13 Things your shoe shop assistant won't tell you
These secrets make shoe shopping—and wearing—far less painful for everyone.
1. I may be kneeling at your feet, but I'm not your servant
Lose the 'tude, dude.
2. No one cares how big your feet are
Don't ask for a size 7 if you're a 9 (though we all appreciate a little foot powder, if it's not too much trouble).
3. There's more to measuring than you think
Shoes should be as wide as your feet and longer than your feet. It's not just the distance from the heel to the end of the big toe that matters. It's also the distance from the heel to the ball of the foot.
4. If your feet are different sizes
Please don't try on two different sizes and slip one shoe from each size into the box you're buying without telling me. A lot of people have feet that are a half or whole size different. Let me know if you're one of them up front.
5. Don't try on sample shoes if they're not your size.
People smash their feet into shoes that are three sizes too small, and then I have sample shoes that have been stretched.
6. Please don't keep me waiting for ten minutes while you talk on your cell phone
What if I did that to you?
7. If we don't have exactly what you want, it may not exist
And I can't cobble it together in the back room while you wait either.
8. Leather shoes will stretch, so keep that in mind when you're buying them
If they're a little too tight you can probably break them in, but if they're really tight, they're not the right shoes for you, no matter what we say when we're pitching them to you.
9. There's a name for the metal gauge that measures the width and length of your feet
It's called a Brannock Device. Tell your kids it should stay flat on the floor and not go hurtling through the air toward my head. Many thanks.
10. Don't be a serial shoe returner
Once or twice, okay. But ten or twenty times a year? I don't think so.
11. I've spent thirty minutes with you...
And then you tell me you need to get your wife's approval? News flash: She doesn't need yours. Next time, bring her along.
12. You get what you pay for
A £20 shoe isn't going to feel—or last—like a £120 shoe.
13. Do you really want to borrow one of the store's footies to try on shoes?
The ones in that box? The ones that everyone in town has used? The ones that haven't been washed since I started working here? (I didn't think so.)