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Old 12-22-04, 11:27 PM   #1
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Totally off topic question about shoes

So my sister-in-law works at Best Buy, and she's on her feet all day running from one end of the store to the other. I keep telling her part of the problem of why she comes home completely exhausted is her choice of shoes- she goes to Payless and gets whatever is on sale, and they last about a week, and they provide no support. So for Christmas, I decided to get her a pair of shoes. I'm not sure which brand to buy, so I'm wondering if anyone out there has a recommendation. The only requirements for Best Buy is that the shoes be brown or black. Other than that, it can be any attire.

I'm trying to give the thoughtful gift this year.... and I only got in yesterday, which is why this is so last minute. The only way I could determine what she really wanted and needed was to sit down and throw a ton of questions at her in a casual manner so she couldn't figure out what my true motives were.

I know Reebok makes a nice shoe that's for high impact aerobics, but I'm wondering which Reebok shoe it is, because I couldn't find it on the website. I just remember it's all black and I've seen people wear it at the gyms. That's a possibility, but if anyone knows of any other shoe I can pick up, I'm all ears. I've got to pick it up on Thursday, and please... no Payless or "Payless-type" stores. I don't know how many times I've told this girl that rather than buy 5 pair of $20 shoes from Payless every year, why not buy a good $100 shoe from a nice department or specialty store that will last at least a couple of years, provide good arch support, and withstands high impact activity?

If you live in Arlington, Virginia, or nearby, and you know of any stores, I'm especially interested to hear your recommendations!

Thanks,

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Old 12-22-04, 11:50 PM   #2
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Maybe instead of a new pair of shoes. They are quite the personal choice IMO. Why don't you just take her shoe shopping, but insist on final approval. You could set it up with a nice card explaining just what you posted here. Start the ball roilling with, "Cheap shoes suck"........
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Old 12-23-04, 12:05 AM   #3
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I only want to get it for her for Christmas for the surprise factor. Also, I've already taken her shopping for shoes in the past (two times this year alone), and it always comes back to the cheap shoes. I've given her money and asked her to invest in shoes, then she comes home with like 4 pair of Payless shoes, which she proudly thrusts into my hands proclaiming her shopping savvy for saving me so much money by getting the buy one get one free shoe store policy at Payless.

I just don't trust that heffa. Help me out here. Work with me...

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Old 12-23-04, 12:30 AM   #4
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Hi,
there are quality sneaks made for walking, that come in brown or black.I'd go with a walker, instead of an aerobic shoe. Some are approved for Postal workers.Those are supportive and rugged. What I do is find which New Balance sneak works for me, and then get it from one of the factory outlets. They do mail order, but they just changed systems, and it's a pain. http://www.newbalance.com/loc/en/pro...hletic+Walking

I would also bet she would like some good inersoles, Shock Doctor Ultra to be precise, http://www.shockdr.com/loBand/loBand.html
If she is a size 5 or 6 (or you) Sierra has them real cheap. Got the wife a half dozen pairs there. http://www.sierratradingpost.com/sea...or_results.htm
I have gotten three pair so far. I recently got the Custom for my hiking boots. Got the ULtra2 for work. And I got a pair of Ultra 2 Low Profile for cycling. My Sis is getting me yet another pair of Low Profile for Xmas. I have 2 pairs of cycling shoes, work shoes and boots, a hiker, I have got to say that company must be giving out Christmas bonuses just on the money I'm sending them

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Old 12-23-04, 03:43 AM   #5
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I'd go with New Balance, if possible. Can't remember what type of insoles I have, but I'm on my feet all night except for breaks so I know about foot/leg/back pain on the job. I picked up a new pair last month(couldn't wear the old pair-gotta be all leather) and I feel much better for it. I went from xmart specials that seemed to take forever to break in back to New Balance and all is right with the world(of my feet). Some NB's are relatively inexpensive for what you get-think mine were $50-60(on sale at Finish Line). I've got a pair of 805's and 574's(for work). Doc Martens might work okay for her. Mine are really comfortable, but I can't handle standing in them all night--even with insoles. HTH.
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Old 12-23-04, 08:00 AM   #6
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Having worked for over 10 years in an industry which pretty much required me to be on my feet all damn day, I can honestly say that the best pair of shoes I've found for that purpose are Doc Martens. My wife also swears by Birkenstocks (and yes, they do make "normal" shoes, not just funky sandals). The Docs are extremely durable (my pair is over 5 years old), and don't require much in the way of care/maintenance. Birkenstocks can be durable if you take care of them. Since Birkenstock recommends wearing them every other day to allow the cork to air out, I'd lean more towards the Docs. Speaking of which, I also found that when I alternated between two pairs of shoes, even somewhat inexpensive ones, the shoes lasted longer, and my feet didn't hurt as much. The last time I did alternating like that I switched between a pair of Nike cross trainers and a pair of Reebok cross trainers. Of course, I wasn't on my feet all day, only 1/2 to 3/4 of the day.

