Posted on Leave a comment

Intro to Shoe Fittings in our Retail Store

Our shop offers two different kinds of shoe service.

  1. General shoe fittings
  2. Order to Try On

Before you book an appointment for shoe service, it is important to understand what a general shoe fitting is and whether or not you should request one.

If you are after something specific, then you want to select Option 2 – Ordering to Try On.

When to Request a Shoe Fitting vs Ordering to Try On

I need shoes immediately I’m just looking
I have trouble finding shoes that fit I just want to see what you have
I need expert advice I don’t need any advice
I don’t know exactly what size/shape I am I know exactly what size I want
I’m not looking for a specific brand I am looking for a specific brand
Fit and function matter more than price I have a specific price in mind
Fit and function matter more than color I am particular about colors and styles

Who shoe fittings are for

Shoe fittings in our shop are for customers who are seeking “a” shoe. When they go into the shop for their appointment, our fitting experts determine the length, width and shape of their foot. They are then shown everything in stock at that moment that can be used for the context in which they are playing.

At no time can our shop guarantee that any particular brand, model, size, colour, or price point will be available to try on. Nor would shop staff consider offering advice on a shoe that is not present in the shop.

With that in mind our shop does not offer shoe fittings for specific models because they cannot guarantee that they will have the one shoe that the customer wants in the size and color that the customer wants.

Who shoe fittings are not for

Shoe fittings are not for customers who are looking for a specific brand, model, size, colour, or price.

As was stated above the shop does not accept appointments for customers who say they want specific brands, models, colors, or prices, because the shop cannot guarantee that they will have that specific inventory in stock at the time of the appointment.

Customers who want a specific shoe may order that specific shoe on our website in a specific size/colour and choose SHIP TO STORE. Once that specific shoe arrives in shop, we notify them so that they can make an appointment to go in and try that specific shoe on.

At that point they may keep it or decline it. If they decline it, a refund will be issued within three business days.

This service option is available, but it is not considered a “shoe fitting”. It is considered an online order with an in-shop pickup option. It is a service offered for online customers who rightfully fear buying a shoe online that doesn’t fit.

However, this is not a shoe fitting because you are not being assisted by an expert. In this situation, you are making your own decisions about whether or not the shoe fits. You are not getting advice from an expert.

Customers who want to browse

It is also important to understand that our shop is not a self-serve retail sporting goods store in which customers come in and handle the merchandise and then leave it for staff to restock.

Our shop is not set up for browsing because they do not do business that way. Customers who want simply to browse, can do that online.

Clients in our shop rely on our experts to help them find shoes that fit and that are perfect for the sport they are playing. They can’t do that if we have to spend all of their time cleaning up and re-boxing inventory behind browsers who are “just looking”. For that reason, we are not a browser-friendly store. Our store is (unapologetically) a service counter staffed by experts.

When you know you are ready

So, please. Take a few minutes to understand what a shoe fitting is before you request an appointment for a shoe fitting. If you are still in the just-looking stage or the maybe/maybe-not stage, then this is not the right time to ask for a fitting.

If you are “just shopping” or “just browsing, you can do that online.

If you are particular about the brand, model, or colour, then you are welcome to order it online and try it on before you commit to it.

When you get to a point where you must have a pair of shoes that fit properly and will work on the surface you are playing on, then that is the time to request an appointment for a general shoe fitting. Our shop staff will help you sort through our selection for something that is right for you.

Posted on

Help! My Feet are Blistering

For a shoe fitting expert, information about blistering is excellent because it sends a clear signal about what is wrong with the fit of the shoe.

Unfortunately, this awesome information is often tied to equally bad information firmly planted it the customer’s mind about what is causing the blistering. When this happens, it can make it a difficult issue to correct.

Here is the truth about blistering.

Where your feet are blistering will usually indicate what is causing the blisters.

Blistering on the heel, for example, is caused by shoes that are too short. Court shoes that are the correct length will be loose enough in the back not to cause blistering on the heel.

Blistering on the outside of the foot or the side of either the big toe or the little toe is usually caused by shoes that are too narrow.

If blistering in these places is also accompanied by bruised or blackened toenails, then the shoe is to short as well as too narrow.

Blistering on the sole of the foot can be caused by shoes that are too big, but it is most often caused by damp cotton.

Wet skin is weak skin. Weak skin tears. So if you developed a large blister on your forefoot that splits open late in a match, the first thing you should check is your socks.

Wet socks weaken your skin and make it susceptible to tearing.

Either buy some polyester socks or change your cotton socks frequently during your match. Keeping your feet dry is the first step in avoiding skin tears.

We strongly recommend that players with friction issues carry a tube of Body Glide and a tube of Anbesol. The glide can be applied to areas of known friction. The Anbesol can take the sting out of blisters that are starting to develop.

