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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Mini Money Mustaches => Topic started by: thegeebees on March 08, 2018, 09:04:38 AM

Title: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: thegeebees on March 08, 2018, 09:04:38 AM
This is a problem that rolls around every 6 months or so, longer if I invest in higher quality shoes. I'm a serious penny pincher and parting with $45 for a pair of runners that last 6-8 months just kills me. Here's what we've tried, please chime in with recommendations!

-Buying from thrift stores: super hit or miss, rarely have the correct size and when they do, the shoes are super worn out
-Buying from sale groups online, this hasn't been an option since my kiddo hit size 1 youth, there simply aren't any his size
-Buying on sale: this is our best option so far to stretch our dollar. This season there was a buy 1 get 1 at Skechers and we bought two pairs of lower cost runners for a total of $45 with tax. Not too bad cost wise but both wore holes in the toes in 6 months and they're too far gone for ShoeGoo repair.
-StrideRite: this was what we bought when he was small, and now little brother is getting all of those high quality hand-me-downs, but in our area, they're considered "little kid" shoes.
-Buying from Walmart/Target: They're now at least $20 and I've heard they only last 1-2 months so this doesn't make sense to me
-Switching to skater shoes with the thick toe to prevent wear out-issue is that he has super thin feet and feels like they weigh his feet down

Anyone have a go-to shoe brand they love for bigger kids? Is there a mailing list I need to get on for mass sales and just buy several sizes at once? Do I need to stop crying about it every six months and just know that shoes are expensive? Wisdom appreciated!
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: sjc0816 on March 08, 2018, 09:16:17 AM
I'll be following this!

My boys are 11 and 8....and my 11 year old just went from a size 8 to a 9.5 in the last 5 months. His tennis shoes were $75. There was ONE other pair at Kohl's that were less expensive and he wasn't thrilled with the way they fit....so we bought the $75 shoes. I'm sure I could have shopped around but we are very busy and he needed shoes.

They get one pair at a time and wear the crap out of them. They are super active kids and typically bust through the toe before I get another pair for them. It doesn't help that my oldest sized out of kids shoes awhile ago...

Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: Bracken_Joy on March 08, 2018, 09:20:54 AM
Not a parent, but I often assist my mom in kitting out foster kids and small cousins, etc. 6pm.com and TJ Maxx/Ross are our go-tos.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: FireHiker on March 08, 2018, 09:47:23 AM
Ugh, kids and shoes. We've gone cheap, not cheap, they still wear the crap out of them. I used to go Stride-Rite online clearance, or local outlet mall, and got some super amazing deals there. My two younger kids (6 and 8, 1 is a girl and 1 is a boy) both got new shoes at Christmas and they're already looking pretty awful. Those were both Skechers, bought cheaper online than we saw in person, $25 for one (clearance, exactly what she wanted) and $40 for the other. My daughter has a few pairs of shoes, but my son only has two: Skechers slip on shoes (he won't tie his shoes even though he knows how, and we've stopped fighting that battle daily for now) and a pair of basketball/running shoes. I'm already looking to replace his shoes because they are in rough shape. Seriously, I don't know what kids do to their shoes, but my oldest (now 17) was the same way!
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: TrMama on March 08, 2018, 09:56:40 AM
I used to buy sizes ahead on clearance. See a sale on decent shoes? Excellent! Buy the next 2-3 sizes up.

Except then my oldest grew wiiiide feet. Not really surprising since DH and I both have wide feet. So then all the extra runners and snow boots I'd bought suddenly weren't wide enough. That means Spawn2, who has normal width feet (no idea how that happened) has more shoes than she'll ever wear because she's got a few hand me downs from Spawn1 plus all the unworn shoes that Spawn1 couldn't fit into.

Spawn1 is almost finished growing (her feet are freakishly large compared to her height) so I've been cobbling together shoes from Winners (a discount reseller place) and our local shoe warehouse (for NB runners at $90/pair). The last pair of winter boots I bought her were from the men's section because the women's boots weren't wide enough. Poor kid.

