I have always had a quandry about buying kids shoes. Fall weather started here this week, and I realized that neither of the boys had running shoes that fit, and that in fact my oldest probably needed an extra pair for school, too. This meant I had to once more wade into my thoughts on kids shoes.
You see, I was one of those kids who always got good quality shoes. My mother firmly believed that bad shoes would ruin my feet and leave me forever awkward and flat footed (or high arched?). So every spring we would go and get me a good quality pair of buckle-up leather Buster Brown sandals for the summer. And every fall we would go to Sears and get two pairs of good quality running shoes for school, and one good quality pair of Mary Janes for church and skirts. Oh, how I envied all those girls in the early 80's that got to wear the little black Mary-Jane like slippers as their inside shoes at school while I had to endure my clunky, hard to put on running shoes. They seemed to float through the air, while I stomped along in my practical, quality shoes.
This lesson has stayed with me my whole life, and I still own a few pairs of good quality, generally clunky (but funky clunky) shoes.
When it comes to my kids' shoes, I do wonder, though. Is it worth the extra $20 to get my 5 year old Sketchers instead of Walmart shoes. Aside from the fact that I hate to shop at Walmart, is there really that much of a difference in quality? Its quite likely that both pairs of shoes were made in almost the exact same type of factory, with almost the exact same type of materials. And yet I am left with that voice in my head, saying "If you want to have good feet as an adult, you need good quality shoes."
So far, I tend to compromise. I get each kid one good quality pair of shoes -- their main outside shoes for playing at the park and walking around town. Then I get a cheaper pair of school shoes, since they do a lot of sitting at school, and if I feel like they need dress shoes, I will get another cheaper pair for those, too.
What do you think about kids shoes?