The Shaw Shoe Redemption

shawStiletto shopping is inarguably a sport (a cardio workout, at the very least) and I’m finally ready to get back in the game after an entire season of wearing boots to shield rain and fog and mud on the Marina Green. One of my favorite salons in San Francisco is Shaw on Union. This place is the stuff of legends: every square inch of space is packed with pairs—of shoes and of high fashion stockings—and there’s hardly room in the store for pacing back and forth to get a true feel for the fit (it’s just as well, real woman will slip their size eights into a seven in a pinch). Long ago, sometime B.C. (before Carrie), I remember skipping by the windows, wanting to make a veritable fortress out of so many shoes, and to slide my seven-year-old toes into heels so ridiculously high I could be face-to-face with Christopher Reeve’s spit curl once and for all (side note: I was in love with Superman). For the record, I often experienced the same longing in the middle of the toy aisle of our neighborhood drug store. I!…wanted!…those!…$3!…plastic!…heels! So much I might cry. My mom never indulged me, fearful about me tripping and breaking my two extra-large front teeth (the equivalent of “you’ll shoot your eye out!” for precocious daughters). It wasn’t until I was in the seventh grade that I got my first pair of heels and—sigh—they were more like pumps, all squat and church-worthy. At 29, I now have a closet full of shoes that are so not appropriate for holy communion, and Shaw is still the source. Expect all manners of evening stilettos and tall boots, most of which are stocked floor-to-ceiling. And there are about as many sale items as there are regular priced pairs—all of them bearing labels like Guiseppe Zanotti, Casadei and El Dante. 2001 Union Street, San Francisco, California, 415-922-5676


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