Monday, December 14, 2009

A conversion tale

It was only a matter of time.

(Yes, this is about online shoe-shopping.)

Why did it take so long? For starters, living in a walk-up, I was never confident that packages would reach me, and was too ashamed to have the giant Zappos logo arrive at my department. But it was more than that. It was in part the fear that one online purchase would lead to an avalanche thereof. But most of all, it was my sense that living in New York, there's no excuse, because there's a shoe store on every corner.

But that's the thing: there's a shoe store on every corner. This makes it tough to decide where to even begin. The massive, bad-nightclub-like ones, such as Shoemania and David Z? Tiny, off-the-beaten-path boutiques with tiny selections and an aversion to sales? Stores with a very distinctive aesthetic, such as Camper or Irregular Choice? Department stores, where the selection is inevitably less impressive than one might imagine? Nine West, Aldo, and the like? There used to be Tootsie Plohound, with its permasale, but that seems to no longer exist, perhaps on account of its tendency to sell steeply discounted shoes in loft-like shops in posh neighborhoods. While I have no trouble if asked remembering where it is I buy pasta or laundry detergent, or even clothes, with shoes there's just about no pattern. They just sort of... arrive.

But the thing in my department is to in some way mark the passing of the orals. In previous years, one classmate went with a tattoo, another with a pedicure. For me, the equivalent seemed a gratuitous pair of shiny ballet flats. OK, it had seemed a not-totally-gratuitous Uniqlo purchase, but the much-reduced thick-cashmere +J line turtleneck sweaters were sold out in my size. Anyway, because I'm neither 15 nor visiting for just the one week from Western Europe, the thought of combing the above-mentioned shoe stores did not appeal to me in the least. Which led me here, and they could not fit better. So fine, online shoe-shopping, kind of fantastic.

1 comment:

Clementine said...

I just attended a conference with the CEO of Zappos: all this talk about corporate happiness made me want to buy shoes online immediately!