I wanted to take my kid shoe shopping.
Technically, this was not his first pair. But they were in terms of actually using them for purposes other than pure decoration, which all baby shoes are until they can walk in them.
I decided to suck it up and spend a bit of dough at Stride Rite. I figured, they were reputable and would have a good selection and besides, it’s important to have a comfortable pair of shoes, especially for someone who has only been walking for a third of their life.
Also, since Stride Rite is a kids shoe store and not a big box store, I envisioned someone measuring his feet and going in the back to find us the ones we liked and helping me put them on and determining if they fit right. I can’t remember the last time *I* bought shoes this way since I usually end up at Payless’ BOGO sale convincing myself it’s fine to walk out with four pairs.
I imagined the store would be fairly empty, even though it was a Saturday. Mostly because the shopping center by my house is doing pretty badly. Stores rarely have anyone in them and businesses come and go so much you have to look them up online to make sure they’re still around before heading out.
Which is what I should have done with Stride Rite.
Then we pulled into the parking lot, I noticed several people heading into the store. I thought to myself, “why are so many people shoe shopping today?”
My question was answered when I realized the sign on the door for 50% all merchandise was due to the store going out of business.
And so, in this teeny, tiny building, dozens of people were rifling through boxes. Some jerk had their stroller inside and kids were standing around a little dumbfounded as parents threw on shoes asking them if they fit and if they liked them.
I was by myself, which was bad move on my part. I’d been in such a hurry to get this adventure going, I told my partner to stay home, drink coffee and relax and we’d be back to pick him up for lunch later.
So yeah, there we were, my kid wanting to walk around and make friends. I was eyeing the stacks of shoes trying to guess his size? 3? 4? NO IDEA.
Finally I arrived at 5 ½, which seemed to work. Then I saw a sales person measuring a bunch of kids and asked her if she’d take my kid’s.
He is a 6…WIDE she announced, so look for 6 ½…if we have anything left.
I’m not going to lie. I thought it was hilarious that my kid’s Fred Flinstone feet were WIDE.
OK, so 50% is a good deal, right?
Well, sure, if the two pairs you found in his size did not retail at $52 and $44.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME???
The most expensive pair of shoes I own right now are the $40 winter boots I bought at COSTCO this year.
And yes, I would spend more money on my child in a heartbeat, but not on footwear that he will grow out of in approximately three seconds.
Also, no wonder they are going out of business! Seriously, who is buying their less than two year old a $50 pair of shoes?
In my frazzled need to run out of that store screaming, but NOT empty handed, I bought him both pairs. So yeah, I still spent $50.
Though I suppose it was worth it.
I took him to the park the other morning and let him roam around. He kept looking back at me with an experssion on his face like “is this OK?” All of the open space seemed endless.
He walks up the driveway and down the sidewalk like a character in a video game trying to figure out where they can go.
He loves this new world without walls, gates and closed doors and he associates that freedom with those shoes.