We’ve all been there. On our way out the door, helping your child put on the shoes that you bought only a month ago and suddenly you’re struggling to get them on. Your child starts whining that they hurt their feet and you feel the angst of having to reach into your pocket and shell out more money for shoes so soon. Little feet grow faster than little legs, almost over night it often seems. While shoes can be expensive, especially if you’re forced to buy a new pair every few months, let alone every new season, there are a few ways to make the most of your shoe shopping experience so that when that time comes, you’ll be prepared — physically and financially.
We’re disclosing our four tips for shoe shopping for your child on an affordable budget. With multiple kids between all of us here at Daily Mom, we know a thing or two about finding value, on-trend fashion for little tikes!
1. Look for Value
While a child won’t stay in a single pair of shoes long, the first step to spending less on shoes is finding a quality pair at a great value that will last until they are well-outgrown. The last thing you want is to spend very little on a shoe that doesn’t make it a full wear, only to have to repurchase shoes in the same size to hopefully last the rest of the season. Buying quality shoes ensures that they will hold up with the consistent wear and tear of young children. Be honest with yourself while shopping, the shoes, as cute as they may be, need to be able to withstand a great deal of running, jumping, scuffing, tripping, and most likely, quite a few muddy puddles. If you’re really lucky, quality shoes may even be able to withstand enough wear to be passed down to younger siblings when the time comes, saving big bucks in the future! Stick to reputable shoe companies, such as Smartfit and Airwalk, both sold at Payless ShoeSource for an affordable price!
2. Size Up
A proper fit is very important for growing feet, especially young toddlers just getting used to walking on their own. In most cases, many children’s shoe brands come in whole sizes, however, there are a few brands and stores that offer half sizes, giving just a little extra room to growing feet. If at all possible, take advantage of the extra space and purchase the shoe a half-size up so that you gain a little more time in wear. You’ll be surprised by how quickly a child fills that extra space. For winter months, consider at least a half to whole size up with the inclusion of thick winter socks. When shopping, be sure to bring your child’s warmest socks with you to ensure a good fit.
3. Take Advantage of Sales and Buy for the Future
We love a good sale! The next time you come across a good sale on children’s shoes, think ahead! You know your child will eventually be in the next size, so prepare ahead of time by purchasing the shoes in advance. By purchasing in advance, you not only save money from a good deal, but you also save time and hassle in the future when your child’s growth sneaks up on you! We love the idea behind Payless ShoeSource‘s BOGO sales. They are a great way to buy a pair of shoes for the present time and purchase another pair of shoes for future use for half off! The best part is that the sale is often store-wide, so you are not limited to styles or seasons. Buy a pair of on trend winter boots for this season, and pick up a cute pair of bright ballet flats for the spring for half the price. You won’t have a problem finding at least two pairs that your child will love, as Payless offers many brands in your child’s favorite cartoon and Disney characters, mixing fun with modern style. Remember to size up for any shoes purchased for future use!
4. Buy Off-Season
As previously mentioned, your child will grow into their shoes eventually, so once a season ends, take advantage of clearance sales and stock up for the future! Summer sandals and even spring-time rain boots can be found marked down at low, low prices and make for a steal as the holiday season rolls around and others are stocking up on warm boots and heavy-duty closed toe shoes. Trends may change slightly from season to season, but a great, quality shoe will withstand most style changes, and the great price alone is reason enough to build your child’s own fashion repertoire. While it may seem odd to pick out summer shoes when you’re preparing for the holidays, think of it as a cost-effective, time-saving investment into your future! You will be one step ahead of everyone else.
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Photo credits: Stephanie