Letter from the Founder – SHOES-n-FEET

Letter from the Founder

Thank you for visiting SHOES-n-FEET,

My name is Joe Bentvelzen and I am the founder of SHOES-n-FEET.  I am from Holland and a 5th generation shoe repair man.  There is a picture of my Dad, in front of his shop in Holland from 1932, which hangs in all the SHOES-n-FEET shoe stores as a reminder of the long roots from which the SHOES-n-FEET concept stem.  I am an inventor by trade and have my PhD in Chemical Engineering.  As a result I am always looking at problems and trying to invent a solution. 

In the 1980’s I opened a total of 14 instant shoe repair stores between Seattle and Portland.  For ten years people came to my stores with their old worn out shoes nearly begging to have them repaired.  Often these shoes were inexpensive to begin with or so worn they were beyond repair.  I would often ask why it was so important to save them fixed.  The answer was always the same, “they are the only comfortable pair I own”.  I realized people had a problem finding comfortable shoes, so I started looking for a solution.  What I found led to SHOES-n-FEET.

I found that there were plenty of comfortable shoes on the market, but advances in technology and materials were making them more and more specialized every day.  I also found there were nearly no places for people to buy shoes where the sales people actually understood the shoe. This was particularly true outside of the running or athletic world.  I would later learn that it actually has less to do with understanding the shoe and a whole lot more to do with understanding the foot.  Which is why we say “We Know Feet”.

My answer to the problem of finding comfortable shoes was SHOES-n-FEET.  A shoe store where the staff would be educated in the foot, anatomy, biomechanics as well as common problems causing foot pain, such as heel pain also commonly known as plantar fasciitis.  The store would also have a large selection of shoes which could accommodate arch supports and orthotics and generally be good for people’s feet. This was my vision and this is SHOES-n-FEET today.  Ten years later I still believe we provide the best solution in comfort shoes for feet anywhere.