TL;DR - You're fucked.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: trollwithamustache on March 08, 2018, 10:18:21 AM
Have you actually tried the walmart shoes? They are indeed junk but when the kids are growing a shoe size every 6 months they seemed to work just fine.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: Gangly1 on March 08, 2018, 10:46:19 AM
I don't really like to buy the Walmart/Target shoes for my kids (3.5 and 5 yo).  Not that I have any good research, but I just have a (possibly irrational) fear of messing their feet up or something long term.  They ride their bikes an incredible amount and wear out even most name brand shoes in a month or two.  I have switched to buying Five Ten freerider shoes for them to wear when they are riding their bikes and for general use, and so far they are lasting long enough for the 5 yo to hand them down to the 3.5.  They are really expensive, but I buy them ahead on ebay or when they are on sale for at least 20% off.  This is around $40 to $50, but it is worth it so far.  We also will buy some name brand shoes on sale at burlington coat factory or TJ Maxx/Ross, etc. for them to have as a backup shoe. 
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: acroy on March 08, 2018, 11:03:42 AM
our older boys are 12 and 10
Thrift stores. the 12yr old is rocking a nice set of Nike skate shoes, $8, near new condition.
Failing that, Payless is sometimes ok. the wally-world shoes have not held up well.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: former player on March 08, 2018, 12:17:56 PM
  They ride their bikes an incredible amount and wear out even most name brand shoes in a month or two. 
If they are wearing out their shoes while riding their bikes then they are doing something wrong. Using their feet on the ground as brakes would be my guess.  Train them out of it - that is, spend a little time watching them ride their bikes and teach them to ride properly.  By all means tell them that shoes are expensive and that they are wearing them out by not riding their bikes correctly.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: thegeebees on March 08, 2018, 12:36:23 PM

TL;DR - You're fucked.
[/quote]

^Hahahhaahha! Yep.

"Have you actually tried the walmart shoes? They are indeed junk but when the kids are growing a shoe size every 6 months they seemed to work just fine"
No, I haven't. Every parent I had asked said they lasted less than 2 months, which means at a rate of $20 per pair, we're talking $60 in 6 months. It just didn't make sense to me.

Gangly1, TJMaxx/Ross is a solid idea, thanks.

FireHiker: yes! Ugh, is exactly right. At very least, I've learned that I'm not alone.

Thanks for the responses, they are greatly appreciated! I'm going to check the area thrift stores again as well as TJMaxx.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: asauer on March 08, 2018, 01:23:18 PM
Here's my approach (both my kids are 11yo):
1. Target shoes ($25-ish).  I expect them to last 3 months (unless they grow out).  If they do not last that long, my kids pay for them out of their allowance.  That happened only once.  Now those shoes last the expected 3 months.

2. The exception to that is when my daughter took up running, then we went to a local running store and bought the $50 shoes.  but she only wore those for running.  I just considered it the activity fee and budgeted for the shoes in that budget category.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: savedough on March 08, 2018, 01:31:09 PM
We buy one pair at a time, plus church shoes and sandals.

Now we buy all leather adidas sambas bc they lasted nine months before my 7 year old busted out the toe.    We might try Keens next because anything cloth or canvas doesnít last a month for him.   Kid #2 is a lot nicer to shoes and can have other types.

$60 to last nine months? Yes please!
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: charis on March 08, 2018, 01:41:56 PM
You have to have a strategy for thrift stores.  I regularly find new items. Thrift stores frequently get new or almost new kids shoes, but you have to stop in frequently and snag them in your kids' current sizes and any bigger sizes.  Meaning, you pop in quickly 3-4 times in a month and they might not have their current sizes but eventually you will have a collection of good condition shoes that you can turn to when they reach that size.  You might have to buy new occasionally, but it will still save you a lot of money.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: kanga1622 on March 08, 2018, 01:56:30 PM
I just deal with $50 shoes every time the kids need them. We are huge fans of our local Stride Rite store as they are great with the kids, honest about if the kids need new shoes, and we like supporting a local(ish) family. They sell lots of different brands at ours including New Balance, Nike, etc.

We just set aside $20 for each kid every month that is meant to cover shoes and back to school supplies. Once in awhile we luck out and find shoes on sale there or boots at 50% off. We may buy a size ahead if we find a good sale. We don’t pass down shoes or buy used shoes as wear patterns are different for each person.

DH and I both had issues with our feet as kids and spent time at the podiatrist with special shoes. I just prefer to invest in quality shoes than a doctor to correct a problem. We tried cheaper boots when our oldest was in K and they were trashed very quickly. They started leaking so early. With the Bogs, we are good until they are outgrown.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: havregryn on March 08, 2018, 02:00:17 PM
I was gonna ask if you had this in the US http://www.nextdirect.com, then I checked and saw that yeah, you do, but all their stuff seems so much more expensive there. Which is wow as it's literally the first time ever that I discover that something is cheaper here than there (except healthcare, lol).
I buy almost all of our kids clothes and shoes there as they have the best price to quality ratio that I've found but there seems to be quite a price difference between what I see when I choose Luxembourg vs. US.
These leather chelsea boots my son wears are 35$ on our site vs 59$ here for his size.
http://www.nextdirect.com/us/en/g772464s4#182370

These boots are really great, I think I will keep buying them in every size he  goes through. Warm, comfy, he easily puts them on and off himself (he's 4), look good in all outfits.

