Cornblooms' Cutting-Edge Footwear Delights Shoppers

This city favorite stocks covetable heels, sandals and boots

Some stores you walk into and you feel like you belong. Cornblooms is one of them. It’s got that rarefied mix of footwear where everyone (yes, everyone!) will find something they like.

Cornblooms’ shoe stock embodies the women of Madison. You’ve got your earthy Birkenstocks and Dansko clogs; rugged and fashionable walking sneaks; girly fuschia and orange suede heeled sandals; sleek and polished patent-leather bow- and rosette-bedecked flats and heels. If shoes are the key to the wearer’s sole (get it?), this place is it.

Bought by owner Jeanette Riechers in 1999 from original founders Arnie and Shari Ruben, Cornblooms has enjoyed success for more than twenty-five years. Riechers opened its sister outpost, Madison Sole, on State Street in 2002. It has a more casual bent in its mix of sandals, boots and sneaks.

The store has stayed relevant with the guiding hand of buyer Brenda Baril, who continually brings a fresh focus to the inventory.

“Many of our customers are well traveled and they know fashion,” says Baril. “They keep us on our toes.”

Look for Frye, Minnetonka, Keen, Sperry Topsider and Hunter product plus jewelry and handbags by Brighton, socks, tights and scarves.

“I think shoes speak to a woman—it’s a great business to be in,” enthuses Baril.

So find your own shoe destiny—whether it’s chic boot or embellished sandal.

Clockwise from top left

These Keen lightweight sneaks offer a fashionable yet comfy take for casual days. $90

What little girl (or parent!) could resist sparkly sneaks by Italian brand Lelli Kelly? Bonus: they’re machine washable and have removable insoles for kids’ feet to grow! $49–$75

“This shoe is so artistic,” says Baril of the Neosens pump. “I love the leather, flower and the carved heel.” $295

Hunter boots are wildly popular for the fashionable set and those who just want dry (and warm!) feet. Pick from ten-plus colors and wear ’em with everything from sundresses on rainy days to skinny jeans in fall. $115–$175

“I love these shoes,” says Baril, who actually owns a pair of these Audley snakeskin/metallic wedges. $189

“Antelope makes basic [shoes] with that little something,” notes Riechers. “I love the mixed media in the materials, the comfort and the platform—it’s got it all!” $174

“Brighton took me to see their factory in China, so I saw their bags being made. Seeing the jewelry being handcrafted, the leather being selected and customized—it was amazing,” says Riechers. $175–$370

Shayna Miller is associate and style editor of Madison Magazine.

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