If you go to the Dr. Martens site, and use their store locator, you'll find at least 5 stores that carry them in the Arlington area (Comfort One Shoes--3 locations, Nordstrom, and Smash!). I'd strongly recommend that you take her shopping, since Docs only come in full sizes, and shoes are a very personal choice. You might want to consider getting her a gift certificate/card to one of those places.
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Old 12-23-04, 08:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monogodo
<snip>shoes are a very personal choice. You might want to consider getting her a gift certificate/card to one of those places.

Gotta agree there. Shoes are the most personal of our aparrel. What feels good on your foot, might feel horendous on hers. Always take your feet with you when you go shopping for shoes!
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Old 12-23-04, 08:36 AM   #8
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Koffee,

Here is a great shoe type. http://www.zcoil.com/

My neighbor is a UPS guy and he has really bad knees and ackles. He swears by them. He is trying to get UPS to approve them for all employees. I have a pair as well and loved them. They made my back and legs a lot less tired. I bought my husband a pair of sneakers(I had the clogs.) You would think you would walk funny in them, but you don't at all.
At first I thought everyone would make fun of the look, but last time I was at the airport, ever cop in the place wanted to know where I got them because they are on their feet so much. Also when we had bring your kids to work day, every 10-15 year old girl thought they were the coolest and wanted their mom to buy them for them. It was unbelievable.

Anyway, they are not cheap, but might be worth a look to see if they are in your area.
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Old 12-23-04, 09:03 AM   #9
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Wow.... thanks to everyone. I think I'm going to get her two pair of shoes and the insoles from sierratradingpost.com. I just see her sitting there so sad, with her feet propped up on the chair, and the kids rubbing her feet. She says her feet and back hurt and her legs hurt, so the first thing I thought was that her shoes were way too inefficient and probably doing more harm than good.

I think you guys are right. I'll just print out a pic of the Doc Martins and the New Balance and stick them in an envelope under the tree. Then after Christmas and before I leave, we'll head to the Nordstrom's and I'll supervise her trying the shoes on, then purchase them for her.

No gift certificates. I know how she operates. She'll get the cheap shoes on sale with the stilettos and parade them around the house to show off. Then she'll wear them to work, and when she gets home that night, she'll be in tears because her feet hurt so bad, and she blames it on the store and the amount of work. No more speeches from her about that!

Thanks to everyone again.

Bab, if your neighbor is lobbying for those shoes at UPS, if he hasn't thought about it, he may want to contact the zcoil folks directly and let them know what he's trying to do. If he can become an agent of the zcoil folks, and he successfully negotiates a deal with UPS to use the shoes, he can make some money off the transaction. I wouldn't lobby for something as significant as that unless I could make some money off the back end. Then if UPS continues to promote the shoes, they can tell all their employees to purchase them through your neighbor, and he can continue to get money off the deal.

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Old 12-23-04, 09:31 AM   #10
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I think he just loves the shoes and wants to see every comfortable so much he does not care about the cash. I ran into an UPS guy the other day wearing the shoes and I asked him if he knew my neighbor. He said that is where he found out about the shoes and has been wearing them for 3 years now..

Anyway, good luck with the shoe situation. I know comfortable shoes really to help..
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Old 12-23-04, 09:40 AM   #11
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Koffee

This maybe late but Dick's sporting goods stores sell New Balance and Ascis. I find both comfortable and supportive. They also have hiking boots/shoes which I like even better.

Joe
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Old 12-23-04, 09:51 AM   #12
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I gotta throw my 2 cents in...

I've been buying shoes from this company for a couple of years now (only a plug, I'm not employed by them). Child (as in child-labor) & animal friendly. Plus every pair I've purchased has been extremely comfortable and durable. Yeah, they cost a little more & if you don't live in the UK shipping's gonna cost a bit, but like I said child-labor free & animal friendly

http://www.vegetarian-shoes.co.uk/

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Old 12-23-04, 10:22 AM   #13
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Koffee,

I heartily second the Doc Martens comments.
What you can do is pick her up a pair put them under
the tree and if they don't fit you and your sister can go
"shoe shopping" to return them and get some that fit. You also get
to ensure she doesn't get CFMs (stiletto's) don't ask what cfm stands
for I'd get banned.
your in Arlington? Nordstroms at Balston Station should have them, as
well as most of the shoe stores in the mall.