For sports he has these, that cost 25$ here
http://www.nextdirect.com/us/en/g222652s5#810794

Here this is literally among the cheapest options I have, but noticeably better in quality than for example buying shoes at H&M.  And they have free one day delivery, I really think by now 95% of the clothes and shoes my kids have is from them, the rest randomly bought at sales.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: acroy on March 08, 2018, 02:13:57 PM
You have to have a strategy for thrift stores.  I regularly find new items. Thrift stores frequently get new or almost new kids shoes, but you have to stop in frequently and snag them in your kids' current sizes and any bigger sizes. Meaning, you pop in quickly 3-4 times in a month and they might not have their current sizes but eventually you will have a collection of good condition shoes that you can turn to when they reach that size.  You might have to buy new occasionally, but it will still save you a lot of money.
yes this. DW swings by every 2-3 weeks.

FWIW: once kids hit grade school they get performance based allowance and (drum roll) pay 50% of their clothing cost. They are motivated to make it last longer.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: englishteacheralex on March 08, 2018, 02:14:47 PM
I've had good luck at TJ Maxx and Ross.

There's a pair of Osh Kosh BGosh shoes that have these rubber toes that are awesome. They make sandals and sneakers with the toes for toddlers. They're $14 at Ross. I bought them in every size.

But sadly DS has gotten too big for the last sneakers, and alas I cannot find the same thing in a bigger size. We got Stride Rights from Target but they're already pretty thrashed and he's only had them about 6 weeks. Sigh.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: TrMama on March 08, 2018, 02:28:00 PM
Have you actually tried the walmart shoes? They are indeed junk but when the kids are growing a shoe size every 6 months they seemed to work just fine.

I gave up on Walmart shoes very quickly because the soles are usually made of some kind of hard, slick plastic that seems to be designed to imitate banana peels. Since we live in the PNW and all surfaces are basically covered with algae that turns into grease when it's wet (spoiler: it's wet most of the time) those shoes caused a lot of wipe outs.

So in the interest of keeping the TBI's down to a minimum, I spent a little more on shoes with softer, grippier soles. They're probably fine if you live somewhere drier.

Another pro tip: When your kid destroys his/her shoes via carelessness, make them buy the replacements using their own money (preferably money earned via their own labour). Not surprisingly, they'll only ever do that once . . .
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: ABC123 on March 08, 2018, 02:40:14 PM
My kids only get one pair of shoes at a time.  If I had girls, that might not work.  But I only have boys, so they wear tennis shoes for everything.  They don't have sandals or fancy church shoes or anything. 

And I buy on clearance whenever I see a good deal.  With three boys, eventually they will be worn.  Now that my oldest is in the bigger kid shoes, it's crazy how much the prices have jumped.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: caracarn on March 08, 2018, 02:45:08 PM
We buy all our shoes for our six kids at Wal-Mart until their growth stops.  $10/pair or so.  Sometimes they last 6 months, sometimes a year.  We've got a boy who loves to beat the heck out of his shoes and I find myself much less upset when he chews up a $10 pair.  They also used to have a dog at their dad's who ate shoes and dad never will buy a pair so same issue.  So our strategy was simple, cheap until teens at least, then when they can stay in a single size for a year or more willing to spend a bit more.  We've really gotten down to a couple left that are growing quickly as the others are in their late teens or beyond.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: Jesstache on March 08, 2018, 03:57:47 PM
We have a Nike Outlet and a Fred Meyer.  I look at the Fred Meyer shoe clearance area every time we are in the store for the next size or two we might need because it's great for finding deals.  I am picky and only like the lightweight Nike or Under Armour (sometimes Sketchers) for my kids' shoes because they both have huge feet for their age (Son is 4, shoes are size 2, Daughter is 6, size 3 going on 4) and the lightweight profile of the sole keeps them from tripping over their feet as badly as other chunkier soles.  Look frequently and not just when you need them.  I buy 1-2 sizes ahead of what we're wearing and usually find shoes in the $20-25 range at either the Nike Outlet or Fred Meyer for athletic shoes.  They last a year.  I can usually find them in my size at the Nike Outlet for $35 for a good pair.  The little guy is tough on all his stuff but the shoes last at least as long as it takes him to outgrow them 6-12 months and usually have more life left in them. 

Also second the thrift stores.  Just 2 weeks ago I found a pair of Keen sandals in great shape for $3.  I wasn't sure if they were my son's size as it had worn off (like they always do) but they looked about right.  Took them home anyways and they were indeed the right size.  I'll likely be able to sell them for at least $10 when he's through with them, probably $15.  You have to have a strategy like above posters said, check frequently.

If you need snow boots where you live, start looking now in the stores and on the facebook sale pages for next season, one size up from what they wear now.  I shoot for Bogs or Sorels, $15-$20.  Costco has had awesome Bogs style boots in the past for $15 but didn't have them this last year.  Hopefully they bring them back next season.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: mm1970 on March 08, 2018, 04:36:38 PM
ughhh I have boys, and they are hard on shoes!  Although right now, they each only have one pair.  (Ok, big kid has a pair of slides which are too small and a new pair of baseball cleats because the old ones were small and his toes were peeking out).

