11800 W. Broad St., Short Pump Town Center
Second Place: Designer Shoe Warehouse
Third Place: Nordstrom
Lots of us remember getting a brand new pair of school shoes and a balloon at Saxon on Patterson Avenue and later on Parham Road. Who knew that it started in 1953 as a little shop downtown on Grace Street and moved to Cary before it headed west? Now, in its expansive and chic Short Pump Town Center location, this family-owned business has become the shoe emporium extraordinaire of central Virginia. With shoes, it’s all about selection, quality, price and inventory, and this locally owned store has it nailed. On another end of the shoe spectrum in town is Designer Shoe Warehouse, or DSW, a chain that does discount in a big way, featuring a respectable array and inventory including the occasional fabulous find. It recently opened a new outlet at Willow Lawn and Near West Enders are flocking to check it out. Nordstrom is at the opposite end of Short Pump’s main mall from Saxon. You may be surprised to learn that Nordstrom started as a little shoe store in Seattle in 1901 — no wonder it has a great footwear department full of diverse styles and prices.