Clothes-horse though I may be, I have never been crazy for shoes. I realize this makes me an outcast to my kind, young women who grew up in the glow of Sex and the City. I just can’t get excited about spending so much money on something that only goes on my feet. This is why affordable shoe stores hold a special place in my heart (sole?)
Spring, or Call It Spring (when did the “Call It” appear over the sign?) won my heart by consistently displaying shoes in their windows that look just like ones I’ve drooled over at Steve Madden or Nordstrom, but at prices I can justify against my meager wages. Some might call these “knockoffs,” but I fully support, for example, $35 boat shoes that look almost exactly like Sperrys.
Spring is a division of Aldo Group, whose namesake “big-sister” store has recently reappeared downstairs, and that association lends credence to the quality of their products. As a card-carrying recessionista, I’ve of course also test-driven footwear from XXI Forever and the like; while cheaper sandals may be cute, it is mildly embarrassing when they snap and leave you barefoot at work, begging to go on your break in order to buy a new pair. Spring, while obviously not high-end, carries a bit more staying power.
As for the styles, (Call It) Spring is up on the hip trends for both men and women. From gladiator sandals to wedges to moccasins, you’re likely to wind up falling for something you didn’t even know you wanted. Try on as many as you care to; the sales staff have always been pleasant and encouraging in my experience; just be careful not to get too encouraged (into six new pairs, for example.)
The store is on the small side, but I appreciate its Spartan appeal. An almost blinding whiteness emanates from the storefront, and inside there are shelves lining the walls and a few tables and benches in the center of the floor. A token few accessories also reside near the register, but there’s very little in the way of big, bawdy displays. All the better, for it puts the main attractions front and center. Also, you never have to hunt for help when the store has 100 percent visibility.
Spring is located on the upper level between and the food court; you really can’t miss its blinding light. If it’s enough to make me loosen the purse-strings for some shoes, you know there’s something to it. In fact, I think my feet may need some love right now…