I have a friend who has passed down shoes.  The good condition ones, he doesn't like.   So I send them on.  Some of them are really worn out and I toss them.  What we don't use (which is 95%), we donate.

So.  Shoes.  Sears/ Kmart.  Usually end up with the $25-30 shoes.  They last six months.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Kid #1 is almost 12, and went from a size 1 to a 4 in the last year.  So his shoes DO wear out, but usually when they are too small anyway.  Kid #2 is 5.  His shoes wear out before he grows into a new size.

Occasionally I get lucky at Big 5 sporting goods.  Current shoes for the 11 year old is a $25 pair of trail running shoes, on sale from $45.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: MayDay on March 08, 2018, 07:47:29 PM
We do need dress shoes (god-lesa heathens) so my kids get the following:

1 pair sandals in summer (keens lately, they've lasted two years a pair)

1 pair boots a year (bogs, covers rain and snow, look on 6pm). Well worth to me because they wear them all winter in MAN, and I hear kids in cheap boots complaining of cold wet feet.

1 pair tennis shoes at a time,usually two per year. We've had really really good luck with converse for narrow to regular feet. Nice and flexible, rubber toe.

I typically buy sandals in April/may, tennis shoes when school starts, boots in the fall, and tennis shoes in Jan/Feb.

I find buying shoes ahead does not work AT ALL as my kids feet grow sporadically and sometimes skip entire sizes, and definitely for seasonal shoes (sandals and boots) they can end up not wearing them if I buy ahead. I find whatever the cheapest online price, at the time we need them.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: startingsmall on March 08, 2018, 07:55:44 PM
-StrideRite: this was what we bought when he was small, and now little brother is getting all of those high quality hand-me-downs, but in our area, they're considered "little kid" shoes.
-Buying from Walmart/Target: They're now at least $20 and I've heard they only last 1-2 months so this doesn't make sense to me

We've bought Stride Rite (at Kohl's, on sale) and Walmart shoes.... I haven't noticed any significant difference between the two. Either one seems to last about 6 months for our daughter. The Target shoes don't appeal to me as much as the Walmart shoes.... mainly because it's hard to find any girl's shoes at Target that aren't hot pink or character-covered.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: bogart on March 08, 2018, 08:21:49 PM
I have just one kid (and a decent income), and as others report, he goes through a pair of sneakers every 4-6 months or so.  And yes, as others say, I do mean "goes through," he wears holes in the things.  Honestly, I just embrace it and am grateful to have a kid who is good and active.  We have a local shoe store (some outlet setup, not brand-specific) and just go there and let him pick something out that's comfortable; he's not generally extravagant.

On top of that, there are soccer cleats and basketball shoes, but again -- we just get them.  Those get somewhat less wear and he sometimes outgrows them before they wear out; if so and if they are still decent-looking, I try to donate them to his public school, which tries to keep a closet of extra clothes and shoes for kids who need them.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: Gangly1 on March 09, 2018, 07:56:08 AM
If they are wearing out their shoes while riding their bikes then they are doing something wrong. Using their feet on the ground as brakes would be my guess.

We did go through a phase with my 3 year old where he was still using his toes to brake even after he had hand brakes, but we did exactly as you said to train him out of it.  The boys are just outside all of them time and very hard, in general, on shoes.  I only mentioned biking as background for how I found the five ten shoes. 

Generally we have three pairs for them.  Two sneakers (backup for when they get muddy, etc.) and one pair of water shoes/sandals.  We do buy cheaper sandals because they don't get anywhere near the use of the sneakers.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: Mongoose on March 09, 2018, 08:10:21 AM
We found some decent prices on athletic/running shoes at Academy. Around $30. I buy snow boots when they are on end of the season clearance. My kids have sandals for summer but I only buy them when we are already getting warm weather...usually from Payless or Target. Our Walmart almost never has anything in stock for those in kid sizes. They have toddler (had good luck with these) and adult sizes only. We've had trouble with overly slippery shoe soles from both Walmart and Payless so I'm super careful about which pairs we even try on.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: vivian on March 09, 2018, 09:11:27 AM
My kids have two pairs of shoes. An every day pair and a “special “ pair. The nature of the special pair varies by season. We buy the special shoes used because they don’t wear them that often and usually the prior owner did not wear that often. We buy every day shoes new, usually at Target. We haven’t had a problem with quality yet, maybe because my oldest is 5.  But he is pretty active.


