Whether you’re a fan of Ruby Red Slippers or red bottomed Louboutins, you can find anything and everything in-between at the local footwear and apparel store, Shoo.  Specializing in an array of footwear for both men and women while offering locally made apparel pieces is what sets Shoo apart from many other stores you’ll find as you make your way down State Street. Originally started in Milwaukee, I got the chance to talk with owner, Patrick Blake, to see how Shoo has solidified its name in the lovely town of Madison, WI.

Name: Patrick Blake

Role: Owner

CollegeFashionista: What motivated you to want to venture to Madison and open a store?

 Patrick Blake: Well I saw it as a viable market. Madison is a destination city for those who come to Wisconsin and I wanted to make Shoo a part of that experience when people came to the city. I think it fits in well with the trend of more sustainable and locally made product you see here in Madison.

CF: How is Shoo different from a lot of shoe store people typically see in Madison?

PB: We offer a very unique line-up of shoes for both men and women from brands that are made locally, as well as brand names you see worldwide. We focus a lot on the idea of shoes with repurposed materials and translate that to both our shoe selection as well as the other products we offer.

CF: Over the past few years, how have you seen the trends in footwear change? 

PB: There has been a huge shift in refining men’s shoes. You often see a lot of exquisite, polished shoes designed to wear year after year because they channel a more causal style. In women’s there has been a huge increase in the amount of block soled shoes and fashion based sneakers. I’ve also noticed a lot of the men’s styles being translated into women’s shoes with the presence to toe caps and tassels that previously were only really seen on shoes designed for men.

CF: What’s your pick for a “must-have” shoe for men? Women?

PB: For guys I think you have to go with the classic, a very stylish shoe that is able to suit many occasions. You want to have something that is extremely versatile and you can have for years. For the women I would have to say this new trend of the “boot sandal” so I call it.  It’s got a lot of different textures and materials while playing around with a variety of finishes and buckles; it offers something different and a little more unique.

Learn More: To find out if the shoe fits and grab a few of your spring favorites, head on over to Shoo, located at 109 State Street in Madison.