I Got My Waterproof Shoes – REI, and Joe, are Awesome

Little’s Shoes came through for me with a great pair of walking shoes but after walking in the rain Sunday I knew that I would need to get a pair of waterproof shoes too. Someone recommended that I check out a store called REI down in the South Side. Unfortunately they were not able to donate a pair of shoes for free, but the salesman who helped me out, an incredibly awesome and generous man named Joe, really took care of me and helped me out. He spent about an hour on two separate nights helping me find a pair of light weight, durable, waterproof shoes/boots that I could use for the walk and then take with me to use out in the field when I begin my year of service with Americorps in September. He gave me a lot of advice about what to expect and what I should do to prepare. And if that wasn’t enough, he also but me (with his own money) a pair of hiking socks, which are extremely comfortable, something to help prevent blisters, and something to treat blisters if I do get one.

This was my first experience with REI and I can’t say enough about the company and especially the people that work there. Joe helped me find a great boot but unfortunately they did not have it in my size (but they did have the same shoe but in a lower cut in my size). He said that I was right on the cusp of the next half shoe size down so I tried on the smaller size and they felt pretty comfortable but were a little snug. Joe told me talk home, try them out, and if they still feel too snug bring them back and grab the lower cut pair in the bigger more comfortable size (They have a 100% money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied).He said my feet are going to swell from all the walking so it’s important that my toes aren’t being cramped up against my shoes.

So I tried them out this morning and they were too tight. I brought them back, the people  working there were awesome again and I walked out with the lower cut pair and $5 (because they were $5 cheaper). I thought that was really something. I don’t know of any other store that would let you take home shoes, try them out, and then allow you to bring them back for a full refund. I thought that was pretty remarkable. They, more than any other store I have ever shopped at, really and truly care about the customer. I am extremely impressed by them and would highly recommend them to anyone and everyone looking for any sort of outdoor gear (they have it all). They do business the right way. Thank you REI and Joe.



About adambrok

My name is Adam Brok. I am a recent graduate of DePauw University, a small liberal arts school in Greencastle, IN, where I was a Philosophy major and Jewish Studies minor. I am also a proud Pittsburgher. I come from a family and environment where helping people in need was just what you did. If you came across a friend, neighbor, or even a complete stranger that was in need of help, you stopped and did what you could to help. It was just as simple as that. As I grew and moved on to college I continued to help where I could. I volunteered as a student friend at a local elementary school where I served as a mentor and tutor to a kindergartner named Jordan and worked with a local church to help run their non-food pantry (where we supplied members of the community on food stamps with essentials like soap, toothpaste, detergent, etc, that cannot be purchased with food stamps). During the summers after my sophomore and junior years respectfully, I volunteered at the University of Pittsburgh Legal Clinic and The Pittsburgh Refugee and Immigration Assistance Center. I also was fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend the spring semester of my junior year in Philadelphia where I was a social work/legal intern in the Juvenile Special Defense Unit of the Defender Association of Philadelphia. It was during this semester in Philadelphia that I became really passionate about the issues of hunger and homelessness. It was impossible to walk around downtown Philly for more than ten minutes without seeing someone laying on the sidewalk or sitting in dirty clothes on a park bench asking for food and money. It was a scene I just couldn't get comfortable with seeing. Here I was a young college student without much money of my own, yet I had an apartment I slept in each night and food to wake up to each morning. Why should I be so fortunate and not the guy that slept on the sewer grate every night down the block from my bare, but warm apartment. That is when I decided that I needed to something, something much more and much greater than what I had done in the past. Being an avid exerciser and enjoying taking on physical challenges, I decided that I would walk from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia to raise money and awareness for the hungry and homeless.
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