Bargains good for your sole
Editor's Note: The following column originally appeared in the Feb. 19, 2004 edition of the Nevada Daily Mail.
I hated to see another store leave the Square when the Shoe Wearhouse went out of business. I didn't buy very many pairs of shoes there, because I don't buy very many pairs of shoes. I seem to have feet that are hard to fit and if I find a pair that fits well, then I wear them until they are an embarrassment.
But I feel strongly that all of us who bemoan the changes on the Square must do our part to patronize those stores that are there. (The same is true for restaurants. If we want them to be available, we must go there to eat from time to time.) But, back to the shoe store. I can remember when there was a shoe store on at least three sides of the Square. Mendenhalls, Stumps, Davis and probably some others that I am not remembering were all on the Square. Now we have lost Body and Sole as well as the Shoe Wearhouse.
I did go into the store a couple times during their closeout sale and found some good buys. One pair of snow boots only cost me $2.27, and they were very good boots. They came up to my calf, had a Velcro fastener to make them easier to put on and had an inner lining. The only drawback was that they were two sizes too large. But for $2.27, what's a little thing like size? I figured that when I was going out in the snow I would be wearing extra heavy socks, possibly even two pair. They would fit nicely in these ample boots.
Very soon after I made this purchase I was an election judge. Our polling place was the nice garage at the Hayes' house. They had given us two large electric heaters, but the wiring would only allow one at a time to be used. We had brought a portable kerosene heater also, but it was still rather chilly to be sitting for 13-1/2 hours in the garage. But my feet were nice and warm.
I wore a pair of thick socks under a pair of slipper socks inside my new boots. Other parts of my body got cold but not my feet. I got my money's worth on that one day.
My problem came when I was driving to and from the voting place. I am not used to so much bulk on my feet and I had problems adjusting the pressure on the accelerator and even found it a little hard to move that bulk from the accelerator to the brake pedal. Fortunately there is very little traffic at 5:15 a.m. on Highway 54 so I didn't have any traffic problems. At one time I didn't think the vehicle was getting enough gas no matter how forcefully I pressed on the accelerator. I discovered that my foot was actually more than half off the desired spot. When I adjusted that I had no further problems.
When I was telling this story to friends they suggested that I probably was buying from force of habit with my children and grandchildren, thinking that I will grow into the shoes if I wait long enough. I don't think that my feet are still growing, but I am not sure. When I used to buy one size, I found that after a few weeks the shoes didn't fit well anymore. The stiffness of the leather had relaxed and my foot had a different feel in the shoes. But when I went to a larger size that didn't seem to be a problem. So did my foot grow, or did my vanity shrink? I suppose that when you gain weight some of that fat will find its way to your feet. I wonder if it makes you have fatter toes, or gives you more padding on the bottom of your feet? I hope I don't really grow into those boots!