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Are Stride Rite Shoes Worth It?

My little guy is almost walking, so I want to buy his first pair of "real" shoes. He always goes barefoot in the house, but he needs something to protect his feet when we are outside. I went to Stride Rite yesterday, and I was a little surprised that a pair of shoes for him (that will only last a few months) are almost as expensive as a pair for me! Wow! So my question is - are they worth it? Have you found other brands to be better? I'm willing to spend the money - I just want to make sure the shoes we end up chosing are very high quality.
Thanks for your input!

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So What Happened?™

I decided to go ahead and get him a pair of sandles at Stride Rite for the rest of the summer. We spend a lot of time outside, and I want to make sure his feet are protected because he wants to walk constantly! Inside the house he always goes barefoot, and I also have a pair of Robeez if he needs his feet covered but not protected. In the future, I will definitely check out the Stride Rite Outlet and also Kohl's to save a little money! Or, maybe Grandma can get him a pair!

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No! We were told, and I have read that barefoot is the best way to let them learn to walk. So, when they do need shoes they should be as close to barefoot as possible. We had lots of those thin leather (or leather like, I should say) shoes from Wal-mart and Target. You can also find much more expensive versions... It's much better for the development of their little feet!


Yes they are. These are the only tennis shoes I have bought for my son and they have held up and been comfortable for him. I don't know how close you are to the Jeffersoville Outlet Mall, but they have a Stride Rite store there. I am able to get shoes for my son that are usually up to 50% off. I hope this helps.

I really like Robeez. Every professional that i have spoken to has said it's best to keep shoes off so they can develop arches. Thats why i like the robeez because they protect her feet, but it's still similar to being bare foot.

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I think Stride Rite shoes are worth it. I tried getting my daughter shoes at Target and Wal-mart and they rubbed blisters on her feet and many of the shoes from those places wouldn't even fit her because her feet are very fat and she needs wide shoes. I have never had a problem with the shoes from Stride Rite. They have always lasted a long time. I would definitely pay extra for them.

Hi A.,
My daughter is 2 now, but when she was first learning to walk, her ped recommended soft soled shoes. She said it would help her foot muscles develop better. So, I looked around and found Bobux. They start at about $15. She had 2 pair and she loved them. I know Target carries soft-soled shoes for toddlers, so you might want to check them out. My sister-in-law swears by them.

Once my daughter started walking really well, I got her lace-up gym shoes (I hate velcro) at Walmart. They fit well and she really likes them. But I am conflicted about them because she has worn through them SO fast. The soles are starting to come off and she has only had them for about 3 months. But at the same time, she has also now outgrown them. If she continues to outgrow them at the same time that they wear out, then fantastic. But as soon as she slows down in her growth, we'll be hitting up StrideRite for a sturdier pair that I won't need to replace so soon.

All my best!

Hello. My girls Have to have Stride Rite shoes because their feet are so wide. They had to have the extra-wide when they were beginer walkers. However, there are different brands made by Stride Rite such as Munchkins that are sold at Kohls for less money. I bought a pair of Munchkins for less than $30 at Kohls this summer. Also, when it comes to choosing a pair of shoes, take into consideration weather or not you or your husband have had any foot problems or had them as children.

Well we always buy Stride Rite.. lol My grandfather sold shoes and we always had the best shoes growing up and were told why.. lol I had a foot that threw off so he made my mom get me a different pair and it made my foot go straight.
So now we keep the tradition of good shoes. Sandles I usually go cheap because they were them less and usually rip them off more. Everyone of my 3 kids gets their school shoes there. THEY LAST!!
My youngest when we went to get her first pair we had to go there as she had a 2x wide foot! lol They even had to special order it. I did try other places first and nothing fit. My mom yelled at me for even thinking about it! lol I think they are totally worth the price. The staff really works with your child to get the best shoe for them. Like my oldest daughter loved this one pair and it was the more expensive one on the shelf. Well the lady helping us showed me she was walking a bit off. So we switched to another (cheaper) pair that my daughter liked but not as much.. we got those she walked so much better.. and they were cheaper. Also for the one in Solon they have a card you get punched for each pair.. 10th 1/2 off. We hit that fast! Plus I get flyers about shoe sales they are having and try to go then.
They are VERY high quality!

