Today was shoe shopping day, one of my least favourite activities. Not just because it’s shopping related, but because of the difficulty and disappointment. I have size 15 feet, and need both a wide, and tall shoe. My foot is more round than flat.
Not that I’m complaining. My feet get me where I’m going. I wish sometimes I could treat them better and give them a lighter load, but they don’t complain – much.
Anyway – shoe shopping. Normally this involves going to every store in the vicinity and coming home empty handed. Today we are in Chicago visiting family so I figured I’d give things a shot down here and see what I came up with.
My usual go-to store is Payless. Normally at the very end of the last men’s aisle there is a single row of size 15 shoes. Sometimes they have 1 or 2 pair of ‘wide’ style shoes and if they aren’t horrific I take them home. I was in luck today, they were a semi-ugly grey and blue (I prefer black) that mostly fit and weren’t too uncomfortable. Score! They were even on sale so the fact that they’ll fall apart in 4-5 months isn’t a big deal.
There was also another shoe store down the block, so I figured I would poke in there as well. It was a “Famous Footwear”. I think I’ve shopped in one before and had good luck – for those of you who haven’t been. They have brand name stuff, generally marked down quite a bit and clearing out.
I quickly got the idea of their sticker system, 14 and 15 size have big yellow stickers on them (awesome for guys like me to quickly find them) and the Wide styles have seperate stickers. My job – match up two of those and hope they fit. A woman came ot see if I needed help pretty quickly, I usually feel awkward asking – mostly because I usually get the slow sad head shake – but I asked anyway. “Anything in a 15 wide?”. The automatic “What style do you like” came out, but it doesn’t really matter. I’ve learned not to be too picky, and to wear almost anything since there usually isn’t more than a few options. “Whatever is fine”.
I got the quick tour, The stickers were explained and after striding most of the length of the store we didn’t find any 15 wide shoes at all. The helpful lady offered to go see if some other stores had any, I acquiesced without any real hope and kept looking. In the very back corner of the store I found a few options, one pair of white and blue “new balance” and one pair of Nike air. It’s been ages since I’ve seen Nike in my size so I tried them on first. Good fit, terrible that they’re white, but … Nike air! I tried the others as well, and they fit (I’m wearing a pair of new balance now so know they are a good option). They were also having a sale, buy one get one 1/2 off. I took both pair and called it a day.
I don’t remember the last time I had 3 pair of new white shoes, since I don’t even like white shoes, but hey – I’ll take it. I don’t know how many stops I’ve made and asked for size 15 shoes and been told that they just don’t make them that big. Mostly at the sportier stores, How are big guys supposed to buy some nice high tops and go for a run? Shoe stores, if you’re out there – I’d love some more shoe options! I’m not that picky, just something that fits nice and lets me get through the day without my feet wanting to fall off. Something cool looking with flashing lights would be nice too.