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Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: charis on March 09, 2018, 12:06:18 PM
This discussion prompted me to pop into the thrift store on my way to the dry cleaners at lunch.   They were loaded with shoes.  Snagged an unworn pair ralph lauren flats for myself and new with tags boots for my daughter.  For those who mentioned not wanting to buy "used" shoes, I buy most of our shoes at thrift stores and always choose brand new or unworn items.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: CupcakeGuru on March 09, 2018, 05:05:36 PM
Around me they have many organized kid consignment sales. People sell their kid stuff at crazy discount prices. When my kids were little I would buy good shoes for like $3-$5 usually only worn once or twice. The sneakers and sandals were usually $1 or $2. I would buy up to 3 sizes up since they grew out of them so quickly.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: LiveLean on March 13, 2018, 07:53:39 AM
Once our now-15-year-old son hit size 8, I could buy his shoes at Costco, where you typically can find FILA or Puma for $20 and adidas for $30, which is what I buy for myself. At this point, he's outwearing them before outgrowing (unlike in the 0-12 age range). Of course, with Costco the selection is limited but they usually have at least one type of sneaker at any given time.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: Lichen on March 13, 2018, 08:26:49 AM
We only do Keen's for kids, and I have very active kids that hike, ride bikes and skateboards, and walk all over town. Even during slow growth stages the shoes outlast the kid. The part they are most likely to break down in a pair of Keen's is the insert, which is replaceable. We tend to buy shoes in January, when REI and Cabela's puts them all on sale for less than $40 on the kids' sizes. Also, only buy in whole sizes for kids, never half sizes. (Keen's doesn't carry half sizes for kids, anyway.) The kids are going to grow so fast that half sizes are a rip-off.

Also, stay on top of the shoes. Wash them occasionally and look for damage. Trim off loose threads, replace worn laces, glue loose bits down. Stopping the damage before it really starts prolongs the life of the shoes.

Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: elaine amj on March 13, 2018, 08:41:28 AM
Costco is pretty decent for $20-30 sneakers.

For the past 10 years I have been a massive fan of our Adidas outlet. When they run a 50%off everything, I buy 4-5 pairs of shoes for the 4 of us. Often buy 2 pairs for each kid at a time. Never pay more than $20-30 per pair ( sometimes $10) and they last about 8-12 months, even through my son's wear-everything-out stage.

Before that, I tried everything else - consignment/yard sales & thrift stores (where we bought almost everything else), Walmart, payless, target, fila, Reebok, etc. The final straw was buying an expensive-to-me pair ($50 on clearance) of special Reebok running shoes for my son's birthday.  When they ended up with a massive hole in 2 months ( is foot was literally flapping out) and the Reebok store refused to do anything to make it right to me, I was so upset.

Ever since then, I pretty much buy Adidas exclusively. They last way better than any other brand we have tried (usually 2-3 years or more for me, 2 years for my DD and 1 year for my DS).

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Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: OurNextStop on March 23, 2018, 04:24:41 AM
We suck it up and buy higher quality shoes ($30-$50) but each kid only has two pairs of shoes per season. Cold weather is sneakers and boots, warm weather is sneakers and Crocs. They have rain boots that are year round.

We have two girls that are two years apart so we've found that higher quality shoes can be handed down while the cheapies fall apart. They are still pretty young (4 and 6) so I don't know if they will protest later about their minimal options, but for right now it's working. 
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: MicroRN on March 23, 2018, 11:07:36 AM
We just cry. Both our kids have XW-XXW feet, so the choices are limited.  Even a lot of supposedly XW shoes are too narrow.  Keens fit when they were smaller, but not anymore. New Balance are one of the few that fit wide enough,  so we just suck it up and buy them.  They do at least hold up to a lot of abuse.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: GuitarStv on March 23, 2018, 11:13:31 AM
We've been using duct tape to bind our son's feet.  Now he'll never outgrow a shoe again!  It seems like the most cost effective way of handling things.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: RelaxedGal on March 23, 2018, 01:57:04 PM
We just cry. Both our kids have XW-XXW feet, so the choices are limited.  Even a lot of supposedly XW shoes are too narrow.  Keens fit when they were smaller, but not anymore. New Balance are one of the few that fit wide enough,  so we just suck it up and buy them.  They do at least hold up to a lot of abuse.
Amen.  My daughter has never worn out a pair of New Balance shoes ($45-60).  Thankfully haven't had to find Extra-extra-wide but she was in Extra-Wide for a while and is now just in Wide.  We buy a pair every half size, so 2 or 3 pair/year.  The outgrown pair becomes the mud/backup pair.  We only need dress shoes occasionally so we don't spend the extra $$ for wide, usually get those as hand-me-downs from friends or family.  For winter boots this year we bought from Walmart.  A pair for her,  a pair for me, and they were only $17.  For some reason they're $28 now (https://www.walmart.com/ip/Girls-Neoprene-Winter-Boot/677319332)?!?!  Boots seem to fit wider (room for winter socks?) so other than one year when she was little and we didn't know better we've just bought regular sizes or used whatever is handed down.  Thankfully here in Massachusetts we get heaps of snow but it melts quickly so boots are only for occasional wear.

