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13 Things Your Shoe Salesman Won’t Tell You

Discover what the person who helps you try on 300 different pairs of shoes is secretly thinking while serving you with a smile.

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1. Have Some Respect

I may be kneeling at your feet, but I’m not your servant. Lose the ‘tude, dude.

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2. Stop Exaggerating

Don’t ask for a size 7 if you’re a 9. No one cares how big your feet are (though we all appreciate a little foot powder, if it’s not too much trouble).

(Photo: Hemera/Thinkstock)

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3. Know What a Good Fit Is

Shoes should be as wide as your feet and longer than your feet. It’s not just the distance from the heel to the end of the big toe that matters. It’s also the distance from the heel to the ball of the foot.

(Photo: iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

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4. Don’t Try on Sample Shoes in the Wrong Size

“People smash their feet into shoes that are three sizes too small, and then I have sample shoes that have been stretched,” one salesman complains.

(Photo: Jupiterimages Corporation)

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5. Don’t Waste my Time

Please don’t keep me waiting ten minutes while you talk on your cell phone. What if I did that to you?

(Photo: Jupiterimages Corporation)

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6. Be Realistic

Know that if we don’t have exactly what you want, it may not exist. And I can’t cobble it together in the back room while you wait either.

(Photo: Jupiterimages Corporation)


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7. That Won’t Help Your Shoes

Losing weight will make your knees, ankles, and feet feel better. Shoes-not so much.

(Photo: Jupiterimages Corporation)


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8. Let Your Children Know

The metal gauge that measures the width and length of your feet is called a Brannock Device. Tell your kids it should stay flat on the floor and not go hurtling through the air toward my head. Many thanks.

(Photo: Jupiterimages Corporation)


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9. Don’t Be a Serial Shoe Returner

Once or twice, okay. But 10 or 20 times a year? I don’t think so.

(Photo: Photodisc/Thinkstock)


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10. Take Our Word for It

If we tell you that a shoe isn’t a good fit, listen. Customers have tried on a shoe that’s too small that they then can’t get off.

(Photo: Jupiterimages Corporation)


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11. Make Your Own Decisions Once in a While

I’ve spent 30 minutes with you, and then you tell me you need your wife’s approval? News flash: She doesn’t need yours. Next time, bring her along.

(Photo: iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

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12. You Get What You Pay For

A $20 shoe isn’t going to feelor lastlike a $120 shoe.

(Photo: Jupiterimages Corporation)


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13. Bring Your Own Socks

Do you really want to borrow one of the store’s socks to try on shoes? The ones in that box? The ones that everyone in town has used? The ones that haven’t been washed since I started working here? I didn’t think so.

(Photo: iStockphoto/Thinkstock)