Finding the Right Shoes

Hi. My name is Eric. …Hi. I think there’s something wrong with me. lol! I can explain…

On my job, I walk quite a bit. Over the past several months, I have bought quite a few pairs of sneakers hoping to find something more comfortable. My ‘biscuits’ have been sore. I need more cushion in the shoes. $15 here. $25 there. The shoes last for a little while, but still lack the level of comfort I need.

Friday afternoon, I knelt over during work rubbing my legs. A bit achy. Lots of rushing around on the job last week. I left work thinking: I have to buy a decent pair of shoes. Really nice ones. Problem is, I have quite a few Bills to pay on a limited Budget. Still, I needed to do something.

FRIDAY NIGHT
The night was muggy. Light rain. (Where’s the Winter weather? Gosh!) I arrived at The Avenues Mall and went to “Foot Locker.” All the shoes on Sale were ones that I didn’t like. The ones I did like? I am not spending $120-$140 for a pair of sneakers. Sheesh. I continued my search at “Finish Line” on the other side of the Mall. My heart was set on buying a pair of Jordan Brand Nike shoes. Yes… Spiffy. I found two different Styles that I liked. “Sorry, sir. We don’t have those in your Size.” I scrolled through Nike.com and found a pair that I like. But they didn’t have them in-store. I’d have to Order them, pay Shipping fees. Wait for shoes to arrive in the mail and couldn’t try them on first to see if I really like them. Ugh!

Moving on…

While browsing through Nike.com I found out that the Jordan Brand finally makes Performance shoes. The problem with standard Jordan shoes, besides the high price tag, I can’t wear them at work. They don’t emphasize Comfort. Little to no cushion in the shoes. However, the Running shoes by Jordan have an insane amount of Cushion. The high price tag remains, but… maybe I can find a Sale. That’s it. Sale.

If you want a shot at finding Jordan shoes on Sale, you have to go to Department Stores like “Ross.” Department Stores get Jordans that are being discontinued or replaced by a new Version of that shoe Style (which happens all the time).

The City of Jacksonville is the largest City (by Land Area) in the Continental U.S. …Meaning it takes a while to drive from one side of town to the other. (Ugh). I drove across town to “Ross” hoping to find a golden shoe nugget. Well, I did find a pair of Jordan Running shoes that I like on Sale …in Size 10.5. I wear Size 12. …okay, but the shoe exists. Surely, if I go to another “Ross” store they’ll have these, too:

Jordan Lunar Grind

But before that, I stopped at the “Rack Room” shoe store across the parking lot. They do not sell Jordans and the Nike shoes they did have are just as expensive as Jordans. Then, I drove across the street to the other Strip Mall visiting “Marshalls” (not a great selection there) and “Dick’s Sporting Goods.” No Jordans to be found, though they sell them Online at full Price. No go.

Finally, I drove to a different “Ross” Store way out East close to the Beach. Looked around. YES! They had the exact same shoe… in Size 14. I still tried them on. I love the feel of the Cushioning. So, comfortable… too big. If bought Online at a Shoe Store, the Jordan Lunar Grind shoes are about $115. At “Ross,” they are about $55. However, Department Stores like “Ross” do not keep various Sizes In-Stock. They receive ‘leftovers,’ so whatever is left on the Shelf is all they have.

…Fine. I’ll just go to yet another “Ross.” I did. Back in the car. Drove to another “Ross” to find the same Size 14 shoe. However, I found another Shoe I’d never seen before…

Jordan Trainer 2 Flyknit

Not bad. Size 11. I tried them on. Not as much Cushion as the Lunar Grind Running Shoes because this is a Training Shoe. Still, it’s okay. About $55 for an $115 shoe. Yet, my heart was set on a better looking Shoe. I saw a T.J. Maxx nearby and stepped in. Oh my gosh, they had this same Jordan shoe in the Color Red at $60. Alright, I don’t want red shoes, but… I had no idea T.J. Maxx was another Department Store that received Jordans like “Ross” does. It was late… around 11pm and I’d driven way out of the way from home. Time to rest.

SATURDAY
My heart was set on getting the Jordan Lunar Grind shoes at “Ross.” I had to find them! But the another Ross Store was outside of the County. Way North. Back on the road early Saturday morning and made it through the road construction heavy area of the City of Yulee. (Excited!) …to see another SIZE 14 of the exact same shoe. No progress. Another dead end.

