Branded vs non-branded shoes: What you need to know before buying

Multiple pairs of non-branded shoes can be bought at the price of a branded pair. But many customers rely on branded products

Published : 30 March 2024, 08:58 PM
Updated : 30 March 2024, 08:58 PM

When it comes to purchasing shoes, the dilemma between opting for branded or non-branded products is common among consumers.

With the allure of saving money, one might consider non-branded shoes as a viable option—after all, it is possible to buy multiple pairs for the price of a single branded pair.

However, many customers gravitate towards branded products for their quality and reliability.

Din Islam's recent experience serves as a cautionary tale. He purchased a pair of shoes for Tk 450 from a shop on Bangabandhu Avenue in Dhaka's Gulistan a week ago, but his satisfaction was short-lived.

“Now the shoes are damaged, but the shopkeeper is not agreeing to a return. He claims I didn’t buy the shoes from him. Just imagine how I feel!” said the employee of a private organisation.

Din's regret was palpable as he reflected on his decision, realising that investing a bit more in branded shoes could have spared him this trouble.

“I thought the cheap shoes were a good deal. Now I think it was a mistake. If I added some more money, I could have bought from a good brand and at least been able to wear the shoes for some more days without any trouble. I promise to myself that I won’t buy non-branded shoes in future,” he said.

Rumman, who works in a clothing shop and gave a single name, however, was seeking out non-branded shoes in the same area because the lower prices allow him to buy multiple pairs and match them with his dresses.

“But these shoes never last long,” he added, “Ultimately it’ll be a loss.”

“For example, if I buy two pairs of non-branded shoes at Tk 1,600, I will be able to wear them for one and a half years. But if I buy a pair of good brand shoes with this money, I will easily be able to use them for two years. I’ve done that too.

“But again, I can change the shoes if I buy non-branded ones,” Rumman said.

Footpath vendors and even many shops in Dhaka sell non-branded shoes. Sales are high because of low prices. Some also sell counterfeit shoes just by putting the logo of a good brand on the non-branded ones.

Some of the customers buy these shoes although they are aware of the disadvantages, while some others are cheated on.

Nazmul Abedin, a customer at an outlet of a popular brand in Farmgate, said he always buys from good brands.

“I had once bought a pair of shoes with the logo of Apex from a local shop in Uttara. They tore out after two days. When I took them to an Apex outlet, they said the shoes were counterfeit.”

Tanvir Ahmed, a resident of Niketan, also trusts in popular brands for shoes for two reasons.

“Firstly, the shoes are soft, light and comfortable. Secondly, they can be used randomly and sustain longer. This is why I buy shoes from popular brands despite a bit higher prices,” he explained.

Nishat Islam from the Science Lab area said: “I don’t care much about the dresses, but I always try to buy branded shoes because they are long lasting.”

According to the sellers, most of the non-branded shoes are made locally while some are imported.

But in most cases, the soles are imported and the rest is done in Bangladesh.

Abdur Rahman, a salesman of Romana Shoes at Peer Yemeni Market, said the shoes they sell are made locally with soles imported from China.

They buy the soles from importers in Nawabganj, Hazaribagh and Siddique Bazar.

They make a profit of Tk 150-200 per pair of shoes priced between Tk 750 and Tk 900, Rahman said.

Mohammad Hossain, a salesman at Panda Gallery on Bangabandhu Avenue, said they bring readymade shoes from China.

Masud Sarwar, manager of importer M/S Ratan & Co at Siddique Bazar, said they bring both readymade shoes and soles from China or Vietnam, depending on orders and demand.

They sell soles and also manufacture shoes from imported soles.

“But we’ve cut imports because of the high dollar price,” Rahman said.