. Even Downard admits the Pumps feel as heavy as work boots when hes just walking around, though they do support his troublesome ankles during play. Jones thinks Air Jordans, of which he has a couple pairs which cost about $130, are the most comfortable shoes you can lace your feet into. But he wears Nike Airs, not Jordans, to play ball. I pay the money for the name. I dont want anybody stepping on them. History of vacations tells why we get away from it all DEARBORN, Mich. The person who first noticed that vacations are anticipated with great joy and remembered with great nostalgia but experienced with great difficulty must have been a trenchant observer of the American experience. Imagine, for a moment, Mom and Dad at the dinner table proposing ideas for the summer getaway. The old folks are dreaming of scenic vistas and relaxation. The children hunger for the nerve-jangling stimulation of carnivals, dolphin shows, cartoon characters in costume and, if at all possible, live rap music. Reconciling the two approaches isnt easy : . , either the parents must suffer Walley World or the children must suffer Yellowstone. Perhaps theyll both suffer a compromise. But years later, no one will admit having had a bad time. From the 19th century through the 1940s, as paid vacations evolved from a managerial privilege into a routine benefit for most work ers in the United States, the habits and customs of travel grew more varied but also more ingrained. As a way of examining the national pastime of getting away from it all, curators at the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in Dearborn have collected more than 400 artifacts from the mid-19th century to the present, as well as hundreds of photographs and reproductions of advertisements and travel brochures. Americans on Vacation opened at the museum on M ay 26 and will remain on view through September 1991 . The show will then go More VACATIONS on C-2. Audio tapes erase kids boredom on the road Nicole Wise New York Times A re we there yet? That cry from squirmy children on road trips is enough to drive a parent crazv. Some are turning to Ride With Me tapes for relief. Almost like a guided tour, the tapes turn the scenery whizzing by into family entertainment. They offer history, folklore, interviews with local residents quizzes, games and music. More TRAVEL on C-2

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