A “T.J. Maxx” was nearby in the Strip Mall, so I wandered around. Nothing. Then, I walked into “Kohls.” Yes, they had Nike shoes, but no Jordans and they were more expensive. I sat in my car thinking: “What am I going to do?” Why can’t I just buy any old pair of shoes? I’m making it difficult for myself.

While driving back to Jacksonville, I decided to go to the Regency Mall. Visited “Foot Locker.” No progress. Then, there were a few more Shoe Stores in the Mall. None of them had a Jordan Running (or Training) shoe and the Nike Running shoes were up to $140 a pair. (Yikes).

Finding more resolve, I drove to “Burlington,” which is a giant Department Store near the Southside of town. They actually had quite a few Jordans, but most of them were not Running shoes. However, they did have these…

Jordan Lunarlon

These are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever tried on. Style? Hhhmmm… They’re alright. I found a few negative Reviews online saying the Soles of the Shoe need to be more Durable. If I couldn’t find anything else, these could work. Drove to the Town’s Center Strip Mall to visit different branches of “Finish Line” and “Ross.” No progress. Decided to stop by Target to do some grocery shopping. Saturday afternoon already, it was time to go home. I needed to eat breakfast.

I sat on my bed unable to settle for just any shoe. I made some phone calls to various Stores, even the Nike Outlet Store in St. Augustine. No one had Jordan Performance Shoes In-Stock. I needed to order them Online. I went to Nike.com and found these…

Jordan Grind 2

After some research, I realized that the Jordan Lunar Grind shoes have been replaced by the Jordan Grind 2, which is why the Lunar Grinds aren’t in Stores. Plus, the Grind 2 Shoes were Sold Out of physical Stores, especially after the “Black Friday” crowds went through them all. I like the Color. They have my Size Online. I filled out to Order Form and sat there staring at my laptop. The Shoes were still $91 though on Sale. Then, $15 for Shipping, add the Taxes… $115. I just couldn’t do it. I can’t afford $115 for one pair of sneakers. Plus, I can’t try them on to see how they look on my feet. (I’m picky about that sort of thing). I backed out, cancelling the Order.

Give up? Of course not. I got my second wind (or third or fourth wind) while thinking I must be the craziest person alive. I looked for all the Department Stores in Jacksonville that may have Jordans. Unfortunately, the Associates of these Stores can’t track random items like Jordans in their Inventory, so I’d have to visit each Store to see for myself what they have. …huh… (Breathe).

Back to The Avenues Mall. “Finish Line” had a display pair of Jordan Grind 2s, (in the wrong Color) and Size 9.5, so I couldn’t try them on either. Process of elimination: Ross, Marshalls, and Dick’s Sporting Goods were off the table along with Rack Room Shoes, Belk, JCPenny, Sears, and Kohls (they simply don’t carry the Jordan Brand of shoes).

Potential locations left: two more stops of “T.J. Maxx,” two (or three?) more stops of “Burlington.” A lot of driving. Notables? Well, one T.J. Maxx had a select few pairs of terrible shoes. However… they did have:

Nike Men’s Michigan Wolverines Blue Core Half-Zip Shirt

“Eric, snap out of it!” Focus, man! Focus on your goal. But this is my favorite College Football Team. I’ve always wanted a shirt, but couldn’t afford it. This item is normally $70, but it was right there in front of me for $20. I WANT IT I WANT IT. No! Next Store. I was back in the car kicking myself. I arrived at a different “T.J. Maxx” location and stumbled across this pair:

Jordan Trainer 2 Flyknit “Chicago”

I stared at these shoes for a while. Black & White. I like. The accent of Red. Nicely. Size 12. (It’s a miracle?!) $60 for an $110 shoe. Very not bad. I looked around… the only pair they have left. Still, one Store left to visit on my List. I left them there. Back in the car and headed to yet another “Burlington” Store. I found these:

Jordan TRunner LX

These Shoes became another alternative. Nice Style. I like the Logo placement. Cool… Size? 11.5 and I figured a half Size smaller wouldn’t make much of a difference. One more Stop… back in the car.

By the time I got to the final “Burlington” Store on my List, the rain was coming down pretty good. I could barely see the road, at times. In a part of town I had never visited before, I was driving cautiously trying to follow directions spoken on my Google Maps App. This place was disappointing. Nothing of note was there. Alright, my choice was narrowed down to two locations. One pair was at a “Burlington” and one at a “T.J. Maxx.”

