West Phoenix is filled with the lower-middle class working families, and we need shoes to do get our jobs done as well as to play. The stores all have similar 7-day schedules ranging from 10 AM to 1 AM, depending on the store and are accessible by the Valley Metro Bus system.
Desert Sky Mall
Desert Sky Mall was once the ‘it’ place to shop. Parking is plentiful and the stores are open during regular mall hours.Of the two stores I visited inside, I most liked the Shoe Dept. Encore. Shoes, sandals and boots for the family, prices ranging from $29.99 to $160.00, can be found here. Brands such as Dockers, Crocs, Laredo, Nautica, Bostonian, and Robert David to name a few are available.
The next store was Shiekh which plays loud music and displays the shoes in cases under bright white lights. This shoe selection was smaller than the Shoe Dept. Encore has, and while the prices were competitive with the neighboring store, the quality of the shoes was significantly lower. The grade of materials was much lower, and the colors were bright. Sneakers for boys were priced $50.00 and up.
Rack Room Shoes
Rack Room Shoes is located a little further west of the mall stores, and is part of a strip mall environment in Avondale, AZ. Parking was strip-mall madness as always. I instantly thought of Payless Shoe Source when I walked in. I found a moderate size collection of shoes here. The prices in this family oriented store were comparable to the other two stores. The narrow aisles were cramped. Practical shoes could be found here, as well as some discontinued running shoes like Asics, New Balance, Fila, and Nike. Shoes here were under $100.00.
Fascinations is a combination lingerie, swim suit, and shoe store boasted some very for-women-only high heels. While I found no name-brand shoes, they were most fascinating! The music was modern pop and while there were a couple of uncomfortable looking men skulking about in the corners, the shoes were great! I would definitely say this was my favorite store for fun shoes. Average shoe price here is around $75.00.
While not all the stores I visited are geared to the family, they all hold some appeal to current trends.