So guys, apart from asking them for the shoe size you want and the payment process, how many of us actually interact with the sales staff whenever we enter a store?
Not many of us right?
Don’t just rely on yourself, ask the salespeople in the store, let them help you. A trustworthy shoe store will have knowledgeable sales assistants to answer questions. Try to be specific with your questions.
“Which pair of shoes would you recommend me?
A good salesperson will make recommendations based on your needs and what you look for in a pair of shoes. Aesthetics and design aside, the salesperson should take into consideration if the shoes fit you.
“Typically, how long can this pair of shoes last?”
By right, a decent pair of leather shoes should last you at least 1.5 to 2 years. However, it all really depends on the individual wearing it. The lifespan per pair shoes varies depending on the user, for example, how you walk, how you wear, and your daily walking conditions. Of course, this includes proper maintenance and care on your part. Logically, a more expensive shoe should last longer than a cheap one but if you don’t treat it right, it will break down as well.
The salesperson wouldn’t be able to provide you with a concrete answer because unless you are a regular, he or she wouldn’t know how you walk and wear it.
“Is the sole of this pair of shoes slippery?”
Check if the sole is made of rubber, there’s 2 ways to do so. The first is by touching it, the texture should be one we’re all familiar with. The second is through smell – the tell-tale scent of rubber.
Apart from material, the thread pattern of the shoe and groove depth affects friction too. For instance, our running shoes have deeper grooves and are commonly made of thermoplastic rubber (TPU) which lowers the odds of slipping.
When the salesperson tells you the shoes are anti-slip, note this only applies in normal walking conditions. The shoes could still be slippery on rainy days, so still be careful when you walk. As for those in certain working conditions when the floor could be oily or with uneven surface, you’ll want to get yourself industrial shoes then.
“What should I do if I get my pair of shoes wet?
If the sales assistant tells you to dry your leather shoes with a hair dryer or to put it out in the sun, we’ll know for sure this assistant has poor product knowledge. Leather is like skin, subjecting it to high heat will result in damage. Very much like how we get sunburns? Let the shoes dry at room temperature, to reduce the chances of leather cracking.
What you ought to do is to wipe off the water as soon as you can, using a dry towel. After which, let gravity help you, place your shoes upside down. Or, you can remove moisture from the shoe by stuffing newspaper or a towel inside the shoe. Try not to wear this pair of shoes for the next 48 hours and let it air dry completely.
“What leather is this pair of shoes made of?”
Leather is a fairly generic term – artificial leather, genuine leather and the list goes on. The price range of the shoes should also offer some indication of the leather origin and quality. Sometimes, consumers have to know which animal this leather came from. For instance, a vegan customer will not want shoes made of genuine leather nor will a Muslim customer want a pair of shoes made from pigskin.
The sales assistants should be able to answer this question and provide you with care tips based on the shoes’ material. Different materials require different shoe care routines. Another good way for you to know the material is to look out for the shoe material guide*.
I hope this post has given you an idea on the types of questions you should ask and how to pose them to the salesperson. Next week, we’ll go into more details for the shoe material guide*so stay tuned for that!