Shoe Shop A Perfect Fit For Whitman Grad
Whether you’re helping rebuild the Route 110 interchange, hard at work in a local restaurant’s kitchen, or tending to recuperating patients at Huntington Hospital, Red Wing Shoes in Huntington Station has footwear purpose-built to take good care of your feet.
Huntington Station’s Ron Cafiso, a 1977 Walt Whitman High School grad, was joined Friday by the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce and Huntington Councilwoman Susan Berland – perhaps the preeminent shoe expert on that governing body – to cut the ribbon on the new store.
Before opening the Red Wing Shoes store three months ago, Cafiso was in field service, repairing machinery used to prepare mass mailings.
“I was a Red Wing customer, and I didn’t want to travel anymore,” he said. “I was looking for a pair of shoes – it was the time I was looking to do something else. I went into a Red Wing shoe store, spoke to the manager at the store at the time… I looked into it further, and Red Wings been a great company ever since.”
While Red Wing Shoes may be over 100 years old, the company relies on state-of-the-art technology to achieve the perfect fit. Most customers hop onto MyStep, a computerized measuring device, which highlights pressure points in the foot, fits a customer with a boot, and helps select the most suitable orthotic inserts. Cafiso and his staff can even draw on the readout, like John Madden telestrating a football game, to highlight important spots on each customer’s foot.
Red Wing refers to its stores as dealerships, and customers build their boots to meet their unique needs.
“Red Wing builds purpose-built shoes. Every shoe has a purpose to it,” Cafiso said.
Slip-resistant shoes are designed with the kitchen worker in mind, while attractive, comfort-built dress shoes are aimed at anybody who’s on their feet all day in retail. The heaviest-duty boots offer options including: insulation, impact-resistant materials to protect the ankles, interior and exterior waterproofing and a choice of steel, aluminum or composite Safety Toe inserts. For additional toe protection, boots can be treated in TuffToe, an exterior epoxy finish that hardens the toe of the boot.
In addition to a wide selection of men’s and women’s work boots and shoes and footwear designed for hunting and hiking, Red Wing Shoes offers an array of accessories, including temperature-tailored socks, gloves, belts, maintenance supplies and even comfy Red Wing slippers for men and women.
The flurry of local construction at Target, near Exit 40 of the Northern State, and at the nearby Walt Whitman Mall certainly hasn’t hurt business in his opening three months. His local roots have brought out plenty of well-wishers.
“Word is getting out pretty fast,” Cafiso said. “People know Red Wing Shoes, and they’re glad that I’m back in Huntington.”