Shopping at jcp this week end

I think I might need to shop at jcpen­ney more now (and we’re going clothes-hunt­ing this week end). It used to be the place we went last, usu­al­ly for a win­ter coat, if we’d bombed out else­where, but I’ve been try­ing to think more favor­ably about them recent­ly, giv­en their Apple-alum CEO. This may just have clinched it for them.

JC Pen­ney Launch­es Father’s Day Ad Fea­tur­ing Gay Dads And Their Kids

Gay Dads whoopin it up for low prices

Gay Dads whoopin it up for low prices

Pic­ture (and sto­ry) found at Joe.My.God.

My next shoes will be designed by me

I need some new shoes. The lion­share of my hoof­ing is now done in a pair of brown/green Vans I bought at Kohl’s about three, maybe four years ago. They are com­fort­able (and my nephew remarked that they were “cool shoes” when he first saw them, lo those three/four years ago), but the laces are so long they’ve always both­ered me (I step on them unless I dou­ble or triple knot them) and they are three/four years old, after all.

I don’t like your typ­i­cal shoe store. I like funki­er shoes. When Steve Mad­dens first burst on the scene, I real­ly want­ed a pair, then Den­ny bought some, and then I couldn’t. (The girls in the audi­ence will under­stand.) When I vis­it Steve Mad­den now (online, the shoe stores here are a lit­tle devoid of cool) I like some of them, but they don’t seem as unique as they did then.

So, know­ing that Nike had start­ed an online shoe cus­tomiza­tion busi­ness a cou­ple of years ago, I decid­ed to go look­ing online. I real­ly did try to find some­one oth­er than the big shoe com­pa­nies that would let me cus­tomize a shoe, but all I could find were spe­cial­ized, hand-made neo-cob­blers (like these guys that make clown shoes), and “cus­tomiz­ers” who wouldn’t let you see what you’re cus­tomiz­ing. I’m already wary enough about the siz­ing issue, hell if I’m going to buy my shoe with­out see­ing it first. So I was left at the trough of Big Shoe.

  • Adi­das. I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for Adi­das. The orig­i­nal three-leaf logo was very famil­iar to me grow­ing up in Argenti­na, and I like the look of a shoe with three stripes. But their cus­tomized shoe site, mi Adi­das, doesn’t let you cus­tomize and buy a shoe online. Instead, they tease you with a pret­ty site, then tell you to vis­it an upcom­ing demon­stra­tion at a store near you. The near­est store near me? New York City. 1,233 miles away, as the Google goes. So much for Adi­das.
  • K-Swiss. Maybe if I can’t have three stripes, I can have five, right? Their site, My K-Swiss, is pret­ty easy to use. First you pick a shoe design, which are all very sporty (not sur­pris­ing, giv­en K-Swiss’ sport­ing image), and I chose the Ghent. K-Swiss shoe I designedI made a nice shoe, but with only a few choic­es for the base col­or, it did turn out a lit­tle Eddie Bauer. So I explored a lit­tle more on My K-Swiss, and it turns out that their idea of “cus­tomiza­tion” is a lit­tle like Hen­ry Ford’s. Depend­ing on which mod­el of shoe you choose, you can choose a few col­ors for basic parts, and then a ton of col­ors for one part, like the stripes (though some shoes only let you choose metal­lic or black for the stripes). It wasn’t real­ly the cus­tom shoe bonan­za I was look­ing for.
  • Nike. They start­ed this busi­ness with their NikeiD site, and their site shows it. The Flash is ter­ri­bly slow (prob­a­bly still the orig­i­nal code), and the sheer num­ber of shoe styles and options is a bit over­whelm­ing. Even­tu­al­ly I chose the Ten­nis Clas­sic Pre­mi­um iD, rec­om­mend­ed “If you want a ele­gant, com­fort­able shoe with street style.” Hell yeah, that’s me. Espe­cial­ly the Street Style™ part. Here are the shoes I made: Nike iD Brown and Blue shoe I madeNike iD Soft Shoe I made
    Do you see a trend in col­ors? I wasn’t too impressed by the col­ors offered in the Ten­nis shoe, but Nike’s site is so full of shoes that I thought I should give them anoth­er shot. This time I chose the Air Tiem­po Rival Pre­mi­um iD, a self-described “indoor soc­cer boot” but list­ed under the cat­e­go­ry “Sports Cul­ture” (as opposed to Soc­cer, or Foot­ball, or Run­ning, or any oth­er Real Sport) so I thought it was prob­a­bly for me. Nike iD Color Full shoe I madeHere were the col­ors I was look­ing for! Over­all, the Nike site was pret­ty good, but dread­ful­ly slow, and full of annoy­ing beeps and whis­tles. They need to re-code it, I think. But they do have lots and lots of shoe options. Con­verse also has a site, but they re-use Nike’s soft­ware, and you have to love your Chuck Tay­lors to shop there. Some peo­ple do. Not me.
  • Reebok. Their site, RbkCus­tom, just opened recent­ly. The Flash is pret­ty fast, and while the num­ber of shoes you can cus­tomize isn’t very large, you can choose just about any col­or for just about any part. This, I think, is where I’ll buy my shoes. I began with the Men’s DJ II, a low, leather shoe with smooth fea­tures. For the last shoe, I tried out a more clas­sic Reebok sneak­er design, the Super­court. Here are the designs I worked up: Reebok custom shoe, the FlingtipReebok custom shoe, the Red BaronReebok custom shoe, the Snubnose
    I was hap­pi­est with the Reebok site, though the Nike site beat them hands down on selec­tion for sports shoes, they had about the same num­ber of sports-styled shoes for peo­ple like me. I used to have a pair of black Reebok high-tops… a long time ago.

Now, of course, I just need to rus­tle up the mon­ey to buy shoes. These are all in the $80-$100 range, not too bad for a shoe these days. Bar­ring that, I could, of course, just take a BIC to my Vans.