Coastal Stuff, Commentary

Foot Frustration

04.05.08 | Comment?

No, I have no need of a podiatrist. And while, yes, it is embarrassing, frustrating, and inconvenient that the unit of measure for length in the US remains the foot, this entry isn’t about adoption of the metric system either. No, my daughter has decided to play soccer (football to the rest of the world.)

Girls Cleats for playing soccer

Curiously, one of the things a person needs to play soccer are cleats (boots in UK parlance) and the place that one would logically go to procure such foot ware is a shoe store featuring sporting shoes. Now, if your foot isn’t standard, perhaps it’s a little wider than the norm, look out!

Last night the family and I traipsed over the hill to our closest local shopping area with shoe stores featuring sporting shoes, the Serramonte District. Inside this poorly planned and executed mall-like structure, there are no fewer than four sporting shoe stores, The Finish Line, Foot Locker, Foot Action USA, and of course, Kids Foot Locker. In addition, there is a PayLess Shoe Store, Mervyn’s, Macy’s, and Target who might reasonably be expected to carry athletic shoes, well for sports.

Well sports fans, I’m here to tell you that the only store in the mall that had cleats was, drumroll please, PayLess Shoe Store. And they had one pair in the close approximate size, but nothing else. Now, why would you bother to have a store specializing in children’s athletic shoes like Kids Foot Locker and not have cleats on-hand? It’s even worse, they NEVER have stocked them according to the store manager. What they do stock are athletic-like shoes in every size and shape that are not intended for sports!

Fortunately, there are two “big box” sporting goods stores in close proximity to this mall-like structure, Sports Authority and Big 5 Sports. Sure enough, Sports Authority has 4 different lines of cleats for kids. But, they do not have a competent staff capable of finding the right cleats in the right size. No, they don’t even have the boxes organized such that a person with reading skills can stand a chance to find the right shoes, they’re all mixed together without regard to brand, size, shape, or style. When you’re looking for a size 11C with EE width, this is not helpful.

Big 5 Sports is a smaller store and at least there are staff there. At least I think they were staff and not just some form of vegetable masquerading as humans. Two lines of children’s cleats are available there and of course, none of them in the right size. It only took 30 minutes for the guy to go watch a porno in the back room while allegedly looking for the right shoes to confirm that Big 5 is no more useful than the other shoes stores in the area. (OK, I made the point up about watching the porno, but, hey, he did disappear for an inordinately long period of time.)

So, suffice to say, my daughter will be slipping and sliding across the football pitch today because there are no freakin’ cleats available that fit her feet. That shopping experience consumed a few hours of my life I’d like back. So, retail shop owners, do us all a favor. Don’t make the name of your store indicate your carry a product you do not, it wastes time. Big box guys, how about employing someone with a clue? Or maybe just someone with an IQ higher than room temperature? Presumably, somewhere in the Bay Area (Palo Alto,) there exists a specialty store where my daughter’s athletic foot ware needs will be satisfied. In the meantime, she’ll be slip-slidin’ away.

This has been a community service announcement. We now return you to your regular broadcast.

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