MY brother says that they are worth it, but Robeez are great because they are flexible, allow the foot to develop appropriatly, and they last a little longer because they stretch. They have an even cheaper brand at Target, Circa kids, they come in cute designs and cost very little. Bottom line? Don't waste money on shoes that may only last a month when there are perfectly acceptable alternatives right around the corner. Also, the shoes I was telling you about are like slippers, but without fuzz and they are adorable to wear with just about anything.

I also have a six month old to be exact dec 21 our x mas present. She is my third girl. I too was hoping she would sleep thru the night by now. ( no luck)
she usually goes to bed by 9/930 wakes between 2 and 3 i give her a bottle. Then she get cereal when she wakes and i put 1/2 container of fruit in it.
Then bottle about 1 hour later. I give her water during mels to wash down food in a sippy cup also to help her get use to using one.
Then lunch a whole jar of fruit size 2, with water.
Same a bottle about an hour later
dinner veg or veg and meat ,water.
Followed by the bottel before bed.
I have tried giving cereal before bed or another jar of food just to try and get one solid night of sleep.
My husband is no help during the night.
Sometimes she wakes like every hr just to have her music turned back on or her pacifer.
This is just food for thought,i am sure you are doing a fine job.
Just thought you might want to here from someone in your same shoes. Good luck to you !!!!!

Even though they are more expensive, I think it is worth it at the beginning to ensure they get a good fit. I said that I would shop only there until my little ones were old enough to tell me if their shoes hurt or not - there is nothing worse than uncomofrtable shoes! Another (sneaky) option is to get them fitted at SR, but then check ebay for a SR shoe that you like and buy it there. I bought a pair of shoes at Stride Rite for my daughter and they are my favorite! I bought the same pair in the next two sizes off of ebay for about half the price (brand new) and will just move up when they get tight!

We never purchased the "ever so expensive" Stride Rite shoes and my 4 year old son is walking just fine (although he did wear Robeez...however...my mom bought every pair he ever owned). We are saving the more expensive shoes for when he is in school and his feet don't grow as quickly. We have always bought shoes for him at Target, Payless (even WalMart) and they work out just fine. Not only do their feet grow quickly, they also wear shoes out VERY quickly!

Good luck

They are worth it! I was sceptical in the beginning as well, and after trying shoes from Target and elsewhere I discovered that my little guy was much happier in Stride Rites! Most babies have wide feet and Stride Rites are fantastic for them!

Go to an outlet mall to get them if you can. I got my son the light up fire truck in extra wide for only $17 there. Last summer, I got him the lace up sports ones for around $10. We still buy them even if I can’t find them on sale. They are SO WORTH IT!

Robeeze or other soft sole shoes are best for new walkers. They aren't the best for wet conditions, but it allow his foot to fully develop as well as your little one to coordinate his balance while learning to walk. Once he's a steady walker a more solid flexible sole is good. Stride Rite shoes are so cute, but really they are only worth the splurge if you can afford it, or if your little one has a wide or narrow foot that isn't easily fit by your average shoe.

I had both of my kids go without shoes in the beginning. Once they were true walkers and did need shoes to go places, be outside, etc., I went with Stride Rite-they are very well made and do last a long time. My kids outgrow them before they need replaced from wear and tear. So basically my advice is to keep that "beginning walker" in bare feet until he needs shoes to protect his feet outside, etc then I'd definitely consider Stride Rite if I were you.

If you are willing to spend it and can afford it, do so. However, I opted to try other brands which sell at Payless Shoes and area department stores for around $15 or less. They are comfortable and also offer supportive arches inside. My sons have never had a development problem with their feet! Look for quality and not the price. That is what matters most.

I have read that the experts have found it is not necessary to put shoes on growing feet unless your little one is venturing outside or has a special need for foot correction. I have found that they prefer not to wear shoes anyway!

Robeez are great for first-time walkers (in the house only, of course). They are leather slippers that allow for comfort and room to grow. They don't slip off (unless they are pulled off) while the child is wearing them. They come in infant sizes and also toddlers. They are expensive, though. There are knock-offs that you can buy at Babies R Us and a few other department stores for a little less, but grandma bought Robeez for my little ones so I didn't have to pay for them.

My sons are 8 and 3, and they still prefer to wear shoes outside and take them off as soon as they enter the house! They have had no complaints or problems with their feet.

I hope this helps!

