Buying Shoes

Why is buying shoes so incredibly difficult?

It should be simple – go into shop, look for shoes, pick up shoes, try them on and if they fit, buy them.

After all, that is how we buy clothes.

No – shoes have to be laid out like jewellery and we should select them daintily and then seek assistance from the staff.

In addition though, increasing numbers of shops seem to be allergic to making it easy to ascertain the price of each item. I am not excessively obsessed by prices, but I do have an upper limit and the old adage that if you have to ask how much something costs, then you can’t afford it has been adopted en-mass by the foot apparel department of fashion retailers.

Some shops will put the price tag inside the shoe so the only way to find out how much something costs is to manhandle it, but why not put it on display so that I can see at a glance how much something costs? That seems to work for most other retailers.

Having finally identified not only shoes that appeal visually, but also appeal financially – now is the task of finding a sales person. If you are lucky to find someone who deigns to assist, then invariably, the size I want to try is out of stock.

Can we go back to the way M&S used to do it? Put the stock out on display and let people help themselves. OK, the display looked a mess at the end of the day, but that was due to the combination of customers being nonchalant about putting things back were they found them, and a lack of staff to tidy up.

At least there I could pick up half a dozen pairs of shoes and find the ones that were most comfortable without playing “hunt the salesperson” each time I want to try out a new pair.

Today I tried out a range of shops, and again returned home empty handed.

M&S – prices on display, staff not.

Debenhams – prices just about visible, staff invisible.

John Lewis – lots of staff, serious lack of price tags.

Next – some prices, some staff, no nice shoes

House of Frasier – the glare from backlit shelves blinded your correspondent.

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7 Comments

  1. Ian Freeman

    House of Frasier? Have you been to Seattle? ;-)

    • IanVisits

      As Niles used to get his shoes from Italy, so I doubt he had the same problems as I do.

  2. vicky-jo

    Be glad as a bloke you don’t have bra shopping to contend with too.

  3. Andrew France

    Totally agree, I hate shoe shopping! Takes so long to find a good fit. Also have you noticed the trend in running shoes… they all look like they were designed by 5 year olds, silvery and day-glo colours with little perspex bubbles to see whatever fancy cushioning technology it has. Would be happy with plain white trainers. Bah.

  4. The staff are a mixed blessing, though – I hate being told that shoes which don’t fit will somehow magically mould themselves to my feet if I buy them, and hate even more being hassled to buy insoles, polishes, sprays and accessories that I simply don’t need.

  5. TRT

    Damn the Dolmansaxlil Galactic Shoe Corporation.

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