Nov 22, 2000 at 12:00 am

Shoes don’t provide as much leeway for personal expression as other articles of clothing. First of all, they are not as easy to find size-wise as shirts, you can’t make or modify shoes like you can shirts or underwear and, finally, it is hard to find really odd, one-of-a-kind shoes. Luckily, it is now possible to order custom-designed shoes at for $65-$80. Pick boots, running shoes or the Hey Day’78 “classic” tennis shoe. Select a model, choose colors and options, and then the info will be shipped over to a “worker-friendly” factory in Taiwan and your new shoes delivered to your mailbox. Click on the “Destination Asia” section of the Web site, and pictures of the factory appear with statistics about the average worker age and a list of all the good things about the factory. In case you’re wondering why the shoes are made in Asia, the site explains that different countries specialize in producing certain items. It just so happens that Asian people make shoes better than Americans do — and all along, I thought it was just about economics.

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