Saturday, September 03, 2011

Shoes!

Since the kiddo started school, I've been on a mission to find shoes for her.

This should not be a difficult task.  I love shopping for shoes.  However, I have two things working against me:

1.  My kiddo does not love shopping for shoes.
2.  There isn't much of a selection of wide width shoes in youth sizes.

The past few weeks have been a tremendous disappointment.  Over the past 3 years, the only shoes that ever seemed to fit her correctly came from Stride Rite.  I was pretty disappointed when the only Stride Rite near our home closed.  It's almost a 40 minute drive to the next closest one.  But that's not the issue.  The issue is that since she graduated from toddler-size shoes to youth sizes, Stride Rite has, at best, a limited and not particularly attractive selection of wide-width shoes.  When I took her shopping for shoes a few weeks ago, the young lady measured her feet and said she was a regular width.  I was surprised--is it possible for feet to suddenly get narrower?  I took her word for it, though, and we got the kiddo 2 pairs of shoes for school.  She said in the store that they didn't feel right, but me, thinking "Well, they're new and it's hot and crowded in here," just let it go. 

Not a good idea.

Her first day of school, she was in tears as she walked around the house in her new shoes, saying over and over that they were hurting her feet.  She slipped off the cute pair of little pewter flats she had on and sure enough, the shoes had CLEARLY been digging into the sides of her feet.  I felt horrible.

I also felt pretty ticked off.

We went back to Stride Rite that weekend to have her feet re-measured, and this time, a different young lady measured her feet.  And sure enough, the top part of her foot is clearly wide-width, even extra wide depending on the style of the shoe.  The rest of her foot is a regular width, which is where the previous sales person had measured.

So...

We spent an hour looking for shoes.  Other than gym shoes, they had one style of shoe available with a wide width.  And they were navy blue, kind of a standard-parochial-school-type of shoe.  In a pinch, it would be fine, I guess, but I wanted her to have more than just a clunky, unattractive pair of shoes.  There was NOTHING else available in the store.

We went to Kohl's.  They don't sell half-sizes or wide width in the stores.  The only wide width available online is another clunky, unattractive pair of shoes.

Payless has one style in wide width.

All the other major department stores have limited wide width.  Gym shoes, saddle shoes, and clunky, unattractive shoes.  No flats, no dress shoes.

I looked online at multiple sites.  Limited to no options.

Please understand that I'm a fan of comfort and function over fashion (and even a bigger fan when function/comfort meet fashion--thank you Aerosoles!), but when my kiddo wears brown slacks and a yellow shirt, I don't think she should have to be stuck with navy blue shoes.  When she wears a nice black skirt and a pink blouse, I don't think she should have to be stuck wearing lime green and white gym shoes.

None of the stores I mentioned here have any idea who I am or that I'm disgruntled over this, nor would they probably even care about my frustration, but I just keep thinking that I can't be alone.  Other parents must have young children with wide width shoe needs.  I understand that maybe it's not as big of a market, but couldn't a specialty shoe store for kids, like Stride Rite, make some cute flats, dress shoes and fashion boots in a wide width for school-age children?

I was doodling some designs for wide width shoes.  I have no idea how to make shoes, but I'm thinking I could learn...or maybe convince someone who knows how to make shoes hear me out on this?  Right now, my kiddo has to wear gym shoes every single day to school because that's all we have in wide width right now.  C'mon...wide width girls of the world unite!  Cute, stable, pewter (or black, brown, whatever) flats for everyone!

1 comment:

Margaret said...

Not that they helped you much, but Stride Rite is going out of business. That means even LESS limited choices for wide width shoes.

Ethan's feet were wide when he was younger, but are normal width now. As children grow, their feet can become more narrow. One of the places I had luck with was Nordstrom. Most of the time the sales people really know what brands of shoes run narrow (great for Elinor) and which run wide. And if they don't have the shoe in stock, they will have it sent from another store that does. Since the shoes are pricy though, we usually only bought two pairs--one gym shoe, one "dress" shoe. If nothing else, you can always go there to have them take an accurate measurement.

Good luck!