“The last shoe on earth will be a Red Wing shoe.” Kami, the owner of Red Wing’s oldest store in Europe, strongly believes this to be true. Located in Frankfurt, his store is considered an institute for shoe fitting, advice and service.
The longer a product lasts, the more soul it accumulates. The same goes for Kami’s store, where the colorful clientele leads to surprising encounters every day. From behind the counter, Kami shares his most memorable experiences.
Eight years ago two English tourists entered my shop.
“Hey what’s up with the old boots in the window?” one of them asked me.
I told them they were a pair of 15-year old #1178 Pecos boots that were a gift from one of our customers. We saved them for our vintage collection.
“Can I buy them?” he asked.
I showed him a new pair on the shelf and said, “You can buy those.”
“Ok,” he replied, “but how long does it take for the new ones to look like these?”
I said, “Probably about seven years, depending on what you do with them.”
“Oh no,” he said, “I don’t have seven years, I need them now!”
“Ok,” I said and gave back his credit card.
“I can’t sell you boots that we received for free from another customer, so if you really want them, you can just take them.”
He looked at me in disbelief, then gave me a massive hug and happily left with his new old boots.
Years later there was an article in the German Musikexpress about singers and their outfits on stage. One of the interviewed artists told a nice story. “We were in Frankfurt and passed by a Red Wing Shoe Store. I saw some old worn-out Red Wing boots in the window and went into the store right away. It turned out the boots were part of a little museum they had there and were not for sale. I really wanted them because they looked so cool. Then the owner just gave me the shoes for free! Isn’t that fantastic?”
It turned out that the guy was Liam Howlett, member of The Prodigy.
Wearing Pecos is a lifestyle. That girl or guy is different than you and me. No Laces is a statement. That’s how they go through life. They like it easy. There is no need to lace the boot perfectly every morning like other people do. Just step in and start your day.