Shanghai Hipster Shoes!

We walk by a small shoe store (it is the size of a walk in closet) near our apartment and say we need to go in there and buy shoes. We finally did it!  We got original style Feiyue shoes, or as I like to call them Shanghai Hipster shoes or Chinese Chuck Taylor’s.Feiyue Store

Todd likes to copy my good ideas so we have the same shoes. Now isn’t that cute? Good thing one of us is moving.

Feiyue

Interesting enough… these shoes made in Shanghai became popular in 1920… a few years after Converse All Stars…what a coincidence! Learn more about these shoes here Feiyue I didn’t know they are official Monk shoes and of the martial arts. Well now I am all set to take up Kara-Te.

We paid full retail 50RMB ($8 USD) a pair (even for Todd’s monster feet). The packaging is great. They come in a simple, printed paper bag with a Pinocchio like character.  Love the idea of paper bags instead of boxes! That would have been smart back in the day when we had to over textbooks. I got a new pair of shoes for school and I had to cover textbooks! Anyway, a little piece of Shanghai history for our feet.

Wear test. They are pretty comfy, actually I find them more comfy than Chucks. My beef with Chucks is they are too flat and in time make my feet hurt.  The Chinese Chucks have padding on the ball of the foot making them pretty comfy.

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The Shoe Nazi Whisperer

There is this secret, magical place my boss told me about she went to with her friend to buy shoes in Shanghai. It is by invitation only. You have to know the owner who will decide if you can buy shoes or not. I heard it is this little box of a store with a shelf with some shoes on it but nothing you would really buy, it is a front. If you are accepted into the store to buy shoes she will size you up and leave the store returning with boxes of shoes in your size, which the Shoe Whisperer decided they are the shoes for you. You don’t get to pick your shoes, or mention style, color, she does that and you choose from what she brings you. She will tell you how they are the shoes for you and you must buy them. There is no negotiation on price, the price is what it is and if you don’t buy any shoes you may not be welcome back and possibly kicked out of the store “no shoes for you!”. My boss told me tales of people who got kick out of the store for not buying shoes and told to never come back. I  must go to this place…

A co-worker went and a pair of bling bling boots came in her selection from the Shoe Whisperer and she said they were not really her style. The Shoe Whisperer told her  she doesn’t know what her style is and these are her style! She ended up buying them.

For 6 months now I have been trying to get my boss to take me. She was unable to take us for it was her friend who was the in. So we had to wait for the right time…

This week it was my luck day! She called her friend who is the in to the store and asked if her friend can bring 2 foreigners for shoes. We were granted entry! I was a little scared for what if I didn’t want the shoes, what if they were hideous, like something Lady Gaga, Kiss, or David Bowie would wear? Would I be ruining face for my boss and her friend and they would never be able to go back, if I didn’t buy shoes? A lot of pressure but I had to go.

Sure enough the store is tiny. It was even better than I imagined!  From the outside or walking in to it, you would be like this is a shoe store? They have crap shoes on display.  The crowd is what throws you off. It is packed in there and where there is people it must be something good. A pair of Europeans came in, probably due to the crowds and looked and the shelves of shoes and walked out. They probably didn’t understand the fuss. No one looks at the shoes on the shelves. You must wait your turn for the Shoe Whisperer.

They serve one customer at a time. I was asked if I wanted heels or not. Having seen the spikes they call heels I said no heels and waited. That is all, no discussion of style, color, etc. 5 boxes were brought down for me. She would open the box and hand me the shoes to try on and tell me if they were nice or not. This was pretty good service for it was all about me and my shoes, she didn’t help anyone else at the time. They all had to wait.  Others waiting commented on the shoes she brought down and some even wanted them. She will refuse them to have them if they are not the shoes for them! She even denied a co-workers to have the same shoes. Why would they care if they are making money? For some reason the Shoe Whisperer does. Can’t have the same style shoes, even in a different color walking around the same office.  My boss purchased shoes earlier in the week and asked about another pair and was told no she can’t have any shoes today. No shoes for you!

The shoes they brought for me were not too bad. I ended up getting 3 pairs and given a card to come back. I was in!!