by Neal Lebar (President of ICS Shoes)
Back in the day, prior to the invent of the Internet, I worked as a Marketing Rep for IBM. I wore the standard IBM attire, dark suit, white shirt, and leather shoes. I was never a Wingtip guy, but found incredibly comfortable, high end leather shoes at my local shoe store. Every year, I would return to the same shoe store to buy the identical Style that fit so well. I was always greeted by the owner, Joe, who would sit across from me on his little stool. I'd take off my shoes and he would proceed to measure my feet using his fancy foot measuring device. He would then disappear to the back room and come back with 4 shoe boxes. They would all "fit like a glove", and I'd have a hard time deciding which one to buy. I'd typically end up with 2 pair, since I couldn't decide. I was never disappointed and would wear those shoes until they literally fell apart.
One day, when I needed to replace my worn out shoes, I ventured back to my favorite shoe store only to find, they were no longer there - no store - no Joe... no shoes? I opened the Yellow Pages (remember those?) and found other shoe stores. I even found one that had the same manufacturers' shoes. However, there was no Joe, or anyone who could help. I proceeded to measure my feet and found a very similar shoe style that I had been buying for several years. Although they were a little tight, I thought they would loosen up as I wore them. However, after a few weeks, they never loosened up and I had to give them away. Apparently, the manufacturer changed the design of that style and they no longer fit. To say I was disappointed is a major understatement... I was crushed! It took me several days to find a suitable pair, but they were never the same as my tried and true fit.
Fast forward 40 years to the 21st Century, advent of the rack / warehouse type of shoe stores. Today, you are on your own to measure and find a shoe that fits. You walk through the aisles of shoe boxes, stacked one on top of the other. I walked around and search for "the shoe", only to find, my size or width is not in stock. It's so crazy how often this happens, as I walk out with nothing. I've wasted several days just trying to find a shoe that's comfortable. Frankly, it's so frustrating not having Joe around to help - I'm at a loss.
Today, more and more people are buying shoes online. With online shoe stores you have access to every style, size, width, and color that a manufacturer makes. Retail stores typically carry the most popular, medium width shoes or a few wide options. Today, the online stores have all the styles and options, but the dilemma remains, what shoe to choose?
When I launched ICS Shoes 8 years ago, I was determined to bring Joe back - someone who can help wade through all the options, bridge that gap and recommend the Perfect Fitting shoe. We hired "Orthotic Fitters & Nurses", who are foot & shoe Specialists. We encourage people to call our Specialists who match up the customers needs with the proper footwear solution. They understand the shoes that are best for Wide feet, Bunions, Hammertoes, Neuropathy, Braces and other foot ailments. Over the phone they help determine the correct size, width, and depth needed. These Specialists have helped hundreds of people find a shoe that "fits like a glove."
At ICS, we sincerely Care and want to Help you. We have Specialists, a phone call away, who will patiently work with you - take the guesswork out and make recommendations based upon your specific needs. With hundreds of options of styles, sizes, widths, and colors, its never been so easy to sit back and once again ask Joe for recommendations.