Why do I spin the Wheel of Savings on Independence Blvd?

Why do I spin the Wheel of Savings on Independence Blvd?
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I wear a size 7 shoe.

Most kid’s shoe sizes stop at size 6. Many men’s shoe sizes start at size 8. I’m in no man’s land.  The idea that I can walk into Dick’s Sporting Goods, look at a Nike Air Max, and tell the sales rep “Hi, I’d like this in size 7” and they say “Oh yes, here it is” – will never happen for me.

shoe-carnival size 7

How bad is it? I even have a hard time finding shoes on Zappos.

I have no idea how I ended up in Shoe Carnival for the first time, but it’s altered the trajectory of my life. It’s like they gave me a warm hug and whispered into my ear “It’s okay you have a tiny peg foot, we created a discount store that will make you feel like a normal big boy.”

You see, I love a new sneaker. A high quality sneaker pairs well with khakis and at any moment, I can break into sprint. I’m much faster than you think. Seriously, I can beat you in a 75 yard foot race. Don’t test me.

Every year, I travel to the beach to spend time with my in-laws near Wilmington. Since NC somehow forgot to put a highway towards the East, I’m forced to take the traffic light nightmare known as Independence Blvd. Some would be frustrated, but I’ve made this my annual pilgrimage to the Carnival.

shoe carnival on independence


I hate shopping more than I hate cats – and I’m highly allergic to cats and find them disturbing. But, on Sunday, I grabbed a small cheeseburger and fresh fries from the McDonald’s on Independence Blvd, just so I could snack as I took my time pursuing the latest shoe fashions on the Carnival racks.

inside shoe carnival indepedence blvd

aisle at shoe carnival charlotte

Here is a list of my favorite things in life:
(1) Family
(2) Panda Express
(3) Fresh, perfectly-fitting Nike sneakers.
(4) Marketing gimmicks.
(5) Making out.

Shoe Carnival offers me a combination of 3 and 4. Just imagined if they opened a Panda Express inside the Carnival and I traveled there with my family and made out with my wife in aisle 4… One can only dream.

As I was checking out, I asked the 23 year old lady behind the counter “I get to spin the Wheel of Savings, right?” I immediately kicked myself for sounding like a 6 year old girl who can’t wait an additional 10 seconds. Oh well. She responded, “Of course, let’s do it now.” I walked over. A 7 year old boy came to watch. I used about 19% of my strength on the spin. Tick, tick, tick. Shoot. I ended up with the worst option – $2 off. The sales lady winked and said “I think we can do better than that” and moved the pointer from the $2 off area to the $3 off area. Yay! Honestly, it was hysterical because I realized that (a) the manager was close by, so this is clearly a common occurrence to make customers feel good for the low cost of $1 and (b) the salesperson acted like she had just saved me $10,000 on a new home instead of $1 on shoes. I LOVED it.

shoe carnival wheel of savings charlotte

What did I get? Glad you asked. 2 pairs of sporty, high quality Nike kicks. Sized 7 and 7.5 (needed a little breathing room). I topped it off with some children’s socks and 3 pairs of black Nike calf socks specially made for size 6-8 shoes (personal favorite) – which is a rare find.

nike shoe box

nike orange shoes charlotte

nikes at shoe carnival

nike socks at shoe carnival

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