It's not hard to find a place to park at Red Wing Shoes. That's because the store is a part of the Parkade, a 450-car parking ramp on Broadway in downtown Bismarck. Red Wing Shoes was the first tenant in the Parkade when it opened in September 1970, and they've been going strong ever since, thanks to loyal customers and quality products.
"Red Wing brands makes a wonderful product," says store manager Troy Barber.
Barber has worked in the shoe business for nearly 30 years. He says this independently owned and operated store stands on the knowledge of its employees.
"They know boots. They know how a boot is put together. They know the technique that is used behind it. They know how to fit," says Barber.
Barber says one of the things that makes his store unique is that their shoes and boots are size structured to make sure your foot has the perfect fit.
"When somebody walks in the store, and they say, 'Would you please hand me a size 10,' we will graciously ask them to pull off their shoes, and let us go ahead and measure up their feet," says Barber.
That's because the perfect fit is the heart and 'sole' of the business. But what is getting a little snug is the retail space itself. After 43 years, the store is set to expand, growing from 1,500 to 2,100 square feet, and it will also expand its offerings.
"We're still going to be cramped because we're bringing in this industrial line of safety clothing for the oil and gas industry," says Barber.
That clothing will complement the safety-toed boots that are rising in popularity, keeping pace with the growing industrial sectors in Western North Dakota.