I was at the mall with my daughter. We had just entered hour number 3 and the 5th circle of hell known as
anger shoe shopping.
Me: Just shoot me
Hubs: So it’s going well?
I used to love shopping for shoes. The smell of the supple leather, the shelves brimming with promise, the anticipation of slipping my feet into a little piece of heaven…and then I had kids.
And in case you didn’t know it, shoe shopping with kids is hell.
I love shoes. If I could, I’d live in Carrie Bradshaw’s closet and have ALL THE SHOES. High heels, mules, sandals, boots, wedges, ballerina flats, sneakers, sling backs. Except crocs. Anything but crocs. At least, I USED to love shoes.
Now? Now I hate shoes. Specifically, kids shoes. Because I swear there’s a giant conspiracy with shoe designers: “Hey, do you know what would be really fun? Let’s take something mothers love and kill them softly with it.”
Going shoe shopping with kids is like a 4-year-old’s birthday party.
It all starts out as fun and games but before you know it the sugar high comes crashing down, little Janey hates everything and everyone, and nobody’s happy.
But shoes it is. Because apparently flip flops are not considered real footwear and back to school is just around the corner. And so you muster up the courage, repeat a thousand positive affirmations, say a hail Mary, and enter the dark side. Here is what you can expect while shoe shopping with kids:
Nothing Fits. Nothing.
“These are too tight.”
“These are too loose.”
“My toes hurt.”
“My ankles hurt.”
“These slip on my heels.”
“These are too pokey.”
“These are too hard.”
“These are too bendy.”
“The left one fits but the right one is too small.”
“The right one fits but the left one feels funny.”
These are just a few of the comments that will leave your precious offspring’s lips as he is trying on umpteen number of shoes. You will attempt to measure said child’s feet. But the silver foot doohickey is wrong.
Your child swears that size does not fit. You go up a size. You go down a size. There is no half-size. Your child has mutant feet that do not conform to standard kids’ sizing. The sales clerk is starting to swear, I mean, sweat. Because seriously, how can this be this difficult? I’ll tell you how. Because shoes suck.
The Size You Are Looking For Is Sold Out
So, you finally figured out your child’s shoe size? Good for you. Except here’s a little known fact: Every child is a size 3. Now you know. Oh, but your child is a size 2 so you’re good? No. No you are not. Because suddenly everyone is a size 2. I told you, *whispers* It’s a conspiracy.
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
Your middle-schooler just wants to fit in. She has a clear vision of exactly what she is looking for. But they do not exist in children’s sizes.
You attempt the 3 Ds: deflect, distract, divert. She’s having none of it. You are getting desperate. Your other children are tired and bored.
They mistake the shoe department for a WWF arena and start wrestling. Chaos ensues. You want to cry. You want to go home. ANd yet, you persevere. “What about high tops? They’re cool.” Your tween rolls her eyes and starts channeling Dr.Seuss – “I would not wear them here or there. I would not wear them anywhere.”
Prepare To Spend A Small Fortune
Maybe you’re lucky and your child doesn’t care what his shoes look like…wait a second…BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (like that is EVER going to happen). You start with the cheapest shoes you can find because we all know that four months from now they’ll look like they’ve been through the zombie apocalypse.
One day? Perfectly good shoes. Next day? The velcro is falling off, they’re full of holes, and the soles are worn down to nothing. So cheapest shoes it is. Only it’s not. Because guess what? They don’t have the right size. You go to the next price point. Nope, not those either. And the next one. And the next one. Annnnnd the next one.
There goes that weekend away you were planning. But by now, you no longer care. You just want to escape this hell that you are living in. You throw down your credit card.
Shoe shopping with kids is no joke. If Dante had named a 10th circle of hell it would have been this. For the record, my daughter and I did make it home that day.
With a pair of shoes. May miracles never cease. So as you go forth, children in tow, just know, shoe shopping is not for the faint of heart. On second thought, just send them with dad.