Nike Free Defective

DSC_9057 I thought I found the perfect atheletic shoes -- for walking, running, and more importantly, for doing wushu and tai chi. The Nike Free. When it first came out, I brought a pair online from Finish Line. It was great. I was happy. Until about a month and half later...

The mesh material started tearing from the heel, on both shoes. Since it happened at about the same time, and on both feet, I am pretty sure that it is not damaged by me hitting something. (Especially not on the heel)! Examining the tear, it is obvious that the glued attachment at that point is not very strong.

I emailed customer service, and they told me that if I think it's a manufacturer defect, I can bring it back to the physical store and exchange them within 90 days. I took them back to the store, and they were nice about it -- exchanging them for a new pair. However --

They said the reason for the tear is that I must have stepped on the heel to take the shoes off, which I do sometimes. They said Nike actually will not take the shoes back from the store because they do not believe that is normal wear and tear. The store must have gotten a lot of return/exchange requests, they said now they tell the customers not to step on the heel to remove the shoes when they buy them.

What do you think? The shoes are great. You can even use the Nike iD system to customize a pair for yourself. But for $105 a pair, would you think you need to remember to not step on the heel when removing the shoes?