Recap: $200/year/kid. 
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: NoStacheOhio on March 25, 2018, 06:01:37 AM
My son is younger (starting Kindergarten in the fall), but we've run into this as well.

Generally, I would say buy the least expensive shoes that won't fall apart before they're too small.

Clarks used to be awesome and somewhat inexpensive (esp. w/ coupons), but they quit carrying them in the stores. They still have a decent amount online, so it's worth checking.

Last summer/fall we went through a pair of Stride Rites and Sketchers in the span of about six weeks because he was dragging his toes riding his bike and scooter. No amount of scolding could get him to stop, so eventually we redirected his allowance to shoes. We got him a pair of Plae shoes that he's getting close to outgrowing now.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: joonifloofeefloo on March 25, 2018, 06:10:18 AM
I've had great experiences with thrift store shoes. We haven't met every need there -I usually get his waterproof winter boots new. I recently gave up on the cost of Bogs (now outgrowing too fast) in favour of a $45 pair from WalMart. But shoes we've always managed to get from the thrift -my big epiphany was moving to the women's section when at age 11 (?) he outgrew the kids sizes. Barely worn, awesome shoes (hikers, runners, etc, all shapes and styles) for $10-$12.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: Hula Hoop on March 25, 2018, 03:03:08 PM
Each of my kids gets new sneakers whenever the old ones wear out or get too small.  They cost somewhere between 15-35 euro usually.  Sneakers are essential for everyday wear, running around and various sports.  They never seem to get handed down as they wear out first.

Apart from that my younger kid gets tons of handmedowns but they are usually boots, sandals and other shoes.  For my older kid, I bought her a pair of short waterproof boots from H&M that were 30 euros that she loves and we usually buy her some sandals in summer.  I think it's important that shoes fit well and are comfortable so we're willing to buy decent ones.  My kids both have narrow feet (like me) and it's just as much of a pain finding suitable narrow shoes as finding wide ones.

Basically, the kids wear lots of handmedowns and second hand clothes as well as clothes on sale but for shoes I think it's necessary to fork out money every now and again.  There is no reason kids need millions of shoes though - one or two pairs are plenty.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: seattlecyclone on March 26, 2018, 03:24:39 PM
We've had pretty good luck so far with secondhand shoes. The key is not to wait until you need a new size to go shopping. If you see a pair for a good price that will fit in the next couple of years, buy it!
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: doggyfizzle on March 26, 2018, 04:20:35 PM
We've had excellent luck so far with the Van's Outlet store; it has a permanent buy-one-get-one half off rack, which means we can walk out of there with 2 pairs of very durable shoes for ~$30-40 (sometimes less).
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: CidreCreek on March 26, 2018, 05:55:47 PM
I've had good luck with ThreadUp. I've been able to find some new/never worn shoes at half price. Also, a lot of cities have Facebook exchange groups and thrift sales (especially during the spring season).
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: Kyle Schuant on March 26, 2018, 06:27:00 PM
Leather shoes are good, especially the elastic-sided boots, and especially if you teach the kid to take care of them with dubbin and so on.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: AmberTheCat on March 26, 2018, 08:46:56 PM
over the years we've bought lots of shoes for our 4 kiddos.

when kids were little we'd have 2 pairs per year pretty much: dress and tennies.
f
avorite places all mentioned above: Marshalls is #1.  also like dillards and their clearance sales and places like burlington and ross;  have never ever liked Kohls or famous footwear for some reason.

dress shoes/snow boots for the boys: since they rarely wore them, we'd look at thrift stores and consignment sales. I'd save the shoes from #s1 to #s2. My #2 son has never had a new pair of snow boots and he can care less.   It would kill me to buy a full price pair of dress shoes that were rarely worn.

boys tennis shoes: we went middle of the road with clearanced nikes as much as we could. They rarely had the most in-style shoes but they were never the kind kids made fun of. The girls were so much easier as there are so many more choices and styles; i saved the dress shoes from D#1 for D2, but being 7 years apart, the styles were somewhat off it seemed. 

marshalls was by far my favorite; probably bought 75% of our shoes there for 4 kids for a span of 10 years.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: Poundwise on March 28, 2018, 07:56:56 AM
Some good tips here!

For the boys, we get Land's End dress shoes, and hand me down snow boots from my nephew. Every year just before school they get a $50 pair of name brand sneakers. When there is a sale, I pick up pairs of <$20 Payless sneakers for muddy/dirty days or when the name brand sneakers wear out,  and cheap Payless sandals in the summer. 

Oldest son was on the track team this year, so I got him an $80 pair of Nikes (used credit card points to get a gift card.)  However, he found those too heavy and high in the heel, so he ended up wearing his Payless to sprint!  They eventually got holes in the toe for that natural venting.  But he swore that he ran best with them because they were so light and had practically no soles.

