Shoes on a Shoestring
- 7200 Montgomery NE
- Location 2:
- 10030 Coors Bypass NW
- $-$$$ Website
Sure, it may look like an import from Dallas or Phoenix, but Shoes on a Shoestring is Albuquerque’s very own, and it all started on Montgomery & Louisiana.
If you’re a bargain shopper (and who in Albuquerque isn’t?) who could refer to your shoe closet as “La Collection,” you’ve been going to Shoes on a Shoestring since… you know, the early 90s. When they opened.
Unless you were a dude, in which case, you may not yet know of the glory that is SOAS, but you should definitely learn, and fast.
We’re not just throwing out stereotypes here, either, because they started out as a women’s-only bargain warehouse. In the two decades since, they’ve spread to men’s and kids’ shoes, and stacked the lineup from dressy to athletic and everything in between, and most sizes. They also sell socks, bags, tights, and other accessories. They’ve even opened a location on the Westside, not to mention the one in cosmopolitan Farmington. And they learned how to display their shoes like there’s a boutique in the entrance — because a pretty pair of shoes sitting atop a stack of boxes holding different sizes of that shoe isn’t quite as tantalizing as a bunch of pretty shoes on a mirrored bookcase.
If you’re a shoe lover, though, those color-sorted rows upon rows of pumps, heels, sandals, athletic shoes, clogs and boots will get you salivating. There’s no waiting for some shop attendant to find your size and insult your foot fungus here, either. You just pick the shoe you like and find the size in that stack of boxes. If your size isn’t there, well, sorry, kiddo — at least there are eleventy billion other shoes for you to look through. Sure, there are helpful folks wearing microphone headsets waiting around to help you if you need it (maybe they’ve got a size 11 in the back? maybe?), but for the most part, what you see is what you get.
If you’re looking for a super bargain and perhaps a little gamble, find your size above a rack against the wall and get to scanning. These are where the clearance shoes are housed. Every pair of shoes in the warehouse gets a sell-by date, basically; you can see on the side of the box how much these shoes will be marked down over the next six months or so, if they last that long. That’s your gamble, but you might as well save yourself the trouble and just stop in at the beginning of every month, you know, just to be sure.
If you’re a real shoedict, get yourself a frequent buyer card and save even more dough. They have coupon deals basically all the time.
Okay, yes, some of it is soooo last season, but they’ve really upped the fashionista factor in the last few years. It’s not Bloomingdale’s or Nordstrom, but we can’t afford to have those department stores down here anyway. And no, they’re not selling totally local shoes (are there any totally local shoes?). Shoes on a Shoestring is for the girl (or guy) who’s tired of hoping there’s something cute in her (or his) size at the Buffalo Exchange or Savers and is opting for something new, chic and affordable.
Sadly, they no longer sell their wares online. But that’s okay. You can just pop into SOAS after work one evening, when you’re tired of racing the Hondas on Montgomery during rush hour, or when you’re out by Cottonwood and sick of the mall, and find the perfect shoes for that gala event you’ve got next weekend. And maybe a pair for work. And oh, yes, new running shoes. And god, wouldn’t these be great for a Halloween costume next year?
You’ve been warned!