Monday, September 03, 2007

Learning how to tie shoes

Don't ask me how my kindergartener lost a Croc between the parking lot and home. Suddenly, we're down to one pair of sandals that fit.

My careful shoe surplus had a critical gap, with no Velcro straps in a 1 or 2. We've stockpiled gently-worn shoes like they're going out of style. They are: only Stride Rite and Merrell still sell Andrew's wide width. I'm not willing to invest $45 in shoes that won't last through fall. I can usually find great shoes for less than $5.

Which would be more frustrating--a trip to the mega-mall, or teaching Andrew how to tie the only pair of shoes in his size? We opted for the latter. He had to learn sometime. Right?

Mom Alert: where do you find hard-to-fit kids shoes at reasonable prices? I'd love to know your secrets!

25 comments:

Shelley H. said...

Hi ~ Would ebay have anything that might fit? You can sometimes get hard-to-find items for a reasonable price. Just a suggestion... :)

Dana said...

eBay would be my suggestion, too! One of my daughters has a semi-wide foot. If I don't get a wide size, she outgrows them way too fast. By the way, don't just check the auctions, check the eBay stores also.

I keep checking for saddle oxfords and a pair of cowboy boots in a size 10 (little girls). I have an "I'll wait" attitude. When it's the right time for them to be found at a good price, I'll be led to find 'em! (Hope that made sense...or cents...!)

Dana

tamara cosby said...

Believe it or not, we found New Balance WIDE at Marshalls. They were 20 dollars but it was worth it to me to have shoes that fit him! I have REALLY REALLY REALLY, did I mention REALLY wide feet and I worry about his little feet hurting...I also sometimes find somethings at Zappos dot com. I like that website because you can put the ACTUAL size you need into their little search engine and find shoes that way.

www.cosbyfamily.wordpress.com
jtcosby@comcast.net

marycelery said...

I dislike ebay and when my dd was your child's age, I didn't have that option. So, I asked all of the upscale resale shops around to put me on the "call list" for double wide girls shoes. Yes you read that right, double wide. I paid a bit more - probably $5 to $10, but the shoes were usually in very nice, almost new shape.

I don't know if any of the second hand stores will do that for you. I did a "loop" weekly. I lived in a small town with 2 great shops that would call me and I would go to look and what they had.

I had to remind myself that my child's feet could be damaged by ill fitting shoes. It was far better to spend the $8 on a single pair that she wore constantly than to chance creating problems with growing bones. Plus, the money I saved by her extremely cheap (sometimes free) clothes, had been put to good use.

Try to figure out your child's feet to see if you can get good at "eyeballing" the correct size. You need to analyze just how your child's feet are wide. Sounds weird, I know. Does your child have "tall toes" or "flat toes and duck wide feet"? Tall toes are really hard to fit and you just have to spend the money. Flat toes have many more options - most wide shoes are meant for these types of feet.

Mine had "tall toes," not particularly wide feet. In fact, her feet measured just wide, not double wide. The height of her toes meant that she couldn't even get wide feet on! It also meant that she would get blisters on the top of her feet (ouch!).

If your child has the tall toes, try Walmart. Some of their children shoes are both wide and tall. Specifically, their velcro type sandals worked well for us. But Striderite was always our gold standard (and Grandma the main purchaser of the shoes).

Now, dd is 14 and still has a D width foot (yikes!) We still shop at Walmart first. They do have wide shoes that are somewhat fashionable. Also, Ross has cute wude shoes including Merrills! Now that her feet have be 9W for 3 years, I am willing to buy shoes that are *gulp* $20. Before now, I was constantly on the hunt.

Good luck

Miss Mary

Anonymous said...

I find good shoes for my grandsons at Marshall's and at Beal's here in our town. (Austin, Round Rock, Texas) I think teaching him to tie his shoes is good too. It is always good to learn a new skill. Roxie

Bessers said...

I have heard that Target carries shoes made by Stride Rite for less. Supposedly they say "Made by Stride Rite" right on them. My pediatrician recommended only new Stride Rites for my son, but I too can't bring myself to stomach the price tag. There is a Stride Rite outlet near my in-laws, so whenever I go there, I stock up on the next few sizes, usually for $15 - 20 each.

Anonymous said...

Payless carries wides. We have found some styles are wider than others and we purchase those styles year after year. -Melissa

Lu said...

Bubbie has a wide foot. Whenever I find reasonable and good quality shoes at Goodwill for him, usually he out grows them before he's worn them because of his width...I have found several pairs of Stride Rite on ebay. You have to pay for shipping, so it may not be worth it to you, but I am willing to pay it because of the life in them... I love stride rite!

Anonymous said...

We wait until Payless has a BOGO free sale.

Ruth, PA

Mary said...

Payless Shoes. Moderately priced, local, no shipping fees.

Jennifer said...

I have the opposite problem - my 2 oldest kids have very narrow feet, just like my husband and I. I have paid a fortune for shoes over the years. I usually hunt forever trying to find something that just runs smaller than other shoes. Frequently I resort to Stride Rite. It is painful I tell you. But not as expensive as the shoes that go on my feet at least.

