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An under-the-radar gem.

Peak Men’s Basketball Shoes (eBay)

If there is one thing I never buy for myself, it’s clothes of any kind. For some reason, I’m just not interested. They’re often expensive, often boring…I just can’t get excited about them. In store there’s the hassle of trying stuff on (technically not a big hassle, I know, but not something I enjoy), whereas online there’s the issue of not being able to try stuff on. It’s quite the conundrum, and one I avoid by just not doing it.

How do I get clothes then, you may be wondering? Thankfully, my wife cares more about how I look, and so she will buy things for me that she thinks I’ll look good in, which are typically on clearance. Considering she’s right 100% of the time, I just continue to rely on this system. Then, for my birthday and Christmas, my in-laws will grab me an outfit or two, as well as underwear and/or socks…whatever I need. I mean, who needs more than two outfits? (This is a joke, by the way, but one that almost captures my true beliefs.)

I have bought two pairs of shoes in my entire life, at least that I can remember: A pair of Vostey men’s sneakers, which I previously reviewed, and then a pair of Peak Basketball shoes, once the Vostey’s bit the dust. (I also bought a pair of Vostey canvas sneakers but the less mentioned about those, the better.) I think I stumbled on Peak initially when I was purchasing the Vostey shoes, and made a mental note to check them out at some point, which is how I got the idea to go with them in the first place.

Why wouldn’t I go with an American name brand, like Adidas or Nike? I’ve had family members buy some for me in the past, and honestly didn’t feel like they lasted as long as they should have, given their price and reputation. True, since I didn’t pay for them, the price wasn’t so much of an issue then, but it quickly became one when it came time to pay for my own kicks. And so Peak naturally seemed the way to go, as they had solid reviews, and a price that just couldn’t be beat. Plus, they come in a wide variety of sizes and colors, so it was easy to find something that would fit my personality. Which, as it turned out, was gray. 

I received them in July, 2020 and was instantly impressed with their fit and comfort…right off the bat, they were some of the most comfortable shoes I’d ever owned. There was an adequate amount of cushioning that just seemed to envelope the foot in softness, and moving in them just felt completely fluid. I almost felt bad for buying them just for day to day use, because they truly did feel like something that should be worn out on a basketball court.

Flash forward to the present day…and these are still the best shoes I’ve ever owned. I have worn them to work pretty much daily over the span of two years, where I walk at least 10,000 steps almost every single day. I also wear them as my day-to-day shoe at home. That’s where I log even more steps at the grocery store, or running around incessantly with our five-year-old son, and they have held up better than any shoe before it.

They have some obvious wear and tear, which is only natural for a shoe that’s been in all types of weather for two years, but the issues are mainly confined to the shoe’s exterior. I also had to replace the laces, a common issue for me (I must tie my shoes way too tight) but that was the only “fix” I’ve had to apply to keep them going.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect that I’ve discovered is that these are still comfortable as hell. I’m sure the inner padding has worn down some over the years – how could they not after wearing them so long – but they cause no discomfort whatsoever to my feet, legs or ankles, even after long days standing up and moving around (I wish I could say the same for the rest of my aging body). I expected to get maybe a year out of these, but they have far exceeded my expectations.

One additional weird, random “bonus”: Dog shit seems incredibly easy to wipe off of them. I don’t know if it’s some weird coating they use on the bottom, or just the way they’re designed, but our condo complex has a serious problem with people not picking up after their dogs. Naturally, with my son and I running around everywhere during all seasons of the year, we’re going to step in it more frequently than we’d like. And somehow, all it takes is just a couple swipes into clean grass to get virtually all of it off. (Of course, I still run them under the hose just to make sure, for my wife’s sake.)

The only negative that I can really think of is simply an unfortunate result of business: In the two years since I bought them, the price has doubled. I got them for $30 in May, 2020 (which doesn’t include a $5 coupon I also used), and now, the exact same pair is $60. 

But given their performance, would you believe it if I told you that I would easily pay that for another pair? I mean, for someone who has no interest in shoes, and who also likes saving money, the fact that I would even contemplate spending $60 on a pair of shoes is unfathomable; the fact that I would easily do it without hesitation is even more mind-blowing. These shoes really are that good. 

Who knew some of the best brands are the ones that don’t spend millions of dollars a year on advertising?

Overall: 10/10. The most comfortable shoes I’d ever worn when I got them back in July, 2020, and still the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn, two years later. I wore these pretty much daily in the two years between, and outside of the obvious exterior wear and tear, these have held up admirably. Even though the price has doubled in the two years since (from $30 to $60), I wouldn’t hesitate to pay that for a new pair. In fact, I will be doing that very soon. Amazing, durable shoes that can go toe-to-toe (get it?) with the big boys.

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