How I got a new pair of WM boat shoes for less than $10

     I took the day off yesterday to attend a concert in Houston that got cancelled so I decided to spend the day in my favorite hangout spot- Kemah, TX.  The weather was sunny and the temperature climbed into the 60’s by lunch.  I had been considering shopping for a new pair of boat shoes now that the 2011 sailing season is underway.  My current pair have seen better days, and I thought early spring might be the best time to upgrade to something I could actually be seen in a public place.

My primary stop was West Marine, though I hadn’t checked ebay or Craigslist.  The location on Nasa Road has a miniscule variety of soft goods compared to their store on FM2094.  I walked in and started browsing.  After all, I drove all the way up here right?  Might as well check the “impulse” gauge and see if there are any other goodies I feel I might “need”.

Now I do have a smaller foot than average, and my feet have shrunk a half size since way back in high school, so I’m lucky they make boat shoes in my size period.  It can be a blessing or a curse.  I guess in this instance it worked out.  Sperry makes fine shoes overall.  I have seen some odd colorings and a couple plain looking shoes that my grandfather may have worn, but regardless a high quality shoe.

The pair I had been using was bought on clearance 2 or 3 years ago, and now I know why.  I guess there was a reason, but I’m not one to throw money away, and the price was less than half of retail.  The flaw of the design was plastic eyelets that the laces passed through that became brittle after UV exposure and broke.  There was no way to tighten the top of the show and trying to reset the lace in the eye without popping it became very annoying.  I’ve included a photo of this poor design below.

So after perusing the isles of boat shoes, it just so happened that there was a Manager’s Special on a model of Sperry leather Figawi’s.  Paying retail for something in any case other than an emergency doesn’t make good sense, especially at West Marine.  The price was marked down from $89.99 to $44.99.  Hmm, not bad.  I also had just printed some West Advantage vouchers that posted the other day.  This deal is getting better and better.  But do they have my size?

The special must have been recent because common sizes like 10 and 10.5 were still available.  On the very bottom shelf tucked in a corner was a box with my size.  This can’t be!  I never find my size on sale.  I tried them on an paraded around the store, mimicking on deck movements one might encounter underway.  Sweet, they fit!  I’m a happy man.  On to the checkout counter.

Original price $89.99….yeah, I don’t pay that much for my running shoes.  Manager Special over-ride…$44.99.  Okay, now we are talking.  Coupon voucher 1-5 redeemed…..$34.99, $24.99, $19.99, $14.99, and finally $9.99…..I think the 2 guys behind me where getting a little impatient.  I can’t help it if I’m frugal. “Back off or I’ll strangle you with my second pair of included shoelaces!”

With tax in the great state of TX at 8.25%, the total went slightly over $10, but you get the point. Lesson learned- shop off season, better yet off season clearance.  Manager’s Specials are a nice bonus.  For those boat owners out there, I would recommend looking into a WM credit card where the points can be transferred to the West Advantage account.  You have to spend the money anyway and there are things WM carries you can’t find anywhere else, especially short notice.

Happy Sailing!

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Comment by Tim on March 6, 2011 at 10:28pm
Glad everyone enjoyed my blog post. There will be more to come!
Comment by R.D. on March 2, 2011 at 5:36pm

Tim, you are a man after my own heart.  Nice shopping.


Comment by Marlene A. Sassaman on February 28, 2011 at 4:06am

Yeh, the Wally World of the Boating Industry.....

Good deal, glad you have more money for more boating...

Comment by Dean & Katie Calkins on February 27, 2011 at 11:27am
That's my kind of shopping!! This lil Dutch girl hates to spend money...
Comment by zeehag on February 23, 2011 at 10:35pm
goood work!!!!!
Comment by Charlotte Wiggs on February 22, 2011 at 8:26pm

What a great bargain you got! Good for you.  I love your humor, too.

Thanks for sharing, and I hope you enjoy your new shoes! 


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