Colorful Crocs and monkey socks

By Morgan Timms, @Morgan_Timms

The Carbondale Strip typically conjures images of lively bar scenes, not necessarily a vibrantly-colored clutter of shoes, accessories, bags, sunglasses, clothing and handmade sock monkeys. Such is the interior design of Walk the Line, a shoes and accessories store on the strip started by Kim Treger in 1994. 

“Let me know if you need some help,” Treger calls to customers from behind the store’s front desk. “I’m sewing on the heart of a monkey, so to speak.”

Treger reopened the store in November after taking four years off to care for her ailing mother and in-laws.


“There was just so much death around,” Treger said. “I just needed a break, so it was like my great hiatus.”

She said it was difficult to adjust after being away for so long and she was worried she wouldn’t remember how to use the credit card machine. Upon the store’s reopening, however, all the memories flooded back, along with many of her regular customers.

After graduating from SIU with a bachelor’s degree in art, Treger opened Walk the Line. She previously worked at Susan’s on the Square, a boutique that is now closed. Treger identified an issue in the market for comfortable shoes, or as she describes them, “shoes that you could run away from somebody in.” The store’s theme has since evolved to include anything that catches her eye.

“It took probably 10 years to build it all up, little by little,” Treger said. “I love finding the stuff for the store and the people I meet.”