Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Right shoes, right feel

Parker Olsen
Dale’s Bootery displays a wide variety of boots, including hiking and working boots from a number of brands.

Snow, rain, sleet, you name it. During these winter months the weather can vary from freezing cold to just plain old gross. When tasked with shoveling, or even just making the walk to the car or mailbox, the right shoes can make all the difference.

Dale’s Bootery, found at 155 W. Main St., is one of the places in Whitewater to find the shoes that are right for you, and what’s in style. Bob Herold, the owner since 2005, said that shoe styles and trends change just as other clothes fashions do and that they rotate about every 30 years. Right now Dale’s Bootery is seeing trends in Birkenstocks and Doc Martens.

Birkenstocks flying off the shelves was no surprise to Herold. The massive popularity in the shoes was enough to push him to exclusively sell them in-store at first, allowing regular customers to get their hands on them first before the online orders could sweep them all up.

Certain shoes tend to do well at particular times, specifically when the seasons change. Hiking boots get their moment in the spotlight, just like athletic shoes and even the nice pair for special occasions. No matter what the trend or the activity, it’s important to have the right shoes on, especially if sports are on the agenda.

“People tend to wear whatever they wear for anything, until they fall a couple times. Then they decide they need something with better grip or more stability,” Herold said about pickleball shoes.

According to him, a past study found that a large majority of people wear shoes that don’t fit correctly. Part of the cause of that is that many people go to shoe stores that are totally self served. Dale’s Bootery is different though, they work with their customers to not only find the right shoes but even to give advice about footwear that could help with foot issues.

The store offers a wide range of shoes for a range of purposes. Boots, sneakers, even shoes for specific sports like tennis. (Parker Olsen)

“We’ve always been a sit-and-fit shoe store. An old fashioned shoe store where you walk in and we’re going to measure your feet. We’re going to put the shoes on you,” Herold said.

The small shoe store has been providing the Whitewater community with quality service and keeping the town up to date with the trends since 1969. Herold, a 1991 UW-Whitewater alumnus, said that the store has just what their customers expect: good service.

Dale’s Bootery is all about helping their customers find the shoes that are right for them. The store even does shoe repair and can help make modifications to give a customer’s foot the right fitting and shaped shoe. Despite being a small local business, there isn’t a heightened price for their services. Their wide selection allows Whitewater’s customers to find the right style and the right fit, of course if you have the right shoes then you have the right feel. 

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Parker Olsen
Parker Olsen, Managing Editor

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