For almost 60 years, Lauries Shoes has been providing kids (and their parents) with a wide selection of back-to-school shoes, along with casual and dress shoes. Family-owned for three generations, the store has six area locations—including Lauries Shoes Etc., which recently opened in the St. Louis Galleria. “Lauries Shoes Etc. is a fresh, high-end approach,” says owner Mark Waldman. “The focus is on high-fashion and classic shoes and accessories that aren’t available at our other stores.”

“It was built with Mom in mind, with comfortable seating, photography by Sarah Carmody, refreshments, and flat-screen TVs and cookies to keep the kids occupied,” Waldman says. Locally designed by Architectural Design Guild and built of sustainable materials by L. Keeley Construction, the energy-efficient space is a perfect showcase for fashion-forward merchandise. “Traditionally, Lauries offers more than 50,000 pairs and 150 brands of high-quality shoes for children and adults—Birkenstock, Cole Haan, Ecco, Finn Comfort, Klogs, Merrell, New Balance, Nike, Rockport, Stride Rite, Timberland, and many more,” he explains. “We carry many of those brands at the new place, too, but the primary emphasis is on high style.”

Lauries Shoes Etc. features girls’ and boys’ footwear by hot brands such as Polo, Lelli Kelly, Vera Bradley, Naturino, Sperry, GORE-TEX and Ugg, Waldman says. Women’s lines include Vera Bradley and Amian. “And we’ll be one of the first stores in the area to offer moon boots by Tecnica of Italy, a revival of a ‘70s and ‘80s trend that’s coming on strong for fall and winter,” he says.

Fashion is fun, but anyone who has ever suffered ‘the agony of da feet’ from a pair of ill-fitting shoes knows looks aren’t everything. “That’s why we take great pride in providing footwear that’s not only fashionable, but comfortable,” Waldman says. All Lauries stores have an extensive inventory of hard-to-find sizes and widths, he adds, but at the new location, it’s not uncommon to find the same style in more than 100 sizes. “Our sales and management staff have the expertise to make sure you get the exact right fit.” Lauries also offers the latest foot-measuring technology, a machine that precisely calculates how a child’s weight is distributed on their foot, he says. “We also have a full assortment of corrective orthotics.”

Lauries’ reputation as a small, hands-on business allows the company to react to fashion trends quickly while also responding to client needs, Waldman says. That attitude comes straight from the top, he reports. “Joan Waldman, my mother, is now 82 years old, and she’s still handing out cookies to kids at our original store on Manchester Road.”

On the Cover: Lauries Shoes has a new store, Lauries Shoes Etc., in the St. Louis Galleria. In addition, Lauries has locations at 9916 Manchester Road; Chesterfield Mall; Birkenstock by Lauries at 12346 Olive Blvd; and Stride Rite stores at St. Clair Square in Illinois and Midrivers Mall in St. Peters. Pictured on the cover is footwear available only at Lauries Shoes Etc. For more information, call 862-7463 or visit Cover design by Dawn Stremlau — Cover photo by Jason Mueller