Chinese School Bans Imported Shoes to Stop Students From Competing Over Sneakers

Whether you’re battling bots on release day or trying to outdo your peers with the latest hyped-up kicks, being a sneakerhead can be quite competitive. At a Chinese school, the hobby’s become so popular that imported shoes have been prohibited in an attempt to stop students from trying to one-up each other with flashy footwear.

China Plus reports that Zijiang Middle School has forbidden its students from wearing foreign sneakers. The school, located in East China’s Fujian Province, reportedly issued a statement in February that addressed the growing issue of classmates comparing their sneakers. To prevent distractions and promote frugality, the school banned imported footwear altogether. According to reports, Zijiang Middle School claimed that students were spending more time comparing shoes than focusing on their studies.

The ban has been met with mixed reactions. “Some students have even told their parents that they will quit school if they aren’t given good shoes to wear,” a Zijiang teacher told thepaper.cn.

There’s also been backlash on social media, where many have argued that made-in-China sneakers are often more expensive than their imported counterparts. However, another teacher tells China Plus that the school prohibits expensive Chinese-made sneakers, too.

“Comparatively speaking, Chinese-made shoe brands are less expensive than imported ones,” the teacher said. “We also ban students from wearing Chinese-made shoe brands that cost a lot. Most parents understand and support the proposal by the school. Only a few students have been unwilling to follow the rules.”

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