My daughter gets sparkly new sneakers ($40) when she outgrows them, and boots/sandals/dress shoes handed down from my very stylish niece, as well as many other doting moms of girls in my son's classes.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: Goldielocks on April 01, 2018, 09:16:57 PM
Some great suggestions here.

A couple ones that haven't been mentioned (I think).

1.  Drive across the border to the USA and buy the name brand shoes there..  Even with the exchange to Canada, and duties, they will be at least 30% cheaper.   I can't believe you are complaining about $45 shoes...I wish!

2.  More seriously, one tactic I tried that works is to buy flip flops in summer and a cheap casual slipon shoe in fall/ winter, and a pair of ugly cheap shoes for year round lawn mowing / dirty work.  The goal is to only use the proper shoes for what they are needed for -- gym class, school, socializing, and wear nearly free footwear when barefeet could otherwise be acceptable... to get the shoes to last a lot longer.

3.  I would buy boots/ specialty function shoes that would be handed down between daughter to son.  Sometimes I bought boy boots, sometimes girl boots in a neutral colour, but they would be passed down.

The year that the three of us wore the same shoe size was AWESOME!

4.  Lastly, when their feet are growing quickly, don't invest a lot in shoes.  Good shoes should last 3 years, after all.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: MaybeBabyMustache on April 09, 2018, 09:14:07 AM
We have two boys (11 & 12). We buy their shoes at the Nike outlet in Oregon, when we're on vacation. Typically around $35, and tend to last until they need a new size. Our kids also have one pair of shoes at a time, plus soccer cleats, slides, & flip flops.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: PharmaStache on April 10, 2018, 09:52:42 AM
I hate shoes.

One year's worth of my son's shoes (he is 5):
-snow boots
-rain boots
-indoor shoes for school (must stay there)
-indoor shoes for daycare (must stay there)
-outdoor sneakers (for biking and outdoor sports)
-sport sandals
-flip flops or crocs (because one pair of sandals in the summer is not enough when they get wet!)

He also stuffed his feet into too small shoes for church.  I was not buying another pair of shoes for 1 hour a week.

He also has hockey skates and will want soccer cleats...I think I will put my foot down (ha) on that one.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: jennaw on April 10, 2018, 10:44:48 AM
Weíre in Canada and hit the outlets whenever weíre in the US and buy ahead for shoes. Iíve had good luck buying ahead for sandals and boots so far. I also discovered the Plae brand last fall and bought some to try during the Black Friday sales.I wi be doing that again this year. They also have a BST group on Facebook and resale value of the shoes is pretty good.

DSW also has stores here now and the prices are not too bad when there is a sale on. Iíve also had luck at Winners. I just donít shop with my kid in tow to avoid demands for sparkly light up shoes.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: mm1970 on April 10, 2018, 02:22:45 PM
I hate shoes.

One year's worth of my son's shoes (he is 5):
-snow boots
-rain boots
-indoor shoes for school (must stay there)
-indoor shoes for daycare (must stay there)
-outdoor sneakers (for biking and outdoor sports)
-sport sandals
-flip flops or crocs (because one pair of sandals in the summer is not enough when they get wet!)

He also stuffed his feet into too small shoes for church.  I was not buying another pair of shoes for 1 hour a week.

He also has hockey skates and will want soccer cleats...I think I will put my foot down (ha) on that one.
My 5 yo has one pair of shoes.

Actually, we just bought him a pair of fake crocs this weekend.  Make that two.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: joonifloofeefloo on April 10, 2018, 05:08:02 PM
Ugh, I remember that stage, PharmaStache! I hated that too.

In my mind, my kid needs two pairs of footwear:
*rain/snow/cold weather boots
*runners

But, school wanted an "indoor pair" there, plus "nonmarking gym shoes" that stay there, then the rec centre wanted another pair, and after-school care wanted another pair. Six pairs per growing child????? And almost none were ever used!! No wonder there were so many great options at our thrifts!

When I realized they went unused, I just left the too-small or discarded ones there long term. No one needed them to fit -just to actually be physically present. Since then I've been replacing only the two sets he uses, as he grows out of each.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: Mikila on April 24, 2018, 06:05:20 PM
Well,
I have 3 strategies
1. Buy leather, real leather, not those ones with mesh over the toes because my DS always put a hole there the first week
2. Buy sales and/or buy them with my Amazon card points
3. Buy them big.  1 size -1.5 sizes.  This is how I grew up and my feet are fine.

We have had good luck with Saucony, New Balance, and Sketchers shoes- and bad luck, too.  I have learned that they MUST be leather.  It holds up so much better.  My son's current shoes are like these.
https://www.amazon.com/New-Balance-MX608v4-Training-Black/dp/B00IYAWH4U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1524614577&sr=8-1&keywords=men%27s+training+shoes+leather#customerReviews
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: afox on May 07, 2018, 03:38:37 PM
excuse me if this technique has already been mentioned, i didnt read all the posts:
when i was a kid my shrewd and thrify parents would put my worst sneakers on me every time id visit grandparents, shoes with holes that didnt fit.  Grandma would freak and immediately take me shoe shopping. 

