Ugly or Not? Suplay and John Smith Spat
Willie Saylor, Editor


Last week Gary Frey, the CEO of Suplay, made some not-so-subtle, not-so-flattering remarks about John Smith's new Brute shoe, the 'JS25.' (LINK)

Frey said the JS25's are "the definition of ugly," and that "you better be a stud to wear these shoes, because I promise you won't be winning any best dressed awards."

Suplay is one of the largest retailers of wrestling products in the U.S. On one hand the comments were rather odd coming from someone vested in selling the shoe. On the other hand, the honesty was refreshing.

To his credit, Frey called Coach Smith afterward to get his opinion on the shoe. 

Here's what he wrote:

In fairness to Suplay’s “Take” on the John Smith STUDLY UGLY, JS25 Wrestling Shoe, I figured I better call John Smith, himself. He’s been using these name sake shoes for months. In addition, he has four wrestlers on his team using them.

The first question I asked John, was, “As Light as these shoes are, do they hold up?” He surprised me with his answer. First, he says “ Most Okie wrestlers go through 3 pairs of shoes in a season”. And then he adds, “But not these Babies. . .” They have been lasting almost twice as long as the other shoes used in turnout.” That’s pretty high praise from a man who knows wrestling shoes.

John, goes on to say, “I don’t endorse anything unless I can try it first”. “ I’ve tried these shoes and they meet all my expectations.” “No hanging threads, no rips in the material, no peeling away of the sole. . .I have to say these shoes are tops.”

“What about the strap / lace closing system”, I asked, “ In my mind that system looks like an invitation for an ankle pick”. John’s answer: “ I haven’t noticed an increase in ankle picks. But keep in mind, Okies, have fast feet.”

I didn’t go into the “STUDLY UGLY” aspect of the shoe. . . That view is strictly my own prospective. But I’ll tell you this: If John Smith says the JS25 is a GOOD shoe, I believe him! His word is like money in the bank. And if you like being STUDLY, you better buy a pair. . . they are in short supply.



What do you think? Ugly? Not Ugly? And does the performance counterbalance their appearance?

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