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1. One should never go shopping for shoes with four children.

2. Shoe boxes look very similar. We accidentally put the wrong shoes back in the wrong box many many times. Our sales person did not find this particularly helpful.

3. 15-month-old Chase will run out of the store and into the mall 37 times.

4. Stride Rite could really use a door to stop small children from escaping.

5. Chase has extra wide feet that don’t fit in many shoes. I love those adorable fat feet.

6. 15-month-old Harlowe will cry and curl her toes every time we attempt to stuff her foot into a shoe.

7. My 6-year-old will try to convince me to buy a pair of shoes that most definitely don’t fit.

8. At some point, I will consider just giving up and leaving with no shoes.  But then my husband will give me a look that says, “I’m absolutely never doing this again,” and I will press on.

9. At some critical decision point, my 4-year-old will desperately need a bathroom. Because we’ve sapped every last morsel of energy from our sales person, she will let us use the employees bathroom. The kids will get to see the backroom with hundreds of boxes of shoes. This will be the coolest thing ever.

10. When the store sign says, “Buy one, get the second half price,” it does not mean cocktails.

11. I know because I asked.

12. I’m pretty sure our sales person went out for a drink as soon as we left.

13. After getting home with all the new shoes, we will realize that we never had the kids try any of them on with socks. EVEN THOUGH WE ACTUALLY BOUGHT SOCKS AT THE STORE.

14. We vow to make the shoes fit one way or another. We aren’t going back to the store.

30 Responses to what i learned shopping for shoes with four children

  • Littlej says:

    Thank you. I now have confirmation that Zappos.com is a Mom’s dream come true!

    I am curious. Is it at some point during these hilarious escapades that you think to yourself “At least I can write about this craziness on the blog.” or do you need a few hours/drinks to gain perspective and see the humor?

    • jessica says:

      Really?? I have four children and I am buying new shoes for them every year, if not six months. Am I doing something wrong, or are my childrens feet growing too fast? 😉

  • Megan says:

    Ironically, we did the Stride Rite trip yesterday since you know, kids outgrow shoes every two months. A few things: a) never, ever go on a day they decided not to nap b) bring lollipops, lots of them c) the salesperson will inevitably be offended every time your child squeals when they try to touch their leg or toes and scream for Mommy, which I don’t understand b/c surely they see this all the time – plus, isn’t leg and toe touching always weird uneless you’re dating??? d) running out into the mall seems like an ok plan if they’re in eyeshot, until they get too close to an escalator – found this out e) you learn disgusting facts like children sweat most out of their feet – 10 gallons or something annually. Ew – it’s like that mattress stat. f) you find yourself wanting to get those sparkly ridiculous shoes for your son b/c at least there is some variety. Anyway, I don’t know how you and the hubs did four. Bananas. I hope you did hit the vino after bedtime, that you sent a shotglass over to the salesman and that your children are enjoying sassy new shoes. You go girl.

  • MN Mama says:

    Ugh! This is timely for me…. I am getting ready to go to Stride Rite this morning. My girlfriend owns a children’s shoe store in Charlotte, NC. Someday I am going to get in a plane and take my kids there! I could always use a friend when I take the kids shoe shopping! Her website is http://www.kixxshoes.com/ if anyone is interested.

  • Beth says:

    I’ve got a baby with fat fat fat feet as well (a girl, which makes it harder, because STRIDE RITE STOPS MAKING EXTRA WIDE GIRLS SHOES PAST SIZE 6 in most styles. Not that I’m annoyed about that). I just discovered See Kai Run (they sell them at Nordstroms and online and probably other places too) and they are super-soft and they’re actually shaped like fat baby feet. Also, they’re really cute. They’re also not cheap, but they fit my baby, which means I spend more on shoes for her than on shoes for me. Anyway, you might try those next time.

  • Yeah, and the sad part of it is that you’ll be doing this ALL. OVER. AGAIN. in 2 months when their feet have grown a half size.

    Strap those sweet babies into the stroller and only release them one at a time when it’s their turn…like duct tape only less cruel. (Though I do suggest duct tape to muffle the irritated screams that will likely protest stroller confinement.)

    We did the Stride Rite thing FOUR TIMES this back-to-school season….with ALL FIVE KIDS all four times. In our infinite wisdom and unending attempts to procrastinate unpleasant experiences, we waited too long for the BOGO sale. No one had the sizes we needed in the shoes the kids wanted. And, then, my nearly nine year-old full-time stepson decided he’s too lazy for tie shoes. What??? He doesn’t want those super-cool shoes we just drove 20 minutes to the next mall for BECAUSE THEY TIE?!?!?!

    If you don’t know, Stride Rite doesn’t sell many third grader-sized Velcro shoes. Yes, this was an unknown to me, too. Finally, after the fourth store, a very helpful Stride Rite employee told us just to order his online because we’d probably never find them in their stores.

    And, after all that, our nineteen month-old twins remove their toddler-sized Keens EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. they are put in their car seats. They toss them out the minivan door. We have to do a shoe check before we drive away.


    Love your blog!

  • Emily says:

    Ahhhh – Stride Rite. Somehow, those sales people always make me feel like the worst mother in the world for turning down shoes that I wouldn’t put on my neighbor’s cat…let alone my own kid — I don’t care if they fit perfectly!

    In addition, I think the “double wide” tactic is a stride rite ploy to get you to buy their brand of shoe. There are only two baby shoe manufacturers that make WW — Stride Rite (surprise!) and New Balance. After three years of falling for the fat feet factoid those tricky sales people tried on me…I relented and bought my son some Puma’s. And they fit…although a little snug around the sides 🙂

    PS. Love Chase’s sweet little feet!
    PPS. I totally would have tried to get my mom to buy me shoes that were the wrong size…that Dylan is one smart cookie!

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    Nothing beat the torture my generation suffered when we were taken for new shoes. We had our feet put into some x-ray machine which probably destroyed our bones and bone marrow; just to see what the feet looked like in the shoes. And by the way, if your child has wide feet, DO NOT BUY THEM REGULAR WIDTH. They will be going for operations years later to straighten out their toes which will grow crooked with bunions.

  • LT says:

    Stride Rite stresses me out with 2 so I can only imagine. . .Do you have Nordstroms near you? It seems to be less stressful. It could have something to do with the fish tank and the balloons (or maybe I had drinks before I went that day :-)). xoxo

  • Jill says:

    Nordstroms was NO better when I went with my 3 kids on Monday. Instead, I walked out with a pair of shoes 1/2 size too big for one of my daughters. Which will give her blisters and have her bawling mere hours into wearing them.

    Whatever …

  • Zappos has a W I D E section on their website.

    Also? I just did this last week and the worst part, was the bill was over $300! Also my kids are ages 6 though 13 and they were no better behaved.

    Chase’s feet look like delicious pork chops! Nom, nom, nom!

  • Leigh Ann says:

    Ugh, we do the Stride Rite outlet, where we get the shoes for a fraction of the price, but you’re lucky to find a salesperson within 3 miles. They’re probably all in the back with the hundreds of shoes, the half priced drinks, and the valium.

  • Those little baby feet always looked like little unbaked muffin rolls or something. Adorable. Seems a crime to put those in shoes. BUT clearly he will be wearing hand-me-downs from his sisters, regardless (avoiding more shoestore trips). And you know, you could just saw the toes off the shoes (easier than cutting off the kids toes), thus creating a lovely open-toed effect AND ensuring that the shoes will fit.

  • jill Sherman says:

    Love your blog! I felt like I was right there with you and Rick amidst the chaos! I think I need a drink!

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