204 State St., 257-9766, www.jacksshoes.com
11 am-6 pm Mon.-Fri., 10 am-6 pm Sat. Closed Sunday.
Certain things never go out of style. A classic navy pea coat. Levi's 501s. A strand of hand-knotted pearls. Chuck Taylors.
Many of us wax poetic about our Chuck Taylors, and for good reason. Simply put, they're damn cool. And Jack's Shoes ' a State Street institution ' is as cool a place as any to house one of the Midwest's largest selections of Chucks.
Jack's hasn't changed since the '70s, when it opened (though it has moved). The fluorescent lighting, the slightly bizarre artwork and the un-feng shui layout let you know that Jack's isn't about the shopping experience; it's about the shoes. 'People come to Jack's for service,' says manager Brian Lefleur. 'If you tell me you have plantar fasciitis, I can find you a shoe that will help.'
And Jack's specializes in comfort shoes. With brands like Ecco, Naot, Dansko and Wolky, the store is flooded with the best in Euro comfort, and tempers that with sporty brands like Keen, Puma, New Balance and, of course, Converse. 'Our best-selling shoe for adults is also our cheapest: the black, high-top Converse Chuck Taylor,' says Lafleur.
Get the ped out and try these: the tan, unisex 'Loaf' vegan shoe by Simple that is purported to be biodegradable ($59.99); a yoga-instructor-designed Mary Jane by Earth in funked-up red ($109); the ultra-high-end men's Alden 909 black dress shoe with perforated cap toe ($360); and a sultry ' yes, a comfort shoe can be sultry ' ankle-strap pump by Dansko in paprika ($145).
And don't forget the Chucks. The high-top, pin-up girl design by tattoo artist Sailor Jerry is sure to make you stand out from the crowd ($49.99).