I am here to profess my true love for a shoe store.
Six years ago I signed up to walk a marathon. At the beginning of the training, I bought a new pair of running shoes, some Nikes that I liked the feel of. But on the very first walk on which I wore them I was left with a painful blister on my little toe on each foot. I tried again on the next weekend's training walk, and once again was hobbling by the time I'd gone five miles. I sucked it up and bought myself a new pair of shoes, and gave the almost-new Nikes to Goodwill.
A couple of weeks ago I realized that my Asics were losing their support--probably because I've been walking around in them since before I was pregnant with Adriana. They were my third pair of the same shoes--once I had found a pair I liked, I would just walk into The Running Company in Georgetown on the way home from work and say, "I need a new pair of these." Now that The Running Company isn't on my way anywhere anymore, I looked for a good athletic shoe store recommendation online and decided to try out The Runner's High in Menlo Park. I picked out a pair of Brooks, and as I paid for them, the saleswoman told me about the store's return policy: I could return the shoes in ten days for a full refund or in thirty days for store credit, even if I'd worn them outside. On Friday I walked five miles at Crystal Springs with Mary and found that the shoes came up too high in back so that they were rubbing the skin on the back of my ankle raw. That night I told Brian about the return policy and we speculated whether they really meant it: would they give me all my money back if I tried returning a pair of running shoes with a bloodstain on the back?
Turns out the answer is yes. I walked into the store today, handed over the shoes and my receipt, and explained what had happened. I told the guy who was helping me about my old Asics, and he brought me out a pair. I put them on, and they felt just right. He had processed the exchange and placed the shoes in the basket under Adriana's stroller by the time I had finished tying my chucks back on.