Online shoe shopping lesson learned

Have you ever had an online purchase go wrong? I love to shop online. I’d much rather shop from my comfy couch than have to deal with driving around to stores and dealing with crowds and barren shelves around the holidays. Amazon Prime is basically my shopping assistant! I’ve bought shoes online before usually after trying them on somewhere in person first and then shopping online for a better deal, or maybe a different color. I’ve bought shoes online before never ever trying them on and usually they work out. Usually they fit and I don’t have any trouble. Well, this last time, I guess I learned my lesson. I just can’t do blind shoe shopping online any longer. Blind meaning never trying on first. I thought that I needed a new pair of tall black boots. I thought I needed . . . I’m thinking maybe this is a whole lesson in want versus need and this little kick in the boots was a wake up call. So I thought I needed new black boots because my old ones were getting very worn looking, the side buckle thing was broken and unfixable, and they had seen better days. So I started shopping online of course. It doesn’t help when you receive emails about A HUGE BOOT SALE from a certain website where you’ve purchased shoes in the past. It’s like they were looking in  my closet and agreeing that my old boots were worn out and it was time for a pretty new pair. So I clicked and searched and clicked and searched and behold I found a beautiful pair of black boots with my name on them. I ordered them up and when they arrived they were just as beautiful in person as they were online. I went to try them on and hit a huge pot hole on my road to new boots: They wouldn’t zip up my calves. Not just a squeeze it in at the top kind of refuse, this was a flat-out no way this boot is going to be worn by my “athletic” legs. I call them athletic because I’ve never ever ever had skinny little stick legs. Never. As a girl, I was a gymnast and had short little muscular legs that filled out my little black riding boots and as an adult, those legs have pretty much stuck with me with maybe a few extra pounds and inches added on. But, I wouldn’t say they are fat. They are just athletic. Ha. I do kind of cringe when we do calf raises in my classes at the gym. I don’t need my calves any bigger, ladies! What made me so mad was I had thought this purchase through. I had researched. I had measured my athletic calves to make sure they would fit in these boots. I didn’t think there would be any issues especially because the boots are the same brand as my old worn out (but looking more and more trustworthy) black boots. So I did what I normally do, I went to my good pal Google and researched how I could stretch out the shaft of these boots so that they would be able to zip. I was determined to make this work. A little rub down of rubbing alcohol and water and a now black polish stained white washcloth and I had hope. I saturated them and tried and tried. I was making progress, but it just wasn’t enough. I still could not zip those darn boots up all the way. I walked around the house with my workout clothes and alcohol smelling boots on for the rest of the day, hoping I would make progress. I kind of looked like a toddler refusing to take off their beloved but way too small Elsa dress. I stomped around the house with the damp boots still on, zipped up as much as I could get them. I had my husband try to zip them up using vice grip pliers. “Fat man in a little coat!” They just weren’t budging. Then something else happened to make this even better. One of the zippers decided to get stuck while trying to unzip it. So once I finally got the stupid (but oh so beautiful) boots off, I knew I’d either have to send them back or take them to a shoe repair place to see if they could help. I decided to stick with the purchase and take them to a local shoe repair shop. The plan was to first, fix the zipper on the one boot and stretch them for a few days and if that didn’t work, they could stretch them longer. After the first few days of stretching, I tried them on and we were making progress, but still couldn’t get them all the way zipped. So more stretching. I came back and tried them again. I could get one up now, but the one boot was still not stretching enough. Is one calf that much bigger than the other? Ha. Now I knew there was no returning these. There’s no way they’d take them back all stretched out. So we decided that a little stretchy elastic insert would be done. I went back a week later and they were complete. They did a great job sewing in a little discreet elastic insert near the top of the boot. I had a drumroll going in my head when I went to try them on. And . . .  Ta Dah! They fit! They fit! There was even some gapping at the top which was exactly what I wanted. I was so pleased! Oh, let the fall outfits come alive! These boots were made for walkin’!

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I wore them a few times over the next week and got all kinds of compliments. They were pretty comfy too so I was reassured that my purchase and hassle was worth it! I had planned on wearing them to a party at our friends’ house. I had my clothes on, getting ready and as I zip up one of the boots, the zipper slits open from the heal up to the zipper. I manage to get the stuck boot off as I scream in frustration! I zip and unzip and the zipper wants to work some of the time. I’d get it back on track, but when I’d put my foot in there and try again, the pressure of my foot and leg against the zipper was too much and it would split again. And again, and again. I think I tried like five times. I was so mad.

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So back to the shoe repair shop it went. Then they call and say it is ready. I go and pick it up, but don’t try it on that time. BIG MISTAKE! I get home and a few days later, I’m getting ready for church. Oh, I’ll wear my new boots, I think to myself. I get all dressed, put on the stupid boot and the dang thing does it again! AGAIN! I know this is a lot of caps, but I was so mad! I was almost laughing at myself at this point. Ok, I get it! I’ve learned my lesson. Never ever buy shoes online again without trying them on first. I get it! At this point, I think man, I think I need to blog about this. Maybe someone will laugh along with my Mad Hatter kind of mind. Maybe someone will think this is just as frustrating as I do! Maybe someone will learn a lesson about buying shoes online like I did. So I take a few pictures with my phone to share with you what these boots look like. The boots in question, so to speak!

I basically throw the boot in my vehicle and take it back to the shop the next day. After a week, they call  that the boot is ready. I go and the lady demonstrates the zipper in front of me, showing me how they got it aligned and working and then it does the same thing to her. It splits open. My foot was nowhere near it. She says she tested it and tested it and it worked fine. It’s so frustrating. So I told her, I think the whole zipper just needs to be ripped out and replaced. I am so frustrated at this point. I’ve spoken with her since then and it seems like it’s not getting fixed. I again said I just want the entire zipper taken out and replaced. It’s been there for three weeks now and I haven’t heard back. Maybe they are hoping I’ll forget and not want the stubborn boot back. I’m sure they are tired of it. I’m tired of it! I just checked my email and I order the things on 9/15. They arrived a few days later. I’ve only worn them 2 or 3 times. We’ve had 50-60 degree weather so far this winter. I could have been wearing them the whole time! I haven’t needed to get out the heavy snow boots yet. I just knocked on wood for all you snow haters. Don’t fret. So I will call to check on the boot today and see what the status is. Its mate is patiently waiting in my closet just itching to be worn. I’ll keep you updated if it ever is truly fixed and I actually get to wear them. Lesson learned! Can they just get fixed so we can all move on!


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