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Friday, November 14, 2008

Enjoy life and take a hike into Downtown Boulder's Pedestrian Shops



For over three decades, the Pedestrian Shops has been selling the world’s most comfortable footwear for men, women and children. In 1969, Richard Polk started the business in Denver out of the back of a pickup truck. Shortly thereafter, he traded in the pickup truck for a bookmobile and headed to Boulder and began selling Earth® footwear to local workers. In 1971, Polk signed his first lease in Downtown Boulder at 1334 Pearl Street. The store moved to its current location at 1425 Pearl Street in the mid 90s. In addition to the Pearl Street location (which is also the Pedestrian headquarters), customers can purchase shoes at the Pedestrian Shops in the Village Shopping Center as well as online at comfortableshoes.com. Polk says that the family owned business has flourished in Boulder thanks to the simple fact that people love to wear comfortable shoes!

In addition to providing over 20 brands (including Earth, Birkenstock, Crocs, Dansko, Reef and Teva to name a few), The Pedestrian Shops mission is to help make the world a better place. Every day, Polk, along with his General Manager & daughter, Lauren Polk and their employees take steps to ensure that they are operating in an environmentally responsible manner. Pedestrian Shops has been offsetting its energy usage with Renewable Energy Credits for several years, making it one of the first virtually wind-powered shoe stores in the United States. This past March, the downtown location may have become the world’s first solar-powered shoe store when its 10.32-kilowatt photo voltaic array went into service. (Solar panels and supporting equipment are located on the flat roof of the 1155 Canyon Building.) The system is owned and operated by the Pedestrian Shops as Pedestrian Energy and will provide clean electricity, preventing 28,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year from entering the Earth's atmosphere. "I'm really excited by the notion that we now can sell shoes without leaving a carbon footprint,” says Polk. The stores other earth-friendly business practices include recycling / reusing shoe boxes, offering employees Eco Passes and using energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs.


For more than 20 years, the Pedestrian Shops have been giving back to the community through shoe drives held each Thanksgiving and in celebration of EARTH DAY. During the drives, customers are encouraged to recycle their shoes for people in need. As a thank you, the store gives a 10% discount on any new pair of shoes, sandals, clogs or hiking boots (including footwear already sale priced). More than 30,000 pairs of reusable shoes have been collected for distribution by the First Presbyterian Church Deacon's Closet and other community partners. This year's Thanksgiving holiday shoe drive starts tomorrow (November 15) and runs through December 7.


Recently, the Pedestrian Shops was named Best Shoe Store in Boulder County from the Boulder County Gold Awards. From ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to experience the joy of comfortable footwear to Green business practices and giving back the community, the Pedestrian Shops is making the world a better place…one step at a time.

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posted by Downtown Boulder @ Friday, November 14, 2008   0 comments

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