Thriving Local: The Boot Shack, Measuring Feet Since 1980 [VIDEO]
ST. CLOUD -- As you're driving down Roosevelt Road you'll come across a store that's a little off the beaten path. Here at WJON, we're kicking off a new video series highlighting central Minnesota businesses that have been thriving for years.
"We've had people walk around in here and they say they can tell that you put them in shoes that fit for the first time. The say my knee doesn't hurt anymore, my hips don't hurt anymore, my back doesn't hurt anymore."
It's an essential part of the St. Cloud community, The Boot Shack.
In business for nearly four decades, owner Kevin Durken says they have people coming from near and far to get their boots and shoes.
"If we get the arch closer to matching and width closer to match they'll [your shoes] will be more comfortable."
But what drives people to come to this shack? It's a practice that was once commonplace, measuring feet.
"In our fifth year of business we got the Brannock Devices in here and we started measuring feet. We found out gee toes really aren't the tissue, the arch is the issue."
This old-fashioned concept has brought in thousands of people locally and from all over the country.
"When you get someone with their feet measured out, now people stand up and say I feel the support all the way through in the arch, the back and the heel. Now you look at the feet and your feet are level and your legs and your back are straighter."
If The Boot Shack is thriving by using this model, why don't other stores do the same?
"This is why stores don't measure feet because they don't want to take the time to measure feet and they certainly don't want to carry the inventory. When we fit people we use the Brannock Device, you fit the longer arch and you fit the narrower width and you take people longer and you take people narrower. You need sizes and widths that stores don't normally carry and that companies don't even offer. So if we are going to fit people we have to have sizes and widths that are specially made."
Durken carries over 5,500 pairs of shoes in his stock room. But as many people would ask, can't you just order online?
"It's pretty hard getting your feet fit on a computer."
Now The Boot Shack does ship shoes when people send in their measurements but they always recommend coming to the store and getting fitted.
The Boot Shack offers western boots, work boots, New Balance shoes and Dunham brand shoes. From starting out as a tiny shop in 1980, The Boot Shack is now serving on average five states a month. It truly is thriving local.
If you have a suggestion for a business that's thriving locally here in central Minnesota, let us know! Email firstname.lastname@example.org