New Running Shoes and why QR Codes are Stupid

Brooks Running shoes

I inaugurated my new running shoes yesterday. On the left are the 407.03 mile-old Brooks and on the right are the brand spanking new (6 miles old) Brooks. The old pair lasted a year+ which is a bit longer than usual, but I haven’t been running as much in the past 12 months as previous years.

Comparison of running shoes' soles

You can see here the difference in tread between 6 miles and 407 miles. You can also see the sand still caked on from running on the beach at St. Simons, a very worthy send off for any running shoe in my humble opinion.

There is a tiny bit of an issue with the new shoes, though. It is evidenced in this image:


A QR code in the shoe? What the hell? First off, QR codes are probably the worst piece of metadata ever. Who wants to take the time to scan one of these, just to go to some website which is probably an advertisement? You have to pull out your phone, turn on the correct app, try and get it well lighted, scan the code, and then wait for the (probably horribly formatted) web page to load.

“But!” I thought, “Maybe it’s useful information about the shoe? Size? Care?”

Just to assuage my curiosity1 I scanned it (with great difficulty because, you know, it’s hard to get light inside a black shoe) and ended up at a facebook page about the Brooks running company.

Bad, bad, Brooks. You do not win brownie points for sending me to a generalized corporate page, and you decidedly lose them for sending me to facebook! I hate facebook. So much so that I will never capitalize it again.

Just to evaluate this on a rational basis, I will occasionally try to scan this code, because as you can see, it’s in my shoe, under the heel! How will this not wear down to uselessness?

Argh! Don’t use QR codes, people! They’re stupid and useless, or at least the way they’re used is stupid and useless2 I can think of ways that a QR code would be useful, but I don’t see any of those executed, and more often, a less ugly method (just putting the menu of your restaurant in the window!) is more useful.

  1. Actually more to prove what I already knew; that this is a horrible waste of reflective tape and my time. []
  2. I recently saw a QR code on a billboard on I-75 in Atlanta. Seriously?! Everyone crash when you’re trying to scan the billboard! []
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4 Responses to New Running Shoes and why QR Codes are Stupid

  1. Annie says:

    What is your opinion on this use of QR codes? Klagenfurt, Austria .

  2. Bill Ruhsam says:

    Annie: Neat, but rife with the potential for abuse. One of my big problems with QR codes is that you really have no idea where it’s taking you, like a tinyurl or other link shortener.

    I’m just generally distrustful of them.

  3. Tom says:

    I fully agree with everything Bill said. I’ve only scanned a few of these and they’ve all been hard to scan and total marketing crap. That is definitely one of the worst placements yet.

  4. Pingback: Brooks’ QR Code License is Revoked | The Evil Eyebrow

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