Business Beat: Shoe shopping at Universal Footwear

Jordan Bott of Revelstoke's Universal Footwear shares advice on buying shoes for hiking, running and more.

Jordan Bott is Universal Footwear's fitness and athletic guru.

Universal Footwear has been the go-to place for shoes in Revelstoke for more than 30 years. They stock everything from kids shoes to formal wear to rugged hiking boots.

Over the years the store has developed a sterling reputation for its customer service; they’ve been voted Best Customer Service in the last two Best of Revelstoke reader polls. It and owner Malcolm Bott have won numerous local business awards. They’re not just a local favourite, but also a stop for tourists. My mother, visiting from Montreal, walked out of the store with two new pairs of shoes after a visit last spring.

They carry shoes by Scarpa, Columbia, Keen, Skechers, Bogs, Crocs, New Balance, Salomon, Portofino, Red Wing, Nike, Vasque, Asics, Sorel, Timberland, Birkenstock, Blundstone, Converse and more.

I went in last week to talk Malcolm’s son Jordan — the shop’s heir apparent – for advice about purchasing hiking boots, running shoes, socks and more. While Malcolm is the owner, he said Jordan was the guru when it comes to fitness and athletics.

We started talking about hiking shoes. Do you need a rugged boot if you’re going to hit the trails, or will a lighter shoe do?

The answer is it depends on what kind of hiking you do. Bott said the first question he’ll ask people is if they’re going to be carrying a backpack and, if so, how heavy.

If you’re just doing easier day hikes in Mount Revelstoke National Park or Rogers Pass, a lighter hiking shoe will do, says Bott. If you’re lugging a heavy pack on a multi-day trip, a solid boot will help.

“Lots of people think they need a German-made mountaineering boot you can attach crampons too when really all they’re going to be doing is day hikes in Mount Revelstoke or at the Pass,” he says. “If you’re just carrying a light backpack, chances are you’ll be more comfortable in a good shoe.”

If you have ankle issues, something with a higher cut will be helpful. A hiking boot will be stiffer and provide more support, but they’ll also be heavier.

“People doing overnighters in Rogers Pass or the West Coast Trail, we recommend they have a good, sturdy boot and have it fitted properly,” he says.

Next, we went over to the running shoe section. Bott had different advice for new and experienced runners. If you’re new to the sport, he recommends a “neutral trail runner.”

One of the key elements is the drop — the difference in height between the heel and the toe. For a new runner, he advises getting something with a smaller drop. “I wouldn’t recommend something ultra-minimal,” he adds.

If you’ve been running for a while, he says to bring in your old shoes. He can tell by the sole how you run, and make a recommendation based on that. “If you’re an existing runner, the best thing to do is bring in your old shoes and be aware of how you run can affect the wear on your shoes and what that can tell you about your next pair of shoes,” he says.

One bit of advice that was new to me was to purchase a pair of sandals or flip-flops with good support to wear after you exercise. Bott says its not good to go straight from a long workout to walking around barefoot.

“The muscles of your feet are going to be tired and if you go out and walk around barefoot on your hardwood floor, the cumulative effect of that can cause some long-term issues,” he advises.

A good sandal will support your feet and they will feel better the next time you go out, he says.

Of course, Universal sells much more than just sports shoes. There’s a wide variety of kids, casual, and formal shoes; and socks. The one thing that applies to all shoes is to make sure they fit properly. That means there should be about a finger-width of space at the back when your toes are pushed against the front of the shoe.

“You should be able to kick stuff and not have your toes bash against the end,” he said.

Universal Footwear is located in the Alpine Village Mall off Victoria Road.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Milestone RCMP Cops For Kids fundraiser ride going virtual

You can join and help RCMP raise funds for families and possibly win 20th anniversary cycling shirt

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

Haze over Okanagan and Shuswap skies may have drifted from Siberia

Few active wildifres so far this summer in B.C.

Guerrilla Gigs replacing Streetfest this summer in Revelstoke

Buy one of 30 tickets the Sunday before the Wednesday show

UPDATE: Trans-Canada Highway open to single-lane traffic west of Revelstoke due to flooding

The highway between Revelstoke and Golden is also open again

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

Coalmont woman airlifted after ATV crash

Off-road vehicle swerved to miss oncoming traffic

Summerland campground to provide COVID-safe accommodations for temporary farm-workers

The managed seasonal worker campsite will be located within a separated area of Peach Orchard Municipal Campground

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

No abandoned Seadoo found on Coldstream lake

Vernon Search and Rescue crews and RCMP unable to find reported abandoned Seadoo on Kal Lake

Kelowna high school football star, water skier, signs with University of Calgary

Isaac Athans, and his family, have a long history of success across various sports in the Okanagan, nationally

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Most Read