DH needed new shoes for work and we had to be in St Cloud anyway the other day, so we stopped in one of the shoe stores in the mall on Division Street (Schuler's Shoes). They didn't have any boots that would work for DH, but they recommended we try The Boot Shack. So over to The Boot Shack we went.
This is a very small place, but it's crammed to the gills with boots - mostly cowboy boots, but they do have an awesome selection of work boots too. That's not the most impressive thing about this place, though. Not only do they measure your foot when you're sitting down, they also measure your foot when you're standing up and putting your weight on it. Why do they do this? Because for some people, the length of their foot changes when they put weight on it, and so does the height of their arch. They're very good at explaining why they measure your foot the way they do, and how shoes should support your feet, etc. The upshot of all this is that DH has been wearing the wrong size/width shoe for years, which is why his feet, knees, and back hurt when he's working, and why his shoes don't last very long (he can wear out 2 pairs of New Balance tennies in 6 months and those things are expensive). He ended up trying on about 4 pairs of boots in 4 different sizes to find the ones that felt the best - putting both boots on, walking around in them, taking them off, trying the next pair, till he found the pair that felt the best. DH spent over an hour getting his feet measured and trying on boots to find the right ones (we've never spent that much time finding shoes for him before, not even at the shoe store the VA sends him to for his shoes because he has type 2 diabetes and is entitled to 2 pairs a year). His boots ended up costing us $180, but if they last and his feet don't hurt at the end of a 12-hour day spent on concrete floors, they will be well-worth the money we spent on them. We also got him a pair of New Balance sneakers in the correct size, so hopefully, those will last longer than his last pair did.
I just called The Boot Shack today to see if they have women's sneakers and they do, all the way up to a size 13, in widths from AAA to 4E (they carry men's boots/sneakers in sizes up to 18, in the same widths, and they're even having a pair custom-made for a man who needs a size 19, now that's service). So we'll be going back in the next couple of weeks - I want to get my feet measured to see what size I really wear and see if I can find a pair or two of shoes that will keep my feet/knees from hurting when I walk, and maybe, just maybe, stop the supination of my feet (my right foot especially tends to roll to the outside and wears the heel off on all my shoes). I've never been to a shoe store that measures feet as well as this one does, or spends as much time finding shoes that fit your feet and will work for what you need them to work for.
The service at The Boot Shack is outstanding - if you're in Central Minnesota, I highly recommend them:
The Boot Shack
2221 Roosevelt Rd
St Cloud MN
And, no I'm not getting anything from them for this post, I just think they're a great place to go for shoes/boots (I saw other people being waited on while we were there and they got the same amount of attention that we did, it was totes awesome!).