Social convention and fear
The "big brands are safe" mentality also manifests itself in reviews. In some reviews, the author will clearly write a run-away win on Risto, yet downplay how much we out-shined other brands in the star or point rating of the shoes. In most cases, it is for fear of looking foolish. Its socially acceptable to say that the Risto's are better than a billion dollar brand, but not acceptable to say we wipe the floor with a billion dollar brand-- even if we've been in the shoe business longer than said billion dollar brand. It's like how all the small cafes in downtown Portsmouth, NH are ten times better than any Starbucks in the area, yet tourists are afraid to say the little whole in the wall cafe they just went to is actually better than Starbucks, which is like the gold standard for coffee.
Specifically, what makes me cringe most in reviews is when a reviewer writes that the fact we have been around less time than a billion dollar brand as a negative; again, we have been in the weightlifting shoe business longer than some of these brands. Further, this is about buying a weightlifting shoe- not a car- most people will buy another pair in 6 months to a year out of style desires, not necessity.
With the large number of new Crossfits and corporate sponsorship of the games, some of that culture is diluted. Members will buy the product offering of the corporate sponsor namesake. Even newer members will buy what other members are wearing, so as not to stand out, even though most crossfit clothes/shoes are bright and stand out. At the games level, games athletes exclusively compete in the sponsors' products.
Sometimes people just flat out hate on the internet. In most cases, it is some one who has a gym in our area and invents a story to make themselves seem more important. When, really, would it not make more sense to work with us and reap the rewards of building a weightlifting community.