Later,
Marty
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Old 12-23-04, 11:11 AM   #14
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I stand on my feet all day and have for years and I swear by clogs or Birkenstoks. I learned about Clogs when I was a Sous Chef and spent most of my day on my feet running. Also Dexter and Timberland make some really good shoes.
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Old 12-23-04, 05:35 PM   #15
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I would suggest getting her a gift certificate to a running store. Many running stores also have walking shoes. This way, they can help her pick out the right shoe for her.
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Old 12-23-04, 06:56 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bab
Koffee,

Here is a great shoe type. http://www.zcoil.com/
Forgot that one of the guys at work wears these. I've always wondered what brand they were. Might try 'em out sometime if my NB's fail me. Been enjoying my DM's today, but I'm not at work.
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Old 12-23-04, 10:19 PM   #17
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From someone that has stood up all day for twenty years, got to a shoe shop that specialises in work shoes. They are exspensive but worth it for the support and cushion. There are even some that look like athletic shoes rather than lunch lady orthepedics. If she does not support them now she will pay later, I am.
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Old 12-23-04, 11:54 PM   #18
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didn't read thread, so did anyone mention nurses shoes? Okay, they're mostly white, but you get the idea. Check out a medical supply store in the area?
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Old 12-24-04, 08:02 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MERTON
aren't those z coils kinda wobbly from side to side?
the Z-Coils are not wobbly at all. I thought I would be walking funny in them. Then you put them on and you realize that you walk just like any other pair of shoes.. They are great and they have lasted a long time..
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Old 12-24-04, 10:28 AM   #20
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Well, I called Comfort One shoes... it seems as though Nordstrom's does not carry the shoes anymore, so Comfort One would have to do. They specialize in shoes for people who have to stand on their feet for hours at a time. The guy there will make some recommendations for me. He said the Doc Martins are adequate, but they had several brands there that would do the trick. So I'm supposed to head there today, and they will talk me through shoes. I'll get the shoes with a gift receipt, and if she can't get comfortable, she can return them (so they say) and find a pair that works for her.

Bab, if I were your neighbor, I'd cut out the middle man, become the representative for UPS, and try to get the contract. There's no sense in doing all the work the rep should be doing, then the rep gets paid and you get nothing but the satisfaction of knowing everyone is comfortable. You can have your cake and eat it too.


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Old 12-24-04, 10:36 AM   #21
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OK I have two words for comfortable shoes...new balance...I"m 5'11" and a big boy and the ONLY shoes that keep my feet from aching are new balance...I love new balance with a passion. I've worn reebok, nike, adidas asics (which runs a close second) but new balance just tramples them all. They do wear out though. I've found out that the abzorb or w/e they use in the heel wears out after about 6 months or so...but it's worth it to me.
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Old 12-24-04, 10:50 AM   #22
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I love new balance also... just haven't found a store yet here in VA that sells them. But since I'm an aerobics instructor, I can usually get a discount on shoes, so I'm going to contact the reps when I get back to Chicago and get my 50% discount applied, then send them to her.

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Old 12-24-04, 10:53 AM   #23
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I dunno if they still make them, but Bass used to make a killer pair of walking shoes, all black. The tread was rows of alternating height black dots for lack of better words...those things were super comfy, and I think only $40 or so.
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Old 12-25-04, 10:52 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bab
Koffee,

Here is a great shoe type. http://www.zcoil.com/...Anyway, they are not cheap, but might be worth a look to see if they are in your area.
Ditto on the Z-Coil...I am hooked. No pain. I have the Desert Hiker, the sandal, the clogs and the Freedom fitness shoe. You can't go wrong with Z-Coils. She's right...they are not cheap but they are soooo worth it. I found that the only time I wasn't wearing my coils was when I went to church. I would kick off my heels every chance I got and when I got home I was screaming for my Z-coils. So finally I went shopping for a couple of long skirts, now I wear my coils to church too!! This from a shoe-aholic. Truly, I have over 70 pairs of shoes and boots, now I only wear my Z-coils. Hmm...maybe I should E-Bay all my shoes.

Last edited by cycleprincess; 12-25-04 at 10:59 PM.
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Old 12-25-04, 11:37 PM   #25
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Well, I got the shoes. I went to Comfort One Shoes in Arlington and explained the problem. The guy made a recommendation for a shoe he considered to be far superior to the Doc Martins. It was called Dansko. He said it was a shoe that doctors and nurses used, and once you break them in, they would last a lifetime.

My sister-in-law opened them today and put them on immediately. She was so happy she didn't take them off for the entire day. Tomorrow will be the test for the shoes- she has to work all day, and they expect it to be a zoo!

Thanks to everyone for recommendations!

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