Kenneth Cole Update

I’ve been wearing my Kenneth Cole shoes for about two months now.

I want you to know they are the most comfortable pair of dress shoes I’ve ever owned.

I wear them to work all the time. I have to do a lot of walking, working on a campus, and they never make my feet sore. They are the perfect size and shape for my feet, with a wide toe box to accommodate my oddly squared-off toes, and although they aren’t “cushiony” the way sneakers are, they seem molded to my feet now.

And they weren’t too expensive, either, considering the amount of mileage I get out of them. They were only $89.00 at the Kenneth Cole Outlet store in the sad mall. It might be the most I’ve paid for a pair of shoes, but I’m glad I did. I’m going to go back—I have a little crush on this pair of black loafers. They have a silver bar across the tongue that I like. And: square toes.

My black dress shoes are from 1999. I bought them right before I got my first job, to wear on job interviews. Before that, my most expensive pair of shoes cost approximately $29. The black shoes are Guess?, and they’ve done good by me for almost 8 years. But it might be time to diversify, bring in a new player. Someday I would like to own more nice shoes.

My biggest shoe disappointment was a few weeks ago when I spontaneously wore my black Converse One Stars to the Tracy Longley-Cook show. My back was killing me and my heels hurt. I was sad. I love Converse shoes. But I think it’s either Kenneth Cole or Dr. Scholls for me from now on.

Shopping.

In celebration of my shopping Odyssey on Saturday and Monday night, I’d like to share with you all the stores I visited in search of the perfect pair of plain, shiny, brown dress shoes (preferably a slip-on):

SATURDAY (Arizona Mills)
Famous Footwear
Bass
Journeys
Kenneth Cole
Rack Room Shoes
Rockport
Shoe Pavilion
Shoeteria
Robert Wayne Footwear

I estimate on Saturday I tried on 15 pairs of shoes, finally going into any shoe store we passed just to look. Nothing. Everything was ugly, didn’t fit right, didn’t come in my size (I’m a perfect 11 1/2), or felt like strapping bricks to my feet.

Monday night I resolved to go out after work, with some desperation, in the hopes I could have these by the start of our conference on Wednesday. Was I being to restrictive? Too inflexible? Was I asking for too much? Did what I want even exist??

MONDAY (Biltmore Fashion Park)
Macy’s–almost left with an uncomfortable pair of Steve Maddens, but pressed on
Cole Haan
Sak’s
Apple store (my laser printer just died and I needed to scope out prices)

While at the Apple store, I searched for the nearest DSW, which was 15 miles away…in the suburbs!

So, I drove there.

MONDAY (Chandler Fashion Center)
DSW

Spent and hour and a half trying on 13 pairs of shoes, all wrong.

Frantic, I declared a shoe crisis! I called my man in Texas and asked for suggestions. He said, “You certainly seem to know what you want,” echoing the salesperson’s comment to Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo. And perhaps I was that obsessed.

Beaten, desperate, uncertain, I returned to Arizona Mills.

MONDAY (Arizona Mills)
Sketchers
Ross
Kenneth Cole

At Sketchers, I realized what I also needed to do was replace my casual brown shoes because the soles were cracked in half. I bought those, and because they always have buy one/get one half off, I got a cute pair of sneakers as a bonus for off-setting part of the shoe crisis.

Then, on my second visit to Kenneth Cole, nearly in tears, I tried on several wrong shoes and started to leave

and there they were

just sitting there on a shelf under a sign that said “SALE”

and they were beautiful, nearly everything I’d wanted (they lace up) and when I looked, they had my EXACT SIZE.

I slipped my foot in and it was love.