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interesting chat with a shoe store manager, and THANKS, Carole!

Posted by Suzanne D on 6/11/02 at 08:58 (087069)

Yesterday I went shoe shopping with my daughters (for THEM, not me!), and it was an enlightening experience! They both needed new athletic shoes, and I knew from what I'd learned here that New Balance would be a good choice for both of them. My older daughter needs good shoes (had successful foot surgery 2 years ago - tiny broken bone at base of toe - healed back with jagged edges, had to be 'shaved' smooth and an inflamed nerve removed). She'll be Field Commander of her college band and putting a lot of strain on her feet in a couple of months. Younger daughter takes tap and ballet, and of course they need good shoes, anyway.

We went to 5 shoe stores. Of course I have already given up on the young salesclerks really being able to help much beyond getting the shoes from the back when necessary. So in one store where they are all on the shelves for you to browse, I just said a polite, 'We're just looking' when the young man asked if he could help.

As we looked, I launched into my 'You must take good care of your feet' speech, and then I proceeded to talk about how Carole said the SL 1 Last was more narrow and to look for that since they both have narrow feet. I could see the young manager standing at the end of our aisle, listening. He came a little closer and said, 'Are you sure I can't help you?'

I replied that I was trying to remember everything I'd read about New Balance, and I always got confused with the numbers, but I did know the SL 1 Last ran more narrow and that I wanted them to have good supportive shoes that fit right. I kept looking with my daughters. He looked rather surprised and then said, 'I wish they would send us a paper that explained all the numbers, because we don't really know!' Then he proceeded to say, 'I think I'll just sit here for awhile and SAT DOWN IN THE AISLE right where we were! (I think he wanted to make sure and hear everything I said!) He went on to say that he knew the running shoes were more supportive than the walking ones because he used to run cross country. He also said that the lower the number, the more 'casual' the shoe was. He then said, 'I can tell you that you get what you pay for. We pay 20-some dollars for all our Nike shoes here. But the New Balance cost us $56.'

Can you believe the mark-up in shoes??!

I wanted to tell you, Carole, THANKS for helping to educate me for our shopping trip! My daughter had been trying on what she liked as far as looks, but when I told her about the lasts, she found one with the SL 1 and said it really did fit much better. She had previously had on the SL 2 and her heel wiggled around some. I think it was the 805 she bought; I never can keep numbers in my head! She's already gone for work or I would check.

My younger daughter found the one she wanted, and it was the 991 like yours, Carole! We had to go to the 5th store to get it. My older daughter wears an 81/2 or 9, but her sister is more like me and needs a 10 or 10 1/2. We finally found a 10 in the 5th store, but her toes hit the ends, and she was so disappointed. Then the saleslady there said we could try a men's 9, and the only difference would be a slightly wider width. The shoes looked exactly the same. They fit her just fine, and she was so happy to get them. The gray color is pretty, and she thinks they make her feet look smaller than some others she tried. (You know how self-conscious you are at 16!)

Well, I have written a book here (sorry!), but I thought some of you might find our experience interesting, and I wanted to thank you, Carole! My daughters smile at each other and tease about 'Mama's footboard friends', but I think they were glad for what I'd learned last night!

Suzanne :-)

Re: interesting chat with a shoe store manager, and THANKS, Carole!

Carole C in NOLA on 6/11/02 at 11:50 (087112)

I'm glad they were able to find shoes that fit them well. I think my sales people had as little training as yours. The one who helped me with my 991's wanted to put an insole inside of them before I ever tried them on 'for more cushioning', because I said that I like cushioned support. She also didn't realize that the 879 which I was wearing, and referred to by number, was a running shoe, and when I mentioned the PF-1 last she looked scared. LOL

Since your daughter that bought the 991's has the same foot size as you, do you think she would mind if you wore her new shoes for a couple of hours to see how you like them? They might be a good shoe for you, and this would be a good way to find out whether or not they are, before paying the money for another pair of them.

Mine have virtually cured my knee problem. It will be interesting to see if they feel this good in a few weeks.

Carole C

Re: interesting chat with a shoe store manager, and THANKS, Carole!

Suzanne D on 6/11/02 at 16:26 (087159)

Good idea, Carole! Actually, I wear an 11, but I can see how in all my rambling in that post that it sounded as if we wore the same size. She is more like me in foot size than my older daughter. My foot is not much bigger than hers, though, and I was able to get her shoe on to walk around a bit. While the toes felt cramped because they are a little too short, the rest of the shoe really DID feel supportive and cushiony! I had one New Balance shoe on and on the other foot, my SAS shoe with the Birk insert. There was definitely more support in the New Balance, even without an insert. I was surprised at that and glad you prompted me to try it on. I guess when my pocketbook recovers from the two pair I bought my daughters, I ought to give the 991 a chance. I have to keep remembering those concrete floors I'll be on next January, and I'm going to need all the chushiony support I can find, I think.

I'm so glad to hear that your knee problem is virtually gone with these shoes. I really hope that continues for you.

