The Kids' Shoes Blues

There are some amazing inventions out there, y'all. Modern science and technology astounds me. They can make microscopic cameras, create new organs, concoct lifesaving medicines, extract DNA from creatures that have been dead for millions of years. Some of the things I read about sound like they came straight from some futuristic sci-fi novel.

So I'd like to know: with all this astonishing technology at the world's disposal, how come anybody hasn't been able to invent some shoes that will stand up to a little boy?

Case in point - Colin's second pair of school shoes this year:

His S-E-C-O-N-D  P-A-I-R. I mean, seriously? He still has until June to wear them to school. And this is not a "you get what you pay for" type of situation, where we bought some cheap shoes and they wore out within a couple of months. These are name-brand (K-Swiss, to be exact); the first pair he destroyed were Nike. This picture doesn't even show the extent of the raggedy-ness - I took this picture after I wiped as much dirt off as I could with a baby wipe, like I do every morning before school (and would you believe that I bleached those shoelaces just last week?).

I don't know what he does to literally wear the toes out of his shoes. I imagine that as soon as he gets to school he starts walking all slothlike and drags the tops of his feet. Or, like, crawls everywhere. How do you even do that to your shoes? Not only that, but when he takes them off, they're like ... misshapen. Stretched out or something. They look like they wouldn't even fit snugly around his ankles. It's crazy what the child manages to do to his footwear.

Anyway, just in case some children's shoe designer is out trolling blogs looking for inspiration (ha!), I'm going to describe my perfect shoes. For my kids, that is. (My perfect shoes would make my feet look small and my legs look sexy, but that's beside the point. Also, unrealistic.)

#1 - I want them to be white. Yes, I know, it's harder to keep clean - but white goes with everything, whether it's a sporty T-shirt or a collared polo. My kids have these shoes ...

... and I love them as far as durability is concerned (they're mostly made of this rubbery-feeling stuff), but - they're black. And blue and red. And police-themed. And they light up. And they don't go with everything. Maybe it's just me, but I have this "thing" about seeing a kid in a nice button-up shirt and, say, some cartoon-character-themed shoes. Is it too much to ask for some durable white shoes?

#2 - They can't have a lot of cloth on them because even if you wash it, even with bleach, cloth always gets all dingy-looking after a while.

#3 - I'd like them to be Velcro because none of my kids can tie their shoes. And yes, I know that at almost six years old, Colin is getting to be shoe-tying age ... but even when he does learn to tie, I'll still have two little kids who can't. And if you've ever gone through the rigamarole of loosening the laces, tightening them back up, and then tying - multiple times - when you're in a hurry, you know the value of Velcro.

#4 - They should be easy to clean. Like, toss-them-in-the-washer easy. And keep their shape.

Is this too much to ask? I mean, if my kid needed a prosthetic limb or something, they could make one that looks and acts like the real thing. So I hardly think the ideal shoe is out of the question.

With three boys, I think I'm gonna have to resort to panhandling in order to keep my dudes' feet covered.

Do your kids wear shoes out like this? Have you found the "holy grail" of children's footwear? Let me know if you've found an awesome pair of shoes.


  1. I just bought my kindergartener his 4th pair of shoes for the school year last week. My 3rd grader got his 3rd pair. INSANE!!!! I told them if they rip holes in them before the end of the year that they are out of luck. No more new shoes until school starts again in the fall.

  2. Drake is killer on shoes. We buy them for him and Morgan takes excellent care of all the stuff we get as she knows there might be a chance she will be using them again shortly, but shoes are something she can keep because they end up just as your described. As I remember, this is a boy thing, Morgan never seemed to have that problem.

  3. It sounds crazy but I think where kids' shoes are concerned the chap-o's from Target have out preformed the expensive names. I have two pair that have actually survived one child to be slayed by our second! I have bought both big names and cheapies and to have to buy two (or three) $15 pair per year vs. two $50 pair... well, there is just logic speaking here. Let's just pray they stop dragging their feet before it is about peer pressure!

  4. Jonah is currently on his 3rd pair of shoes for the school year. He started with black Chucks, then moved to white Pumas and is now in (the ugliest) white Nike Zoom Kobe's. His shoes get thrashed. His problem with shoes is the same as Colin's - he somehow wears out the toes.

    Also, he has had those exact same Sketchers. My experience with Sketchers is that they are durable, but heavy as bricks and ugly as all hell. I hate flashy, character shoes and refuse to buy them (dad bought the police ones).

    You know which shoes seem to last forever and ever? Crocs. Seriously. They're hideous, but Jonah loves them and often will have a pair last through 2 summers (including all the warm weather we get between summers). But I can't send him to school in Crocs...

  5. Man, I feel your pain and all I have to do is keep my 4 year old girl properly shod! My littler one is an angel with her shoes, but the older one can ruin a BRAND NEW PAIR of dress shoes in a matter of an hour. Her last 3 pairs of dress shoes (which we use several times a week for church activities) were ruined after the first wearing.

    My solution is to buy either really cheap shoes or shoes from consignment or thrift stores. After she ruined an expensive pair from Zappos I decided NO MORE! I am going to go broke trying to keep her in decent footwear!

    And excellent point - why can they do everything else in science except make shoes that can stand up to little children?? lol

  6. I can't imagine what Colin does to the toes of his shoes. Maybe he sits on the floor with his feet under him. And scoots around. On rocks or something. LOL

    Brace yourself and start saving up money.....some of these days you'll have three TEENAGE boys to keep in footwear!

  7. Mine wears out his sneakers in about 3-4 months. I've had much better luck with the rubber soled cowboy boots.

  8. Have you ever seen slide across the floor on their knees? My kids do it all the time and it tears up their shoes & their jeans! Maybe that is what he is doing?

  9. Yes! My son is only 2 and goes through a pair of shoes every few weeks. I know how his are wearing out though, he uses the toes as 'brakes' on the bikes at daycare *rolls eyes*

    What about those spray on shoes from 'Spaghetti with a chance of meatballs?'. They would work. Now just to find Flint to make us some....

  10. Benjamin went through at least two or three pair a year, he's down to two a year and he's almost 14. He still wears them out on the sides and toes from dragging them especially on his bike. He also still wears holes in his knees from slidding on them. Really?, grow up already, LOL.

  11. I found the perfect solution to the shoe problem!! Sears has their kidvatage program. All you do is sign up(for free) and if your kid wears out their shoes before they grow out of them you just take the shoes in and get a brand new pair. If they have the same shoe in stock you get that shoe, if not you get a pair of the same quality. With 3 boys this has saved me a TON of money!! And yes its the good shoes, I have traded in Sketchers, Nike, and Adidas. And No you dont need a reciept:) Hope this helps!

    1. Kidvantage program at sears is over. I knew it would last too long!! : (


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