Back to “Burlington, I purchased the shoes shown above, the Jordan TRunner LX shoes. Done. Right? As I walked to the Movie Theater to see the 9pm Showtime of “Ralph Breaks the Internet” I knew these shoes were too small at Size 11.5. I need the extra room of a Size 12 to walk comfortably. Part of me wanted to cry lol. They had to be returned to the Store.

I arrived home well after 11pm last night having already planned out what I needed to do.

SUNDAY MORNING
My eyes popped open around 6:45am and I was up soon enough.

I pulled into the parking lot of one of the “T.J. Maxx” locations I visited the night before. Yes, shortly after the Store opened at 8am, I had already driven back across town. Sleepy. And… the only pair they had left were still there. Right where I left them. God had mercy on my Soul. 🙂 Size 12. My Style. Decent Price at $60. I purchased them. Out with the old shoes, put the new ones on in the parking lot. Wow… they are Comfortable.

Jordan Trainer 2 Flyknit “Chicago”

These are a different Color combination than the black ones I saw at one of the “Ross” Stores. Figured out that the Flyknit Style highlights different Subjects. I think this “Chicago” Style is about Jordan playing on the Chicago Bulls teams. Their team colors are Black, White, and Red. Also, these are Performance Training shoes which means they’re meant to be flexible, durable to withstand Training Sessions. Plenty of Cushion inside. So, they are both Practical and Stylish.

Back in the car. Next Stop? The other “T.J. Maxx” location to purchase the Nike Michigan shirt I saw last night, as well. Yes, it’s extra, but… I’m allowed to treat myself every now and again.

Finally, I returned the Jordan Runner LX shoes to “Burlington.” Yep, a half-Size too small makes a huge difference. Needless to say, after I stopped at the gas station to fill the car up on fuel, I rested for the remainder of Sunday. Crashed on the bed. (Scared to look at my remaining Budget, but at least the Rent is Paid). Put my feet in the air staring at my shoes. I love ’em! They are so Cool! After browsing online some more (depending on the Color Combo) this shoe ranges in Price from $80 to $135. It’s crazy.

Remember fellas, when an updated Version of a shoe comes out, regular Shoe Stores scrap the previous Version to make Inventory Space for the new stuff. The old Versions are sent to Department Stores that put them on the Floor at Discounted Prices because these Shoes are taking up Space for them, as well. They need to get rid of them and you won’t find them on the Stores’ websites. They’re only available In-Store until they’re all gone. So, if you cannot find the Shoes you want in your Size, typically, they don’t have anymore Stored in the Back Room (Warehouse).

I had to laugh at myself. Why am I so darn picky? Just buy a pair of shoes! Decided to text my Sister to let her know about my insane Adventure. Yet, she said my Mom would do the same thing when Shopping for our School clothes when we were growing up. Then, I remembered, yeah… Mom went everywhere. Various cities if she had to. Oh my gosh… it was like: Why are we doing all this to buy some clothes? Didn’t realize I do the same thing now from time to time. Driving…myself…crazy.

Quick Note: As 2018 comes to a close, my Supervisor let me know that I have too much Vacation time left for this year. If I don’t use it by the end of December, it doesn’t carry over into 2019. I’ll lose six days off. So, Tuesday thru Thursday, I can take off work. Yes, I’m only working Monday and Friday this week. WooHoo!! I need the extra rest. I’m tired. Plus, I’ll have more time to work on the Business. Get things moving.

Oh. Are the Shoes worth all this trouble? When you find the right pair… Yes.
Eric Christopher Jackson

2 comments

  1. 🙂
    This is what I do, I have my birthday in November and Christmas money gifts, each year in the New Year sales I go to a place called the Designer Outlet Village early, there is a Nike shop, Adidas, and other designer makes. I go to Nike first, I only look at the shoes on the racks in my size, if I don’t find a pair I like I move on to my next favourite shop, I usually get over £100 trainers for around £30 fortunately I quite like loud colours so often I get those colours for £15, then I buy another smarter looking pair in black or navy for best under £50 from somewhere like the Sketchers sale. By the way Sketchers are really comfy but not so trendy I agree.

    I love to bag a bargain too. I really miss my student discount card 😦

    • Yes, I remember your pink sneakers. Yikes. lol. Student Discount Card? I did not have one of those when I was a Student. Oh, and I love my shoes. They are like pillows on my feet. I’m impressed because I’d think that Jordan shoes would be more focused on Style opposed to Comfort, but the ones I have are both.

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