Tips on Buying Shoes for Kids


DON’T TREAD ON ME! Getting a grip on buying your kids new shoes. Here are some tips on purchasing footwear for your kids: When taking the kids out to buy new shoes that they seem to outgrow in a week or less, the last thing on your mind when faced with all of the colors, lights, and characters is the style of the tread. However, this is something that you SHOULD consider, especially if live in a variable climate or if you have a sandbox in your backyard. You may ask, “What it the world does that have to do with anything?” And the answer is EVERYTHING! Footwear is a must have and the right shoes can really make a difference.

The reason is that just like tires, shoes have different treads. A quick lesson in case you aren’t a car person. There are tires with minimal tread called slicks great for racetracks, but not suitable for street use. There are tires especially for sand with large grooves to gain traction and snow tires with blocky openings. You might think I’m being a little extreme comparing the two but I’m not, and this is why:

My kids are lucky enough to have a sandbox, and soon after I realized that there are shoes with treads that I will no longer allow them to use in the sandbox. Two of my daughters had the usual chunky open tread, and they were no problem, but one of my daughters opted for the evenly closely spaced zigzag treads. Those things were sand magnets! The sand quickly built up between the tread. As soon as she stepped foot in the door, my floor was covered with piles of sand and tracked all over my house. I found myself stopping her at the door, and I spent forever banging her shoes outside so that my house didn’t become the next dust bowl.

After hearing this, you may think ok that’s no problem, I’ll just choose treads that are open and chunky, but here is one more thing to consider, I also found that the open chunky treads gathered more stickers from weeds and it was much easier to remove stickers from the tighter tread. They could simply be wiped on concrete or mats, and the stickers would fall off. Whereas in the chunky treads, the thorns would embed themselves higher up and had to be removed by hand or tweezers. Huge time waster!

Before you go to the shoe store and hyperventilate, now what? I recommend using the chunky treads for sandboxes and smaller treads for areas full of stickers. It’s just my opinion, but it may save you time cleaning floors and save your feet from stepping on stickers or thorns. Even though our kids may seem like they are outgrowing shoes every day sometimes, it takes a bit longer as they grow older, so remember to check the bottom of their shoes and make sure they still have some kind of traction, because whatever tread you choose it will wear out over time. If they can’t get a grip on your floor, then it’s an accident waiting to happen. Use slicks on the race track only and keep your kids safe while they play! Hope this helps.