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Eric Shoes outfits extra large, very small feet

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Has anyone ever called you Big Foot?

Have shoe store salesmen given you a quizzical look while biting their lip to prevent from laughing out loud at your request for size 15 in a particular shoe?

Do your friends make thinly veiled suggestive remarks about the size of your feet?

If you answered yes to all three questions, then Eric Shoes in Queens Village and Rego Park are the answers to all your problems.

For the past 60 years Eric Shoes, started by Eric Rosenberg in 1942, has been selling shoes in all shapes, sizes and styles to residents of Queens and the metropolitan area. Recently through the use of the Internet the new owner, Larry Dimmer, who bought the stores 15 years ago, has been selling shoes across the United States and Canada.

To celebrate its 60th anniversary the store is having a storewide sale until the end of the holidays as a kind of thank you to the clientele for its loyal support.

“They have the perfect shoes for my foot,” said Evelyn of Jamaica, who did not want to give her last name. “I have been coming her for a number of years and I am very happy.”

She said her foot is difficult to fit and Eric Shoes is the only place where she can be guaranteed to find a shoe that she likes and is comfortable.

Abraham Vark, the store’s manager for the past 10 years and an employee for two decades, said Rosenberg saw a need for large and wide sizes so he decided to carry them along with his regular collection of shoes.

He said not all of the styles the store stocks comes in sizes above 13, but New Balance, Hush Puppies, Bostonian, Florsheim and Soft Sports shoe companies have many styles larger than 13.

“We carry large sizes but we also carry small sizes for men and women, which is important,” Vark said. “In men’s shoes we carry sizes 5 to 18 and in women’s shoes sizes 3 /12 to 14.”

In addition to large sizes, the store sells extra wide shoes up to triple E and orthopedic shoes for people with foot problems, he said. The store can also can do the “orthopedic work” like orthotics for people with special needs, Vark said.

“The largest size I sold was a 20 to a man who saw our ad in the paper and came by,” he said. “Many people who play basketball come in to buy New Balance sneakers and even a few of the St. John’s team has come to the store.”

Today, he said, more people are coming to the store asking for larger sizes. The younger generation is much bigger than their parents, Vark said.

One of the reasons people keep coming back to the store is because the have very competitive prices and will match any store or catalog price.

“The store can offer such competitive prices because it does not have a very high overhead,” Vark said, “and we love getting the best price for the customer.”

The stores are located at 216-11 Jamaica Ave. in Queens Village and at 96-33 Queens Blvd. in Rego Park. The store’s hours are Monday to Thursday 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.

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