When I needed gloves in the winter my mom sent me to the lost and found and said go up there and tell them you lost your black gloves and pick some new ones out.

Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: joonifloofeefloo on May 07, 2018, 11:15:57 PM
hahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: gpyros85 on May 28, 2018, 05:38:21 PM
This sounds crazy, my wife has a DSW credit card with the rewards points, she also searches the DSW clearance rake for Nike & New Balance shoes (Both shoes we think are good quality). the clearance price for our 8 year old is around $25, for our 4 year old they are listed clearance around $15-20. With the DSW credit card and member they are always advertising $10 of of $40? or $35? Well we typically purcahse 2-3 pairs. Then DWS credit card gives 10 points for every dollar spent, at 1500 points it is another $10 off. So we are purchasing like 3-4 pair for like $40-$60.

I have had to slow my wife down because she has been spotting shoes for $8-$10 on clearance and purchasing. We have TO many shoes now!!

P.S. we tried the rack room deal (Which is horrible), Nike factory outlet, Payless (Which is very low quality shoe for high price).
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: $andra on May 28, 2018, 08:56:02 PM
I second keen sandals, which I try to find at consignment sales, thrift stores, or through Facebook marketplace. Or as a last resort, at REI when they offer 20% off one item. They last through multiple kids and are machine-washable. Crocs last through multiple kids, too.

We also provide rain boots (we walk in all kinds of weather to and from school) and snow boots (same) that I try to buy in gender-neutral colors so they can be passed down. Right before school starts we get sneakers (required for school, I try hard to find something with a textured, grippy bottom that works for hiking and outdoor play, not a slick gymnasium shoe), and soccer cleats ($20 at Dick's Sporting Goods, $35 when we got to adult sizes). I try to find all of the above used when I can, and will buy several sizes in advance. We've occasionally found cleats or sneakers at Ross/Marshall's/Burlington Coat Factory.

For girls, I've found some $8-$12 bargains on clearance at Target. Ask when their seasonal shoe clearances are, and buy ahead. They keys for little girls are colored sneakers, black dress shoes (white looks trashed right away), and a fancy pair of crocs that can be dressed up or down.

If you have higher quality shoes like keens, boots, or cleats with some life left in them, try to resell them for $10. Facebook marketplace has been my best avenue for that, although it may take a couple weeks.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: Hula Hoop on May 28, 2018, 09:11:20 PM
Keens are incredibly wide though.  Both my kids have inherited my narrow feet so keens dont' work for us. 
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: Poundwise on May 29, 2018, 06:15:20 AM
Soccer cleats: we spent $80 on a pair of cleats several years ago. Luckily, the youth league has a cleat swap twice a year so that was the last money we ever spent on cleats.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: TrMama on May 29, 2018, 12:57:00 PM
Keens are incredibly wide though.  Both my kids have inherited my narrow feet so keens dont' work for us.

But that's a feature! I have wide feet and just discovered regular width Keen's fit me. Currently wearing Keen hikers bought off the clearance rack at DSW. They make my feet AND back feel better. I didn't even have to go to the expensive specialty shoe store for them.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: RachelM on June 01, 2018, 08:42:43 PM
Lots of great ideas in this thread!

About those expensive specialty shoe stores... If you have a store in your area that actually fits shoes to kids, that REALLY helps you get the most use out of them.

I found this out on accident because my son has super chunky, wide feet and we wasted a lot of money trying to find cheap shoes that fit. Finally, we went to a children's shoe store. We've paid $50Ė$60 a pair, which KILLS me to spend on toddler sneakers... but he wears the one pair (plus sandals in the summer), and they've lasted 6+ months because they were fit correctly.

I think it's worth it to spend the upcharge at the store to be sure you're getting the right fit - both for the sake of their feet AND so that you know you're getting the absolute right size.

I thrift most of my kids' clothes, but I think buying high-quality shoes makes the most financial sense. We spend more on shoes for each size than the entire rest of his clothing.
Title: Re: How do you manage the cost of kid's shoes?
Post by: MsPeacock on June 02, 2018, 07:03:21 PM
My boys usually just wear sneakers and have one pair of flip flops for the summer. I usually take them to the outlet mall to look for shoes. The Nike outlet has a clearance section and we can find shoes for less than $50 that they are happy with. The shoes last long enough to be outgrown. (My 11 year old went from a 9 1/2 mens shoe to a 10 1/2 mens shoe in the past 5 months.....). SNow boots with make-do with a mix of old boots, thrift, hand-me-downs, and finding boots on clearance on Amazon.