I finally got back to listen to Phedippidations 159. In this one Steve burns his commercial bridges with the running shoe companies by laying bare their immoral business practices. And very well done it was as well. All of the major companies were named and shamed – some more than others, for their reliance on manufacturing units in third world countries which pay scant attention to workers’ rights. Moving their units around shamelessly to seek the lowest cost bases the corporate giants turn a blind eye to the slave-like conditions under which their goods are produced.

But it was an even-handed delivery and Steve took time to point out the small steps that these businesses are taking to alleviate some of these issues – signing up to charters, audits etc and introducing workers’ rights and more environmentally-friendly practices.

(Personally I think that the companies involved should not take any credit for any such good initiatives. If the shareholders/directors did not believe that these actions would increase profitability then they wouldn’t happen, despite all the flak).

But I did like the way in which Steve, having apparently rested his case, then suddenly got off the fence and tore into the companies involved with a passion, and invited his listeners to remember the workers who had suffered to produce the shoes we were lacing up. Excellent stuff Steve.

I am doing my bit to stop lining the pockets of Asics shareholders. I have now completed 850 miles in my Cumulus. I’m not sure what the recommendation is for ditching shoes but it’s way below that. And, in my view, too many runners who should know better parrot the line about getting injured once the shoes have ‘broken down’. Runners ought to learn how to plant their feet properly, then they wouldn’t need all the protection and cushioning that the shoe companies peddle at extortionate prices.

Just my opinion of course!

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