They are a little on the expensive side, but I feel like they are worth it. They size your little one's foot so you buy only the perfect fitting pair of shoes for your child. My little boy has wide feet, so if I buy him shoes anyplace else than Stride Rite, I have to get him two sizes bigger just to get them wide enough to fit!

I'm a huge fan of the pediped shoes. I usually get them online, but there is a store in Clifton that sells them as well. They have flexible soles and are a great transitional shoe for children beginning to walk. I heard a lot about how hard soled shoes can be impeding to new walkers and even cause problems. My pediatrician gave me props for having the pediped shoes.

They cost anywhere from $28-45, but I think her feet are worth it.

Good luck!

My son is 2 and has worn all kinds of shoes... robeez, payless, stride rite, hand-me-down shoes of various brands, and $1 sandals from the sale bin! I DO find that stride rites are the easiest to put on, hold up really well, and fit the best. Look for sales at stride rite. Or let the folks at stride rite measure him and then shop the 2nd hand stores if you have time. You have might have to dig through the shoes to find them but sometimes you can find a really good pair of almost new shoes for cheap, cheap, cheap!

Having just went through this myself a few months ago I understand your concern. I must however say that they are worth every penny. When my son started to walk a little I got him a pair of strid rite shoes and I could instantly notice how much better he walked. The support around his ankles gave him the confidence he needed to take those steps. When I put him on some cheaper shoes he didn't walk as firm and confident as when he had on his stride rite shoes. He has been walking for a little over a month and he is a walking king. The quality of the shoes are great and it is a great investment for your son. Also as far a barefeet go, stride rite shoes are now made to feel as if the child is walking barefoot. the shoes are not hard like they used to be, but soft yet still sturdy. I don't think totally barfoot is best for children learning to walk but the "barefoot walking system" that stride rite has is perfect.

I know the Strid Rites are pricey, but it is about the only place I have found you can really get your little one properly measured and sized. They also stand 100% behind their shoes and measurements. Had an experience when one of my twins was a toddler, realativly steady on his feet, in terms of size he was able to fit the toddler or the walker shoes, we went with walkers (stiffer soles), he didn't do well, after a few days he cried like he was uncomfortable and didn't seem as comfortable walking. They gave me a full refund and fit him in a softer shoe. No questions asked. I do look for the "sale" shoes. They almost always have a style that is being phased out and is marked down significantly.

good luck!

Yes they are!! They were my son's first shoes. Look for outlet stores. We got our son's 1st shoes at the Stride Ride in the mall but since than have bought them at the large outlet malls.

When my first daughter was learning to walk we did without groceries for a month so that she could have stride rites. That was a huge mistake, she outgrew her $60.00 shoes in about a month! Now we let them go bare foot or if its cold I buy them baby slippers because they have no soles. My youngest learned to walk around Christmas and she had pink sheepskin slippers that I bought at Walmart. We got so many comments about how everyone else wished they could be in a shoe that looked so comfortable. It was the next best thing to barefoot, which is what the dr's. recommend anyway.

Hey A. - this is what I did for my son, who is now 2.5. His first walking shoes were Stride Rite, his feet were crazy wide. They were the only shoes that fit him correctly, and the clerks were amazing at getting him the correct fit. He was walking at 10 months, and most places didn't have 'walking' shoes for his feet anyhow. He wore Stride Rite for the first 6 months or so, then I kind of moved onto other shoes that fit him properly. Though I can tell you that Nikes run very, very narrow for the typical toddler foot. They will even tell you that at Finish Line if you ask!! From about 15 months, he has worn, Nike, Adidas, Fubu, and DC Shoes. The DC Shoes I purchased at Journeys and they were the second best shoes I ever purchased next to the Stride Rite. They are "skater" shoes, and very wide. They fit him amazingly. I have purchased his "play" shoes and his church shoes at Payless, opting for the brand that comes in the yellow box... I think but can't promise that the name is "Smart Fit?!" Someone told me once that they were made by Stride Rite, and while I don't know if it is true or not, I've been quite pleased with them-Very good fit, esp. on the dress shoes that often run narrow. I try and catch them on the buy one, get one half off sale, and they are a super deal that way.
The best advice I can give to you is to buy shoes that fit his feet the best. I think if you have the money for good shoes, buy them! I tend to treat my son to the same rules that apply to myself. I buy expensive shoes for the quality, he deserves the same. But on the same note, I rarely pay full price for things either. I wait for sales, use coupons, LOVE clearance, etc!! I hope my experiences help in some way! Good luck!

