The staff at New Balance isn't concerned with simply selling shoes—their mission is to pair customers with the footwear that will carry them comfortably through life’s arduous steps. Understanding that an ill-fitting pair of athletic shoes can cause pain to joints and potentially damage knees, hips, and the back, associates measure the length and width of each client's foot and conduct a gait analysis to chart the trajectory of their stride when walking normally or running through ball pits. The data are collected to help the staff match clients with their ideal shoe, keeping them running longer and looking good while doing so.
Owner Elizabeth Sheehe fills the aisles of Birds of a Feather, an authorized Pfaff and Elna dealer, with knitting, quilting, and textile art supplies, in addition to hosting an array of classes. During knitting classes, instructors impart basic stitches and techniques to refine yarn crafting or patch the space-time continuum. Quilting classes teach students basic concepts, how to make use of machine appliques, and how to convert vintage clothing into quilt squares. A rotating schedule of other classes net crafters finished projects such as knitted socks and felted totes. Groups of four or more can arrange clandestine after-hours knitting classes with a BYOB option and no additional fees.
Toes wiggle and stretch within leather and mesh shoes as patrons test-walk pairs across Arthur's Shoe Tree's four-decade-old storefront. Expert staffers—two of whom are New Balance Procare fit specialists—buckle and lace feet into sandals, running shoes, and other styles from brands such as New Balance, Nike, and Sperry. Shoes for children jut out from wood-paneled wall displays, with kicks from Stride Rite, Nike Kids, and Skechers. An array of accessories rounds out each pair of footwear, such as plush Smartwool socks, therapeutic insoles, polishes, and weather proofers, which ward off damage from walks across puddles and waterbeds.