Yonex Men’s Badminton Shoes

A small random selected of our Yonex men’s badminton shoes

Posted on

Kids Indoor Court Shoes – A Primer for Parents

ASICS GEL-UPCOURT GS C413N 0123If your kid is playing squash or badminton, you have probably already experienced some of the frustrations common to parents on the subject of court shoes. For one thing, it can be difficult to find anybody who carries them. For another, stores who do carry them never seem to have much of a selection.

We understand. In fact, we sympathize. But as retailers, there is not much we can do except stock what is available and offer it to customers at reasonable prices.

Unfortunately, shoe manufacturers don’t listen to specialty retailers any more than they listen to parents. Nor do the distribution companies. About the only people they listen to are the sporting goods giants and the giants are only interested in things they can sell by the millions. Kids court shoes, unfortunately, are not in the “millions” category.

As retailers, we get the catalogs from the manufacturers three to six months before the season starts. All brands combined, we might have a total of 50 models of indoor court shoes to choose from. Of those 50 models, six might be kids’ shoes. Of those six models, four might be available in full and half sizes. The colours will be divided equally into boys and girls. This means two models for boy and two for girls — if we are lucky.

Obviously, selection for boys and girls is not large to begin with. Once you begin digging into sizes, though, the selection gets even smaller. Yonex ™, for example, manufactures half sizes in Japan, but Yonex Canada does not import them so half sizes are not available in Canada. Asics, on the other hand, offers half sizes, but they generally only import one or two colours in the most common sizes. Sizes like US YOUTH 11 or 5 or 5.5 are often not available at all.

As retailers, we want to be able to offer boys and girls a dozen options in every possible size. Unfortunately, the manufactuers don’t make that possible for us. The best we can do, therefore, is to buy what is available when it is available and have at least some selection on hand when you come to visit.

Here at Racquet Network, our buyer is always on the lookout for kids indoor court shoes. He knows they are not always available, so he stocks up when he can. His goal is to ensure that we have the largest selection possible when you come in with your child.

Posted on

Downside to Cheap Court Shoes

Asics Gel-Upcourt 2 GS

ASICS GEL-UPCOURT 6490At least once a week, we see adult men coming into our store to purchase Asics Gel-Upcourt court shoes. Everytime this happens, we issue a standard warning to buyers. While these shoes are attractively priced, there are good reasons why they are priced so unusually low.

Every court shoe company makes at least one model called a transitional model. They don’t always call them “transitional” models. Sometimes they call them “starter shoes” or “entry level shoes” or even “base models”, but regardless of what they call them, these shoes are all in the same category. They are lower quality shoes designed specifically for young players who will likely outgrow their shoes before they have a chance to wear them out.

Budget grade shoes like these are Godsend for some parents who have kids in short athletic programs and who require a specialized pair of shoes specifically for that activity. They know their child will only be wearing these shoes for a short period of time — perhaps only six or eight weeks — so they don’t want to buy something top-of-the-line. They know that even if their child loves the sport, by the time the calendar rolls around to the start time for that sport again next year, their child will have outgrown the shoes they purchased this year. So at best, these shoes will become hand-me-downs.

While awesome for parents of growing teens, budget shoes like these are problematic for a business like ours because adults who don’t know any better see that these shoes come in adult sizes (just like teen feet do) and think that they are a great deal for adults, too. Unforunately, shoes in this category are not built to last. They are not designed to worn over the long haul. So adults who buy them end up being disappointed. Instead of getting a good deal, they get a pair of shoes from which they can’t get their money’s worth.

Rarely is it a good idea for adults to buy budget shoes. Generally speaking budget athletic shoes are a bad deal that buyers end up regretting. In fact, the only time it makes sense to buy budget shoes is when you are trying a sport for the very first time. If chances are good that you will not be playing the sport eight weeks later, then it makes sense to buy shoes that are designed to last a short period of time. If, however, there is a good chance that you will be using the shoes for a extended period of time, then it makes sense to invest in a recreational grade shoe that is built to stand up to athletic punishment.

As with anything else in life, you get what you pay for. Court shoes that are designed for long term use cost more than court shoes that are designed for short term use. So if you buy a cheap pair of shoes, you should expect them to last a short period of time.

Posted on

Walleyball Shoes

Racquet Network carries Calgary’s largest selection of walleyball shoes for men, women and juniors. In fact, we have the largest selection of court shoes of all kinds. Come in for a fitting with our experts and leave with the perfect fit for your feet. We are open 7 days a week. Monday to Friday 11:00am to 8:00pm. Saturday and Sunday 11:00am to 5:00pm.

Shoe Selector For a full list of shoes in this category, please check out our ONLINE SHOE SELECTOR. You can sort by sport, gender, brand, size, width and price.

Walleyball Shoes

Shoe Selector For a full list of shoes in this category, please check out our ONLINE SHOE SELECTOR. You can sort by sport, gender, brand, size, width and price.