In search of the perfect pair of boots in Raleigh

Posted on Thursday, November 19, 2009 in Review

I had a blind date and I’d found the perfect dress to wear on my night out on the town. Now I needed the perfect pair of shoes!

I took the dress to several stores and after trying on TONS of flats, pumps, mules, heels etc., I decided that what I needed was a really nice pair of dressy boots. I decided on a pair of brown heel boots, without buckles or fur… just nice, brown leather boots with a sexy heel.  Let the search begin!!!

I started off at the Target at Triangle Town Center. They had a few pairs of nice boots, but mostly lower walking boots, climbing or hiking boots, or boots with a nice heel but all the buckles and zippers that made them look like Houdini would have a hard time getting in or out of. The prices were reasonable, however. They just didn’t have the style I wanted or needed.

My next stop was Stein Mart on Creedmoor Road. By now my best friend Alea had joined me in my search so we headed back to the shoe department. I was pretty excited to see quite a bit more styles than I had at Target! We grabbed up a few pairs in my size and got down to business. The boots were on sale at half price, so I thought I’d find a great deal for sure. Unfortunately, the boots in my size felt a size too small, and on 4 of 5 pairs I tried on, the left boot felt smaller than the right boot and wouldn’t zip up all the way. I was disappointed but still had a few other places to try out.

We headed to Marshall’s on Glenwood Avenue. I’d found a few cute shirts here before and several of my friends recommended it as a great shopping spot. We headed straight to the shoe department and then turned right around. The only pair of boots they had were black suede type boots with laces going from top to bottom on both sides of the boot.

Off to DSW near Triangle Town Center. Another problem with the way the boots fit. I enlisted Alea’s help and together we tugged, pulled, pushed, shoved and put all of our energy into getting the left boot to zip up. By now I was starting to be paranoid that my left leg was just fatter than the other, but the sales girl said that it wasn’t uncommon for one boot to be a little different than the other. Sigh.

Traffic was picking up by now so I decided to call it a night. On my way home I had a brilliant idea: there was a shoe warehouse not too far from where I lived. I decided to stop in at the SRI Shoes on Oak Forest Drive. I walked in and felt like I was in shoe heaven! I walked over to the boot AISLE and started picking out a few pairs of boots to try on. They were nice, slightly more expensive than the other stores I’d visited, but these seemed higher quality and were really only about $15-20 more, but still within the $75-100 price range I expected to pay for leather boots.

The third pair I tried on fit like a charm! The zipper slid up smoothly, both a statement of good quality and also a good fit. The heels – though skinnier than I expected – were high enough to give a super sexy look but low enough to prevent my tripping and breaking my neck. The leather was soft, not stiff, and did not buckle around my ankles giving the appearance of elephant ankles.

kcolebootsMy perfect pair of boots? Kenneth Cole’s Reaction Collection: Change of Heart boots. I love them! They are incredibly comfortable. I wear them with jeans, skirts, dresses. I’ve worn them all day to work conventions and meetings as well as out on dates. The toe appears a little pointy but are not in any way (on me) uncomfortable or pinchy. I purchased my boots at SRI for about $65, which is a steal for Kenneth Cole (shown at left in black).

My dogs are hurtin!!!

Posted on Thursday, November 19, 2009 in shoes raleigh

1185391_fsse_im_sandWhen I walk into my house after a long day at work, the first thing I do (other than dodge my super-excited dog’s wagging tail and kids running and screaming “Mommy’s home!!”) is take off my coat and kick off my shoes. If I were independently wealthy, I’d likely then head to my super-comfy chaise lounge and wait for Enrique, my personal masseuse, to give me a super-duper foot massage.

Aside from the chaos known as kids-and-dog, none of the above ever happens. I’m lucky to have a moment of silence before it’s time to start cooking dinner, check homework, tidy up, do some laundry, talk to my super cute boyfriend on the phone, and maybe catch one episode of a fave TV show before getting the kids ready for bed and then finally falling into bed myself.

Our bodies are complicated machines that keep going and going every day – whether we do monotonous and mundane tasks or we push ourselves to limits with little sleep and bad eating habits  (like that burger I ate for lunch). If your day is busy like mine, you probably want to make sure your body is working as well as it can so you have the endurance and energy to go-go-go!

It’s important to take care of our bodies with exercise, plenty of sleep and a good diet. Not to be forgotten is foot health: wearing ill-fitting shoes can have an impact on your feet. Talk to a podiatrist and you’ll find out that shoes have an impact on your foot’s bone structure, your legs, spinal alignment as well as causing ailments like blisters, corns or painful bunions which can be serious enough to require surgery.

Take a minute to pamper your feet the next time you have a few minutes. Soaking your feet in a nice tub of super warm water with moisturizers is a great way to relax in the evening, even better if you have a foot spa! Gently rub away calluses with a pumice stone. Purchase a nice manicure/pedicure set and some peppermint foot lotion to soften and moisturize your skin.

If you have any medical issues, talk to your doctor. A foot fungus can get worse if not treated. If you have pain when you walk that isn’t directly related to your shoe pinching or rubbing, you should also visit your health care provider!

Keep your overall health in mind the next time you go shopping for a pair of shoes. You want to purchase well made shoes that fit perfectly and offer proper support. If your shoe is lacking in support, pick up a pair of inserts to help out!

Check back often for more information on caring for your feet as well as all the latest on shoe shopping in Raleigh!

Some news about shoes

Posted on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 in shoes raleigh

The New York Times has reported that more than 2 billion pairs of shoes were purchased by Americans in 2004. Make the average cost for shoes around $30 and consumers have just spent at least 60 billion dollars on shoes!