i had the same question 6 months ago when my daughter finally needed a 'real' pair of shoes. we tried some that i found at a thrift store (puddle jumpers, they are just so darn cute) & they worked while she was learning to walk. but then we found out that she had wide feet & one of the only companies that make wide shoes for toddlers is stride rite. so we bit the bullet & bought a pair of the sneakers & yes, gasped at the price. she didn't cry when we put the shoes on anymore & she even seemed a bit proud to be walking. so she grew out of them & we just decided to skip the stride rites for the summer & let her wear crocs & some other shoes i've found at garage sales. last week she started getting blisters, so we decided to buy more stride rites & her feet are doing much better now. all of that to say that yes, i do think they're worth it, especially if your child has medium or wide feet.

we were just there 3 days ago to buy her shoes & they are having that sale (2nd pair half off), so you can always buy a second pair one size up for fall!

I bought a few expensive Stride Rite shoes for our child when he was first walking simply because he had very wide feet and I couldn't find other shoes that fit him. If you can find shoes that fit, buy them. I dont' think the brand name is worth it. They outgrow them so fast at that age. My son was wearing size 3 when he started walking and 12 months later he had gone through 6 sizes!! I think he totally skipped size 5... those shoes were worn a week. My daughters were pretty much the same way, too. So the long-lasting quality of the shoes doesn't really concern me... they just have to last 1-2 months. Some of the best shoes (long lasting, good quality, very soft flexible sole, etc) are from WalMart.

Most of my kids' shoes come from Wal-Mart or Payless shoes. Or the 2nd hand stores like Just Kiddin' Around in Westfield. We also have an ongoing clothing swap with some other moms and shoes are included.

My favorite pair of toddler shoes are a pair of size 3 pink/white Sketchers... I'm sad my youngest just outgrew them. Those shoes lasted through both my daughters, a friends daughter and the person who had given them to my friend!

i had my son fitted and bought a clearance pair of gym shoes @ Stride Rite for his first pair -- he wore them daily for 7 months before i looked into a larger size. the stride rite shoes held up very well (would still be fine if his foot wasn't longer). I know from looking at other brands it can be difficult to find the wide / extra wide sizes if your baby needs it...

I don't know what the other ladies have said, but I would say, it depends on your child! :) When my son was little, he wore a size 4 1/2 extra wide. Stride rite was the only store that made shoes in that size, and they held up great. Now, he's in a regular size, and all of his shoes have come from Kohls or Target, and they seem to work just fine. Good luck!

As an adult, I suffer from foot, ankle, and back problems. Many of which stem from improper support for so many years (buying cheap shoes, cheap flipflops or decorative shoes).

Since this is the time for your son to develop his walking skills, invest in a good shoe. I went to Stride Rite and had the shoes fitted. Would you believe he had a wide width? All baby's feet looked similar to me so i would have never felt the need to get wides.

I wouldn't go crazy expensive, but this is one of those areas where you should probably go for the quality.

We purchase good shoes once they are walking well. Until then, they either don't have shoes, or just inexpensive ones. Stride Rite is the brand we typically go for, too.

YES!! They are definitely worth it. And they used to replace them if he grew out of them before he was next due another pair. The store I went to used to keep a record of my kids and when they got new shoes and etc. They stand behind their shoes VERY WELL!!! I wanted them to have "good"/"proper fitting" shoes because I knew that it was important for their feet when they started to walk and also important for their posture and support and the way they walked. Stride Rite's are worth the money.

Yes they are. These are the only tennis shoes I have bought for my son and they have held up and been comfortable for him. I don't know how close you are to the Jeffersoville Outlet Mall, but they have a Stride Rite store there. I am able to get shoes for my son that are usually up to 50% off. I hope this helps.

NO! They're not worth it. Please don't be suckered into buying expensive shoes for your little one. Target, WalMart, and Payless all have the same shoes for sale at reasonable prices.