Chief Family Officer said...

Wow, I've never been more grateful that my toddler doesn't have wide feet! :o I just wanted to echo the comment about Zappos, since I've bought shoes from there. Their return service has been great - and free - (I've used it twice now). Maybe that will help you be less hesitant if you find something on their site that looks good.

Meredith said...

Great ideas, thanks!

Payless discontinued wide widths in toddler shoes for a while--now that Andrew can wear boy's shoes, I'll have to check out their wide width selection. Thanks for reminding me!

Morning said...

Aren't children's shoes ridiculously expensive? I'm always grateful to receive hand-me-down shoes, especially as they are generally in such good condition, as little feet grow incredibly quickly. Our playgroup holds a 'trade table' once a month, when mothers bring in any good quality outgrown clothes, which are then sold for a dollar or so. The proceeds go to the playgroup -- and there are generally plenty of shoes and other items to choose from. Perhaps that would work for you?

Anonymous said...

Meredith, you've probably figured this out already - if I'm searching Ebay for an item and don't want to pay a lot (or any!) shipping, I search for items within 50 miles of my home. This works well since I'm in a large metropolitan area and many sellers are within 5 to 15 miles of my location. Frequently I'm able to meet the seller to pick up the item I've won. You could also post a "Stride Rite wanted" ad on Craigslist.

Susan in San Antonio

(I think I need to get together with Roxie - looks like she isn't far from here!)

2boysmama said...

My son needs wide width too. I find its hard to find used kids shoes in good condition. Especially since I will use them for my younger son too. So even if they last through my older son, they look horrible for my younger son.

We have a stride rite outlet near us where I can find shoes for $15 -20 a pair. With 2 boys (and possibly a 3rd boy!) I think that is a good value.

Anonymous said...

There is a Stride Rite outlet over by Pigeon Forge TN if you're ever over that way. I have found good wide shoes at Payless, both for the toddler daughter and myself. Also, we scored a new pair of Stride Rites oxfords for my nephew on our latest consignment sale trip, $5. I couldn't pass that one up!

Grace

Anonymous said...

My adult son was born with my wide feet and now has to special order his quadruple E shoes from New Balance-- try 90 dollars for dress shoes! Anyway, when he was little we went to Buster Brown and Nordstrom, besides Stride Rite. Payless was too "flat" in the toe box for him. Check Craigslist and Pennysaver for the free items. No kidding, I just saw someone giving 7 pairs of new boys shoes away.

Ruth

2boysmama said...

forgot to mention freecycle. I've received some shoes through them.

Do you use freecycle? I would think it would be something right up your alley but haven't read you mention it.

Anonymous said...

http://babycheapskate.blogspot.com/

This blog will often point towards toddler shoe sales (I think they also do kids).

I echo the "time to learn" to tie his shoes. Any tips for teaching my kids? Our oldest, age 6, is left-handed (and I'm right) so I *admittedly* (blushing here) haven't tried yet.

Thanks,
Jennifer

Indie said...

There is a Stride Rite outlet at Opry Mills. My first had such wide feet (they've narrowed a bit luckily) that even Stride Rite only had boy shoes in her size. Her first two pairs of shoes were boy's shoes. We ended up biting the bullet and buying Preschoolians which are expensive. They come with inserts for multiple widths which is wonderful, because my youngest has normal width feet and this has allowed us to pass down the shoes. I also like Preschoolians because they have flexible rubber soles which are better for foot formation.

Indie said...

I have to add that I've exchanged a pair of Preschoolians that I hated and that didn't fit without any problems. After my daughter wore out the velcro on another pair of Preschoolians I asked them to replace them or fix the velcro since I felt that expensive shoes should hold up longer. They replaced the shoes and let me keep the old ones which I should be able to fix myself when my youngest gets up to that size. Both times they have given me a coupon for my next order and another time that they shipped late they gave me another coupon, so overall we've gotten much better service than we would have with cheaper shoes.

Right Here in This Moment said...

so what do you do when you have a 3yr old ( mind you an age that has a hard time telling you if a shoe feels good or not ) has a high arch and a narrow foot? I have been going to the stride rite outlet store but I am still paying 20- 25$ for a shoe that is only going to last a few months. so she gets what she need tennis shoes, church shoes and sandles ( in the summer) and I feel so sorry for her b/c like her mother she LOVES shoes1

Elizabeth said...

Meredith,
I've had 3 boys who wear extra wide shoes so we've been forced to only get SR or NB. Amazon periodically has excellent sales on brand new SR. Shoes that are currently in brick and mortars for $45 are $12-$15 on sale. Mommysavers.com gives the sale alerts if you don't want to check for yourself. I buy velcro styles ahead for my twin kindergarteners. They even had the plain black or white leather athletic shoes for school uniforms that are good enough for church in my opinion.

Elizabeth

Martin said...

Teaching kids how to tie shoes is one
uphill task and I never had patience. these all his mothers task.
My task is over by purchasing him shoes which is easy to wear and with out lace.