Summer is here, and I have some good walking shoes!
I've been trying to find ways to wean myself off of getting things from the states, and shoes seemed to be an easy way to start. In California, I finally found the right shoe for my odd feet - wide, high, snug, and room for orthotics. They are specialty shoes, at a specialty price! I've gone through 4 pairs of these shoes, each time having to find a way to get them here.
So, a while ago, I started the dreaded comparison shopping routine here in Costa Rica. This is enormously time consuming. It is also worth it for many, many products. I took my old pair around, first asking about getting the soles replaced. One place couldn't do it. Another wanted c8000 - I kept that one in mind, but confirmed with neighbors that it was too much. One of the hardest things to find out is what is a reasonable price for something here (as opposed to what's reasonable in California). No one likes to feel like they've been fleeced, especially after the fact. I went to a place in Alajuela that we went to for Rick's shoes, but it had been several years, and the shoe store was now a sushi restaurant :-(. Conjures pictures of leathery raw fish, or shoe-shaped rolls... I had given up for the day, when I noticed that we were walking right past *another* custom shoe store! We walked in, showed him my shoes, got a quote, and left (leaving behind one of my old shoes for him to use as a pattern). Two weeks later, we bused back to Alajuela, and I have new shoes - at less than half the cost, and none of the shipping (unless you count the bus)!
This year's expert craftsman (and super friendly fellow):
Santiago Lazo, proprietor
275 m North of Llobet department store