Truthfully i'm a firm believer in bare is best, even outdoors, and we all go barefoot as much as the weather allows. for those times when shoes are a must SR is a great place to go to get measured properlly BUT that doesn't mean you then have to buy your shoes there. and check up on the most recent studies because I know when my kids were little they were suggesting that you stay away from the very hard soled "walking" shoes. good luck.

we like robeez... still expensive ($30-45/pair) but the soles are soft, which is better for their little feet, and their development while learning ti walk.
we have a 10 month old and they have been great for her. we also used them with my older child.

for us they were worth it.

My son had Stride Rite when he began to walk just because he had a foot condition that caused him to need a little extra support. He is now two and I have found "Munchkin" brand at Kohls. They are made by Stride Rite and sell much cheaper. Good Luck!

Hi A.,
Stride rite, and anything comparable doesn't have anything on PEDIPEDS!!! They are great for new walkers! And the closest thing to bare feet! I can't say enough about these shoes! They're around $30 but well worth it!!! pedipeds.com

Ps: You can also check ebay if you want to see if you can get a deal. There are usally 100 on there every week!

They are sooo not worth the money! I fell for the "stride right propaganda" with 1 of my kids. I think the APA now is even saying barefoot is best. You can get soft-soled shoes just about anywhere these days. As for winter time, just make sure the shoes don't bother his feet.

A., we bought this brand called "Pedi Peds" (they are as expensive as Stride Rite but so worth it!) they are absolutely wonderful, my son is 10 1/2 months old and we love them, they are basically 2 pieces of leather sown together, so they are a great fit, I found Stride Ride shoes too hard on the sole, The Pedi Peds just feel like a nice convering on my son's feet and they have so much air to breath, they also help my son crawl and pull himself up and he never has stumbled on these shoes. Good Luck!

My "baby" will soon be 25, but StrideRite was around back in the dinosaur days too. I read tons of articles about this subject and the wisdom of the day was that for the child's feet and legs to fully develop they had to have full range of motion and not be hampered with structured shoes. I kept my daughter in booties and moccasins forever to give her feet all the freedom I could and still protect her. Her first "real" shoes were a pair of Nike sneakers when she was almost 3 years old. Until your child is going to be seriously playing out of doors where his feet need some real protection from sticks, hot pavement, etc. I wouldn't spend the money. I'm sure SR will tell you they enhance feet developement in some way, but what's better than the natural way?

Yes. I have purchased numerous pairs of shoes from Stride Rite for my son who has wide feet and they seem to last longer than my daughter's shoes that are not from Stride Rite, albeit cheaper. Over the course of a years, I end up spending the same for both kids. I do note that my son does not complain of the fit with the Stride Rite brand versus times whne I have bought a "cheaper" pair.

My son has very pronated feet, and though he walked at a young age, has always fallen frequently. I finally broke down and bought him a pair of stride rites, and he literally, immediately, in the the store started walking better and falling less. As a physical therapist I know the importance of proper footwear for future knee, hip, and back health as well, and I think it is well worth it. I have not tried other high end shoes, however, and someone else may have another suggestion. At any rate, I think a high quality shoe is worth the cost.

Hope this has helped.

We used Nike, Skeechers, Reebok and our kids turned out fine. If you think you can pass them on to someone else when he's done w/them it's worth the money. But like I said ours did fine in other shoes and sometimes you find them on sale which makes it even better.


SR's are very nice shoes, which do not wear out before your kid out-grows them, but they are very pricey. Does your son have any foot or leg issues that are particular? If you shop there be sure to share that with a sales person. They can be a good place for a kid with orthopedic needs. If he's a pretty average kid, then I would say that Stride Rites aren't necessary. It's just something nice to have. P.

Our pediatrician and podiatrist suggest allowing infants and toddlers to walk barefoot. I would talk to your doctor before wasting money on shoes. We were told that when they are active in sports and what not...that is the time to invest in good shoes.

Good Luck in your decision!

We used Red Goose (a brand I can't find anymore) for years. Stride Rite is expensive but they do offer a lot of support for the ankles and arches. Naturalizers are good, Hush Puppy is good, but I don't know if they still make toddler shoes as my youngest is now 10.

Scary what things cost today, isn't it?

DEFINITELY YES!!!! They fit good, they have all the padding in the bottom of them in all the right places (unlike cheapy ones), wear well, and never had any problems taking them back one time when sandals were rubbing blisters on daughters feet.

