Shoe, My Foot: From Crossroads to Waldo in Kansas City

Note: Hathaway Shoe has closed its Waldo Store. Its other location, in Leawood, Kansas, is J. Hathaway Shoe Boutique.  I haven’t been there, but many of the brands are the same.)

I had planned to inform you that Bob Jones Shoes was the most dangerous place in the universe, but now I’ve decided it’s Hathaway Shoe.

Located at 1914 Grand Avenue of the Americas, north of Crown Center,Bob Jones Shoes exterior KC Oct 2009has been around quite a while because I remember shopping there in 1986, when I worked at the UMKC Dental School. Bob (or Jones?) sells Dansko and Sanita and Italian-made shoes with leather soles, as well as Maruca purses, which are made in Boulder. Here’s a sample of the wares Bob Jones Shoes two-tone shoes KC Oct 2009(in which I unfortunately decided to focus on the center instead of on the shoes. Sorry).

But it was at Hathaway, on Wornall a block north of 75th,  that I laid down the money. Hathaway Shoe exterior KC Oct 2009Remember the days when clerks at shoe stores measured your feet and put them on you? And even used a shoehorn? I can. And on Wednesday I had that experience again, with a clerk named Gregory.

He must have looked through every section of the back room, and produced one beautiful shoe after another. If I had bought every pair of shoes that fit well, I would have had to win the lottery to pay for them.

I have never tried on so many pairs of shoes in my life: at least 20. Finally I told him I was overloading on shoes, and even then he brought out another pair. I found a pair of multicolored boots Hathaway Hispanitas boot KC Oct 2009to go with my dark brown wool pants, and then I bought a pair of green suede shoes just because I’d never seen anything quite like them before.

All this happened at their “comfortable shoes” store, the one that sells shoes you can wear 3 to 5 hours, according to the British guy who called me “lovey.” Hathaway is opening a “fashion shoes” store, featuring shoes you can wear 2 hours or less. I’m not sure what people who want to wear the shoes longer are supposed to do.