Tuesday, February 18, 2014

How I Shoe Shop For My Children

The 6 year old had a piece break on one of his tennis shoes, the ones he wears every day to school, so he needed some new shoes.

I used to actually take my kids to the shoe store when they needed new shoes.  You know the old fashioned way?

But, there were several issues with that method:
1) The obvious hassle/chaos of taking kids anywhere when you have 4 children
2) The store would not always have the style or size we needed
3) My kid would sometimes pick out ugly shoes.  On principle I won't pay $40 or $50 for shoes that I don't like because you know my children are not the boss, they get input but I get final veto.  Yes, I am The Grinch and ALWAYS veto the light-up shoes.  I know, my children will need therapy some day to deal with the devastation of never having light-up shoes!  So, I get veto-power, but depending on the day and the kid and how much sleep they had the night before, sometimes that veto met with some drama that was not fun for anyone.

Thankfully the gift that is The Internet allowed me a new way!

Here's how I've been shopping for shoes for my kids for the past couple of years and it is working awesomely:

Step 1:  I measure the kid's foot with this handy sizer: Squatchi, Kid's Shoe Sizer, Green (it measures from toddler size 2 to youth size 5 -- sadly I do now have a child with a foot too big for this tool).

Step 2:  I go on Zappos.com where I am a VIP (really I am!) and therefore get free next day delivery and free returns, and I order a few (sometimes even 5 or 6) different shoes that I like in the child's size (I order 1/2 to 1 size up from whatever they measure at).

Step 3:  When the shoes arrive I set them all out and the child tries on a different shoe for each foot.  We have a contest nearly exactly like the Olympics where the shoes compete.  The child decides which shoe he or she likes better, left foot or right foot shoe.  The loser shoe is eliminated from the competition.  The winner goes on to face a new challenger.  Once a clear favorite has been determined, both matching shoes are tried on just in case, and then the winner is officially declared.

Step 4:  All loser shoes are boxed back up in their original shoe boxes and then put back into the shipping box they came in.  

Step 5:  I go to Zappos.com and select my order and follow the short, easy steps to print a return label.  I tape the box shut, tape the label on, and drop off the package at a UPS facility.  I have a box, mail place that is super easy to just run a box in and set it on the counter.  Since there is already a shipping label there is no need to wait in line.  Then Zappos credits back my credit card for the returned shoes.

Shoe shopping, the fun way!  Have the shoe store come to you!

My kid gets to feel like he or she has picked out their shoes but really they are only picking from a small, pre-screened group of shoes all of which I like!  Parenting wins are hard to come by, so I certainly celebrate the beauty of this one!

***I am not compensated in any way by Zappos.com for this post.  I am just sharing what really does work for me in my real life.***

Find more Works for Me Wednesday here.


  1. Brilliant, I must give this a try!!!

  2. I do that for me. I order lots of shoes since I have a hard to fit foot and then try them all on. Almost all get returned but it sure saves a lot of hassles in the store.


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