Hi A.,

We've bought nothing but stride rite shoes for our little one. They offer exceptional support for little feet. We tried putting a cheaper pair of shoes on her after she had an easier time getting around. She instantly started triping and stumbling around....they were way too heavy for her feet. We went and tried on Stride Rite's again and she took off cruising. I thing they are a wonderful investment for a new (and continuing) walker. You can get them in hard sole for an advanced walker or soft sole for a beginner.
I hope this advise helps!


Hi A.,
I have always bought my son (now 3)shoes at Stride Rite because he has an extra wide foot.I literally could not fit his foot into other shoes. I do think they are good quality shoes. My daughters foot isn't as wide and I buy her shoes at Target or wherever especially because she is only 1 and grows out of them so fast. For him he wears them longer so the price is a little more bearable.
Have him measured there and see if he needs a wider size.

I don't know where you live, but they have a Stride Rite outlet at Aurora Farms and I have found Stride Rite shoes at Marshall's(extra wide for him-16.99)
Good Luck.

I know they can be very expensive. I would say it depends alot on your sons feet. Both of my boys have very wide feet. There is a speciality shoe store in my area that I took my oldest son to we he got his first pair of shoes. They were the typical white first-time walkers with the leather soles but they were triple wide and still one size "longer" or larger than he needed to accomodate the ball of his foot. The man who ran this store retired by the time my youngest was getting shoes so we ended up going to Stride Rite. It's the only place I can find double and triple wide shoes. Please be sure you pay attention to the fit of your sons shoes both length and width, many people don't. Since it's so hard when they are so small to get an idea of fit hold the opposite shoe up to the bottom of his foot sole to sole, like left shoe bottom to bottom of right foot. You should be able to see shoe all the way around his foot for it to fit comfortably with typically a larger cap 1/2" to 1" cap in the front by the toes. As for Stride Rite shoes themselves, my youngest did not like wearing shoes, not even sandals he would cry and get upset alot about shoes, (he was a summer baby) and would rather be barefoot. He was suprisingly accepting of the Stride Rites, they have a line called Stage 3 that has this Natural motion system that is supposed to mimic barefoot walking. If you look at the soles they actually have like three different sections that move independently. My son would wear these shoes without complaint and seemed to walk much better in them too, they are pretty light for all their technology. Also they are very durable, except for one pair of white pre-walker/walker baby shoe style I bought that got pretty beat up by my son crawling around outside on the driveway/porch steps which are cement and scratched up the shoes pretty good, all the other pairs don't even look worn, he has a pair from last fall that look great, if he hadn't grown out of them we'd wear them again this fall and he wore them about 8 months. So all in all I would have to say I am a supporter of Stride Rite. Now, had my boys had "normal" feet and I didn't need the extra width I don't know that I would have paid the money. Though my husband also is a proponate of GOOD shoes. I don't really know who else specializes in baby/toddler shoes to compare. Hope I helped. Sorry sooo long.

I think some of what your paying for is the customer service! The shoes are great and the sales people know more then I do about feet! I first went to Stride Rite to have someone tell me what size my sons foot even was...and I wouldn't have known that he needed a certain type sole for different stages or a wide shoe with out them telling me that either! I think starting your child out right with a good pair of shoes is worth it! I get around the price by asking for gift certificates. They make great b-day, christmas, etc. presents!!

I think they are!!! My son has WIDE feet, but I honestly can barely afford them in the "Stride-Rite" stores. So, I go to Marshalls on Hilliard-Rome and they have them there for $16.99. Plus they have tons of other kids shoes too! Hope you get what you need!

Good shoes are never a waste of money, be sure they have good arch support and ankle support for your little one .Buster browns have great shoes but they have become hard to find in our area.

Not sure if this gives any different advice from anyone else, but I went to Stride Rite when my son, who is now 26 months, first began walking over a year ago. They measured his feet, and at that point I realized he has very wide feet. Not many places offer the wide width shoes. I've stayed with Stride Rite for his everyday shoes, and only go with other ones for "special occasion" shoes (except for his Crocs now in the summertime because he loves them and are so comfortable for him). I've tried some on in the store and then bought online usually at places that price match or when there are special clearance deals. I never thought about the outlet, though, I'll have to try that! I will say that I did buy one pair online that I didn't try on in the store that I just didn't like, they weren't easy to put on. So I suggest going to the store first to get the right fit and style and if you can find it online cheaper, then buy it there. Good luck!

