…how and why I bought them!
Like all of you, I occasionally need a new pair of shoes for everyday wear.
I was roaming around up to Howard Street two weeks ago, and noticed there was a new Athlete’s Foot franchise.
Now Vlado is the nickname used by my Slovakian cousin (Vladimir) whom I visited some years back while he was production manager for a fashion designer in Genoa, Italy…I entered the store to see more of these and to get the website–thinking, perhaps my cousin had gone into shoe design?
I was greeted by a shorter-than-me, fortyish African-American woman with lovely gray hair, neatly formed into very long cornrow braids and a wonderful broad smile below twinkly deep brown eyes.
She asked if I needed help, I said no, and I told her the story of my cousin’s nickname.
Then I asked if she had any “Chuckies”, to which she responded with a very blank look.
When I explained I had meant Converse Chuck Taylors, she laughed and said yes.
And there they were, calling my name, the second pair down on the right…
I asked for my quite common size, and after a lot of looking, by both of us, not a pair of all-black Chuckies was in the store!
Now, your regular shoe salesperson would just say, “I’m sorry.”, and you’d walk out of the store to shop someplace else.
But not Alice Lewis, the proprietor of this Athlete’s Foot!
She immediately said she could order my size, so I gave her my name and phone number, and she said she’d call when they came in, to which I responded, “I hope they get here for my birthday next week…they’ll be my birthday present to me!”
Alice again smiled broadly and said more than likely that they would, which prompted me to look around the store and ask if she’d mind my taking some photos.
I told her about the blog, how this would be free publicity, and I wanted to do some photographing because the store was really well-designed for being quite small.
Alice agreed, so here’s the mini-tour of her new store:
She also stocks skateboards of every brand, and is the Midwest DONKBOARD dealer!
The Athlete’s Foot
1540 West Howard Street
Chicago IL 60626
or, you can e-mail Alice at:
Alice has quickly become a friend, a wonderful person with a Mississippi upbringing who ventured north, and is happy she did!
And just to let her know…yes, Alice, Converse never disappoints, because they fit well and are most comfortable for all the walking I do!
Here are my “birthday shoes” reflected in a store window after walking their very first mile:
Oh…and Alice, you’ll be seeing me again pretty soon, because I showed you how my low top Chuckies were finally wearing out after 4 and half years of comfortable walking, and I’ll be needing a new pair!