My name is Kevin, and I am the store manager at Harrison’s Footwear, in Poulsbo. In nine years of service, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many thousands of you and your feet. Every experience has taught me something about people, their feet and their relationship with shoes. One of the best parts of my job is sharing this experience with those who want to preserve their feet by making good choices about footwear. That said, the best choice anyone can make about footwear is to think in terms of a collection.
Why a collection?
Because wearing the same shoe for everything is impractical, costly and bad for your health. Different style-types have different advantages and drawbacks. For example, you can step into a clog, but your foot must hold it on every step; athletic shoes are the most technically functional, but they look silly with a dress, and so on.
There are many reasons some people choose to wear the same shoe every day. When looking for shoes, people soon discover that shoe sizes aren’t consistent - even within a brand! Without a frame of reference for sizing or an understanding of what support is right for them, many find shoe shopping to be frustrating and challenging. They consider themselves lucky to find a shoe that’s comfortable; when they do, they wear it constantly.
For some, the expense of a quality shoe is too high until their feet are too injured to ignore. Others are resistant to change and prefer the simplicity of just replacing the same shoe again and again. Whatever the reason, there is a better way.
A good shoe collection will help create a balance of function with your personal sense of style. If you’re concerned about cost, remember a shoe that is rotated into service, as part of a collection, will last far longer since it can decompress and air out between wearing. A collection may require a larger initial investment, but you will save money over time.
Any shoe you wear will create a unique alignment of your foot, which is supported by your anatomy and muscular strength. Some shoes will make your foot work harder, where others will practically walk for you. Either way, utilizing the same muscles with every step will eventually create an imbalance in the breakdown/recovery process your body requires for optimum health. In other words, you’ll risk wearing out not just your shoe, but your body, too!
From my observations, I strongly suspect that many foot problems are the result of repeated walking in the same type of shoe (i.e. “I only wear clogs!”) Your feet are always adapting to become more efficient at what they are asked to do most. Simply using different shoes for different purposes allows some muscles to recover, or others to be exercised (you may want a supportive slipper, for instance, to help your feet recover from an extended work day).
What is a collection?
A shoe collection should represent your individual lifestyle and include options for everything you spend the most time doing. Unless you’re dealing with severe mobility issues which limit your ability to wear certain types of shoes, you should have shoes of all types and with varying levels of support – use them for the activities they’re suited for. In general, the more you will be asking of your feet, the more supportive your shoe should be. You don’t need a walking shoe to go the movies unless you’ll be walking there. Unless you have mobility issues, I say wear them all: clogs, slip-ons, high-heels, you name it… just not exclusively.
How do I build a collection?
Think about what you spend the most time doing and invest there, first (for many, this is an all-day work shoe). Then build a core collection, including a house shoe, an adventuring shoe (rugged, waterproof with good tread), an athletic shoe (for exercise), a dress shoe, a sandal and a boot. Then expand your collection by adding colors and variations which compliment what you already own.
Online shoe shopping is a crapshoot. If you shop for shoes online, weigh the time and shipping costs into the equation. Remember, your feet are unique to you, and your result with a product will not be the same as someone else’s – don’t base your purchase on reviews as you might with other products. Although there are savings to be had on discontinued items, online shoe prices are set by the manufacturers and monitored, just like retail stores. Many are surprised to find our prices match those they’ve seen on the internet from major internet retailers. The difference is the service. Don’t assume you’re saving money just by shopping online.
Build a relationship with a shoe store, like Harrison’s Footwear, where the employees spend all day fitting shoes and know their products. Be sure to explain what you want from the shoe and how you intend to use it. Be wary of those who say you wear a given size. Any seasoned shoe-fitter knows that sizes vary greatly and their goal should be to find styles that work with your foot’s shape. In our store, we take pride in our ability to provide footwear solutions to nearly anyone with almost any need. You may have noticed we love what we do, here.
Of course, the best way to enjoy significant savings while building or adding to a collection is to attend Harrison’s Footwear’s clearance sales. We are currently planning our next sale, in February, and look forward to seeing you there!
Thank you to all our friends for shopping here and trusting us with your feet!
|Men's Collection example||Women's Collection example|