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shoe shop assault course

test your shoes properly before deciding to buy
  (+3, -2)
(+3, -2)
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After a tough day shoe shopping yesterday, I was ultimately successful and am now the podiatrical envy of the office.

For a guaranteed success in purchase of any item, functional, fashionable, frivolous or frumpy (and I mean not only shoes but clothes, cars, computers, consumables and all the other drains on your finances), the purchaser needs to be sure that it meets requirements and is of reasonable quality; in the case of shoes this means that the pair I buy: will fit me, will look appropriate, will last through whatever frequency of wearing I put them through, and will remain comfortable. (That list is not exhaustive.) (My shopping strategy is.)

For a high-success shoe-shopping event, shops should design an assault course appropriate to the functionality of each range of shoes. This may require the concentration of shoe shops in one shopping centre, which I would also approve of. I suggest an elaborate shoe heaven, where each pair of shoes can be tried out (within reason) on whichever surface(s) is/are appropriate: a dance floor, a climbing wall, a steep staircase, a rocky path, a slightly wobbly paving stone, and a grassy area. Time limits would have to be set, but these would be different for each type of shoe. The point of the dance floor is of course that you need to be able to dance for a long time without bunions developing. Half an hour under the flashing lights would probably be almost enough to ascertain the comfort level of the shoes you're trying. Customers would of course pay a premium (a sort of rental) for the luxury of trying these shoes, which would be a percentage of the purchase price (and of course if you buy the shoes, you pay the difference only). Discounts would apply to shoes that had been tested before, since late purchasers would be buying shoes worn for half hour periods by many people. Customers who brought back shoes after testing which had been damaged would incur an extra charge. A full testing history should be available (a small administrative job, but perhaps requiring customers to be registered for the service) and shoes which had been bought after testing cannot be exchanged or refunded unless there is a manufacturing fault.

This is not a cheap service, but neither would it appeal to everyone. Only hardened shoppers need apply.
lewisgirl, Nov 26 2001

Inspired by this http://www.halfbake...a/The_20Jean_20Pool
thanks Afro. [lewisgirl, Nov 26 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

(?) and these: http://www.jonesbootmaker.com
not quite the same as the ones in the left picture, but sort of... I'll update that link when their site is running again, and when I've found The Shoes. [lewisgirl, Nov 26 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

(?) I was rather hoping it might be these. http://www.myla.com...L-15&GRP2DESC=LL-15
[angel, Nov 26 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

(?) Orthopædic Shoes http://www.masson.com.au/healite.htm
With class -- people I've met love them. [reensure, Feb 21 2002]


       Partially baked - REI stores in the US have mini-assault courses for you to try out new walking boots on. Generally not much more than a steep rocky upward slope, a level bit and a downward rocky slope. (<rant> ...and then they get annoyed if my kids start playing on it! What do they expect kids to do? Ignore it? </rant>).

Go on then, show us your new shoes...
hippo, Nov 26 2001

       Yes, most outdoor shops have a small slope for you to see if your toes slip to the front of the boot or if the heel part chafes. And I don't mean for this service to replace that but they're nowhere near elaborate enough for me (or for the halfbakery.)
lewisgirl, Nov 26 2001

       Damn you, RT. Beat me to it:   

       //Customers who... etc.// = shoes failing the test?   

       "But sir, this boot has been chewed by a dog. It's falling apart."
"My point exactly. Look at the depth of those toothmarks; these wouldn't last me more than a week."
Guy Fox, Nov 26 2001

       you see, RT, what you need is an allpurpose comfort shoe - outdoor-soled slippers? And GF, you need Teflon shrinkaround galoshes to protect all styles of your shoes when there are uncouth animals around. (Perhaps I should post my Skills Swap Shop offering as shoe-to-lifestyle consultant?)
lewisgirl, Nov 26 2001

       Did anyone just from reading the title not know who posted this? Anyway, what would be way more useful is a way of telling how shoes would fit after you've actually worn them for a few days and they've softened and stretched. Perhaps a 5-day shoe expedition over rocky terrain/trudging from pub to club.
pottedstu, Nov 26 2001

       I've got idea, author and votes.
hippo, Nov 26 2001

       LG, yes we want to see the shoes now.
daruma, Nov 28 2001


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