Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Shoe Box

Over the weekend, I made my very first visit to downtown Black Earth’s The Shoe Box, which claims to be the “largest shoe store in the Midwest.” Located at the intersection of Highways 14 & 78, the store carries over 180 brands and has over 200,000 pairs of shoes in stock.

I first heard about The Shoe Box when I was a student at UW–Madison. The store earned notoriety from it’s involvement in a Men’s Basketball NCAA scandal (read: free shoes). Since then, I’ve been a little curious about the store, but never enough to actually make a stop during the few times I’ve driven by en route to Devil’s Lake or some other more exciting destination.

For the last several months, Karen has been obsessed with making a trip to The Shoe Box. Finally, I gathered up enough energy to feign interest and support. We made the trip on Sunday afternoon. The place is enormous. There were shoes everywhere. And employees were scattered all over the place, more than willing to measure foot size and fetch shoes. There were many random objects hanging from the ceilings, including several football helmets and a bird cage, complete with live birds. It very much seemed to be one of those random and tacky tourist attractions—you know, the kind that one only manages to finds in the US— like the Corn Palace or Wall Drug. The kind of place my parents always incorporated into our family road trips growing up.

Karen and I spent what felt like an eternity at the Shoe Box, but I was a good sport. Karen must have tried on over 20 pairs, and in the end took home three new pairs—an every-day pair of Keen boots, Nike Gore-Tex shoes for snowshoeing, and her always reliable Nike Structure Triax running shoes. She even negotiated for a multiple pair discount—ten dollars off each pair.

Surprisingly, I didn’t buy anything. But, I did enjoy a stop at Culvers on the way home. Mmm…butter burgers.

1 comment:

Jackie said...

Wow, you got out of that store without buying anything?