You can hit two birds with one stone, but what about a family's worth of footwear in one shopping trip? According to fourth-generation family business Laurie's Shoes, the answer is yes, and the time to strike is now, during the back-to-school season.

Mark Waldman, Laurie's Shoes president, says that many people know Laurie's for children's shoes; however, adult shoes actually make up a sizable amount of the business. "With time being of an essence, it's very important [for customers] to take care of all their needs with one-stop shopping," he says. Instead of buying kids' shoes now and yours later, Waldman's philosophy is do it at once.

The current back-to-school tax-free weekend, running through August 3, includes clothing, but taps out past the $100 mark. Waldman says Laurie's Shoes will be picking up the tab and paying any remaining tax on shoe purchases during the tax holiday.

"It gives Mom an opportunity to buy popular items that will probably be in short supply early," Waldman says, noting that Birkenstocks and TOMS are among the popular brands, in addition to on-trend low boots.

Waldman says a "kicky" line of women's boots by Miz Mooz will join the Laurie's family of brands this month. "They're really cool, low boots, and they tend to have a little bit of a Western influence to them," he says. "They have a riding-boot kind of look."

Laurie's Shoes has four locations across the metro area: Laurie's Shoes on Manchester Road; Laurie's Shoes Etc. in the St. Louis Galleria; Laurie's Etc. in the Chesterfield Mall; and Birkenstock & More in Creve Coeur. The company carries hard-to-find sizes, including up to size 17 for men and size 14 for women.

In addition to a tremendous stock, Laurie's has team members dedicated to service. "We've been around for 63 years, and customer service is what we strive for," Waldman says. And customers notice; Laurie's Shoes is the reigning LN Platinum List Best Shoe Store. "Essentially, we want to give our customer the best experience they have ever had in shopping, and we have been known for that for decades. Everyday, we improve on it because we always feel we can do better. Customer service is what it's all about."

ON THE COVER: Laurie's Shoes has provided St. Louisans with a service-focused footwear experience since 1951. For more information, call 961-1642 or visit