The melting economy has all retailers (and most businesses, for that matter) frantic for ideas to distinguish themselves from the increasingly winnowed pack of competitors. Shoe sales certainly haven’t benefitted from nosediving consumer confidence– unless we’re talking about second-hand shoe sales. Those are booming. But designers haven’t stopped designing. Shoe stores are still open. And we’re all still wearing shoes. So how can retailers and designers be sure that you spend your choosy footwear dollars on their brands?