Suzanne :-)

Re: knee pain is so much better

Carole C in NOLA on 6/11/02 at 17:21 (087165)

Thanks, Suzanne, I hope my knee pain stays away too.

Today I went shopping to about four stores, getting things for my trip. My knees still feel pretty good. My hip cramped up at Office Max, but it didn't happen as fast as usually. My feet feel ok, but a little tired and achy like feet with PF get. No major pains, or sharp pains, though, which is encouraging.

These shoes seem to be working pretty well for me. But then, you've heard me say that before. Whenever I get a new pair of shoes, I think they are 'The Shoe'. So, that's why I'm trying not to go overboard and gush about them! :)

I'm going to pay attention and be careful about the Achilles tendon in these shoes. For some reason, they do not feel quite as protective of it as the 879's. Maybe they are not quite as tall in the back, or maybe the heel counter is shaped a little differently. I think they will probably be fine, though.

Carole C

Re: P.S., I cannot imagine...

Carole C in NOLA on 6/11/02 at 17:25 (087166)

P.S., I cannot imagine what it must feel like to have to buy TWO pairs of NB at once like that. What a blow to the pocketbook! I felt pretty stunned buying just one pair of 991's. I can sure understand why you might want to wait a little.

Carole C

Re: Shoes made in China

Ed Davis, DPM on 6/12/02 at 10:33 (087297)

China, an a number of factories in southeast Asia can make shoes very cheaply compared to the US. The markup on NIke's is considerable although one must consider the monaey the yspend on marketing. American made New Balance shoes have a smaller markup and also have greater inventory requirments due to the multiple widths available.
Ed

Re: interesting chat with a shoe store manager, and THANKS, Carole!

Carole C in NOLA on 6/11/02 at 11:50 (087112)

I'm glad they were able to find shoes that fit them well. I think my sales people had as little training as yours. The one who helped me with my 991's wanted to put an insole inside of them before I ever tried them on 'for more cushioning', because I said that I like cushioned support. She also didn't realize that the 879 which I was wearing, and referred to by number, was a running shoe, and when I mentioned the PF-1 last she looked scared. LOL

Since your daughter that bought the 991's has the same foot size as you, do you think she would mind if you wore her new shoes for a couple of hours to see how you like them? They might be a good shoe for you, and this would be a good way to find out whether or not they are, before paying the money for another pair of them.

Mine have virtually cured my knee problem. It will be interesting to see if they feel this good in a few weeks.

Carole C

Re: interesting chat with a shoe store manager, and THANKS, Carole!

Suzanne D on 6/11/02 at 16:26 (087159)

Good idea, Carole! Actually, I wear an 11, but I can see how in all my rambling in that post that it sounded as if we wore the same size. She is more like me in foot size than my older daughter. My foot is not much bigger than hers, though, and I was able to get her shoe on to walk around a bit. While the toes felt cramped because they are a little too short, the rest of the shoe really DID feel supportive and cushiony! I had one New Balance shoe on and on the other foot, my SAS shoe with the Birk insert. There was definitely more support in the New Balance, even without an insert. I was surprised at that and glad you prompted me to try it on. I guess when my pocketbook recovers from the two pair I bought my daughters, I ought to give the 991 a chance. I have to keep remembering those concrete floors I'll be on next January, and I'm going to need all the chushiony support I can find, I think.

I'm so glad to hear that your knee problem is virtually gone with these shoes. I really hope that continues for you.

Suzanne :-)

Re: knee pain is so much better

Carole C in NOLA on 6/11/02 at 17:21 (087165)

Thanks, Suzanne, I hope my knee pain stays away too.

Today I went shopping to about four stores, getting things for my trip. My knees still feel pretty good. My hip cramped up at Office Max, but it didn't happen as fast as usually. My feet feel ok, but a little tired and achy like feet with PF get. No major pains, or sharp pains, though, which is encouraging.

These shoes seem to be working pretty well for me. But then, you've heard me say that before. Whenever I get a new pair of shoes, I think they are 'The Shoe'. So, that's why I'm trying not to go overboard and gush about them! :)

I'm going to pay attention and be careful about the Achilles tendon in these shoes. For some reason, they do not feel quite as protective of it as the 879's. Maybe they are not quite as tall in the back, or maybe the heel counter is shaped a little differently. I think they will probably be fine, though.

Carole C

Re: P.S., I cannot imagine...

Carole C in NOLA on 6/11/02 at 17:25 (087166)

P.S., I cannot imagine what it must feel like to have to buy TWO pairs of NB at once like that. What a blow to the pocketbook! I felt pretty stunned buying just one pair of 991's. I can sure understand why you might want to wait a little.

Carole C

Re: Shoes made in China

Ed Davis, DPM on 6/12/02 at 10:33 (087297)

China, an a number of factories in southeast Asia can make shoes very cheaply compared to the US. The markup on NIke's is considerable although one must consider the monaey the yspend on marketing. American made New Balance shoes have a smaller markup and also have greater inventory requirments due to the multiple widths available.
Ed