Shoe shopping is fun but it’s not always easy to find what you’re looking for. In Raleigh, there are MANY places to purchase shoes and shoe accessories: department stores, mall stores and specialty stand-alone stores.

So what’s important about shoe shopping (aside from scoring the perfect pair!?)? There’s lots of factors: you may or may not know exactly what kind of shoe you are looking for. For example, you need casual shoes to wear to work every day, but do you want brown shoes or black shoes? Canvas or leather? Ladies do you want pumps or flats? Guys do you want tie up shoes or slip on loafers?

Sometimes you just need to GO to the store and browse until you see something that catches your eye. Congratulations, half the battle is won! Now on to the REALLY important stuff, like:

  • Do the shoes fit? No, really. Do the shoes really fit well or are you squeezing your foot in thinking that they will work but only if you wear them for five minutes at a time? Or are they too big and you’re convincing yourself they will work out if you stuff cotton in the toe?
  • How much do the shoes cost? Does the price fit into your budget or are you going to drop a small inheritance on a pair of shoes that are a) cheaply made and will wear out soon or b) something you’re going to wear once?
  • Are they REALLY what you are looking for or are you getting sucked into buying those cute little mules because they’re the cutest shade of pink OR are you getting those sneakers JUST cause Michael Jordan is on them?’

Well fitting shoes are important for a variety of [obvious] reasons. You want to be comfortable and avoid getting blisters or injuring your foot from wearing ill-fitting shoes for the long term. Bunions are just one painful condition you can develop from shoes that fit too tightly and cause your foot’s bone structure to change.  A shoe that doesn’t fit properly can slip off at an inconvenient time, causing the wearer to trip and injure themselves or worse: their pride!

Many Americans are feeling the crunch of the economy right now, so dropping $100-200 on a pair of shoes may not be your best bet. There are many stores offering deep discounts on their products and shoe stores are one of these: many offer BOGO (buy one get one) pricing or just discounted prices in general.

Be smart when shopping for shoes: stay within your budget and invest in a nice, well made, quality pair of shoes that will meet your needs and feel comfortable when you wear them. Check local newspapers for flyers and inserts on upcoming sales, or visit store websites to see who has upcoming sales.

We’d love to hear from you! If you have had a great shopping experience in Raleigh, share it here with other folks in the Triangle!

New Balance 1224 Running Shoe Review

Posted on Sunday, July 26, 2009 in Review, shoes raleigh

NewBalance1224New Balance is a shoe company well known for classic running shoes. Of course they have many many other options from crosstraining, hiking, and selections of dress casual shoes in their retail locations.

I picked up the New Balance 1224 Running shoe in June of 2009, at the New Balance Retail store in Raleigh. Located on Glenwood Ave. a few miles from Crabtree Vally Mall Raleigh NC. CLICK HERE for a Google Map. The staff at the New Balance were very helpfull. I do assume they earn commission.

The other very important thing is New Balance is allegedly MADE IN THE USA. Or at least 25% so says their advertising. This fact can make one feel much better about dropping $100-150 for a pair of these running shoes.

All in All. The 1224 is a great running shoe, Very suportive, durable and light!

Shoes Raleigh NC

Posted on Sunday, May 10, 2009 in shoes raleigh

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Shoes Raleigh, Welcome!

I will be covering all that are Shoes in Raleigh NC. From what shoes you can find in Saks Fifth Avenue to the cheapest of the cheap at Rugged whare house! We will also be featuring high fashion shoes, dress shoes, running shoes, boots, and casual shoes.

We will be featuring images of the hottest shoes and also the not-so-hot.

Shoes Raleigh will NOT be a For-The-Rich only shoe spot. We will feature all shoes. We definitely want to mix it up with some fun too, maybe even some shoe give-a-way’s, or gift certificates to your favorite shoe spot in the triangle.

Please be patient while we launch this new site!

Buying Shoes In Raleigh, NC Vs Online

Posted on Friday, May 8, 2009 in shoes raleigh

The right pair of shoes can make your outfit “pop” and can even be a symbol of status.

Buying Shoes Online Vs In A Raleigh Shoe Store

Buying shoes online versus buying them in Raleigh, NC from an area store is something many people simply cannot seem to get accustomed to.  For some reason, people are afraid to purchase online.  Some of the reasons include: confusing “carts” (e-commerce mechanisms), security/privacy, and also the very fear of the unknown (for those who have never previously shopped online). For the millions and millions have taken the plunge and started making purchases online, it is not that big of a deal to go to a major site and buy something new or used.  The question here is whether to buy shoes in Raleigh or get them online.

First of all, why would you buy shoes online in the first place?  That’s debatable.  If you can stop into a shop locally in Raleigh, try on your shoes and feel how they fit, how comfortable they are, and see if they truly are your style – why would you take the chance of buying them online where you can’t be sure of any of those things?

Many people prefer to shop online to save money. This is often true with shoes, but you can also have the best of both worlds – do your shopping and price comparison online, then to the local store to try the shoes on and make the purchase.

What if you try to do price comparison? Call your local shop and ask if they can pre-order the shoes you like that you found online (if they don’t already carry them in stock) and ask if they can do a price match or a price beat.  They just might!  This practice of price comparison is done in many forms of business.  Not every store will or can do so, but it’s worth asking.

Also consider how much you’ll pay in shipping costs if you buy online.  Calculate and compare your overall online price (including shipping) for the same pair of shoes, with the overall local Raleigh store price (including tax).

The reason to buy locally from an area store in Raleigh is because it supports the local economy, for one thing.  It helps create and keep more jobs in the local area (that helps your neighbors out, literally)!

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