Oh, by the way, Amazon is having a crazy sale on Stride Rite shoes: http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?t=883903

Check out the link above. Sizes may be limited for styles but you can check them out. I got 2 pair today for my little boy (he's in need of some new ones) for $27 shipped to me.

I'm like you, my boys always go barefoot. I bought my oldest Stride Rite shoes for his first pair. I will say that I think they are worth the money, but when he grew out of those, I did some searching. I found this company called Jumping Jacks and I loooove them! I will keep buying them! My son is a double or triple wide and loves these shoes because it's almost like going barefoot. He doesn't trip in them at all like he did with the Stride Rites. Also, you may want to try Crocs as well. My son has a pair of those also. I think they are plenty wide enough. (Dad wears a 5E and he fits them fine too) Hope I was a help.

YES!!!! My parents bought them for my brother and I. When we had kids of our own the first pair of shoes they had were Stride Right. I know they are expensive and bare foot walking is the best, but for going out they are your best bet. Find somewhere that the people are willing to fit your son and listen to what they say. A lot of shoes that come from places like Wal-Mart and places like that are made of vinyl and can cause your sons feet to sweat and get yucky. I bought my son a pair of shoes from Wal-Mart this spring because I didn't want to spend a lot of $$$ on another pair of shoes after getting sandles and all they do is give him blisters. Hope this helps and good luck!!!

I agree on both sides. If you have a child like my three have been, in that they have really wide feet, it is very difficult to find a good pair in the right size.

Stride Rite excels in this area and really is the best solution, regardless of the crazy prices. If your child can wear a regular size, then I wouldn't hesitate to check out another retailer.

My daughter has a couple of pairs of hand-me-down "shoes" but spent her first 9 months of walking in Robeez, or Ministar (the Target Brand for $12) - they were super and totally worth it to protect her feet, but let her get on with walking. A nice alternative for us. Good luck with your choices!

Hi A.,
Regardless of the brand of shoes you choose, please keep in mind that your son's feet are developing now, so make sure that the shoe you pick has arch support and are not too rigid; specially if there are tennis shoes.

That said, Stride rite has good shoes that, whithin the good shoe category, are not THAT expensive; another excellent brand, but a lot more expensive, are ECCO shoes. My son got a pair of ecco sandals and he didn't want to use anything else from the moment he got it.

Goor luck!

My kids are 7 and 5 and last school year was the first time they ever wore anything but Stride Rite shoes ( they needed all white gym shoes and Stride Rite had none so we went with Nike...the were trashed before Christams break). My kids are very rough on their shoes and I find Stride Rite shoes to hold up well and clean up nicely. I usually have their feet measured at the store and then hit the outlet store and go to town.

i think it's worth it and i know they are ridicously price. not sure where you live, but there is an outlet at aurora farms. i get my daughters shoes there and they are at least 50% cheaper. good luck!

We were quite surprised by the shoe prices there as well. However, we decided to purchase his shoes from Stride Rite because we felt that they were specially trained to measure and size the shoes properly. Once he is in "regular" sizes and can tell us if they hurt his feet we will probably switch and buy him shoes somewhere less expensive (if that's possible by then!) Both my husband and I have some foot problems so we are trying to get him the best shoes possible while he is young and growing. Good Luck!!

DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY!!!! My kids are 3 and 9 and have never touched a pair of Stride Rite shoes and are just fine!! My ped. even told me when my dd was little (she's the 9 yr old) that she won't put her kids in them that you can get just as good quality shoes for half the price someplace else. I went to two Stride Rites when my son was little (at Aurora Farms and Strongsville mall) and my son was measured wrong at BOTH stores and no one could explain to me why. He was just over a year, walking well and wearing a 4 1/2 shoe (what he had on was Keds or Nike, can't remember), they measured him to be in a 7 1/2 WIDE. My son has normal/narrow feet..far from wide. Their "regular" shoes are made soooooo much more narrower than other stores so they can sucker you into spending more on their "wides" and "XW" when it's really not necesarry.
Both of my kids have always worn Walmart, Target or Payless and we love them. My son outgrows his shoes far before he wears them out and he's a rough little boy, LOL. Payless also measures and seems to do a much better job, with much better shoes, they'll get our business.
Talk to your dr. but ours said NO WAY on the expensive ones. Barefoot is best (till it gets cold out), for early walkers..then you want a good firm sole for support. You don't need to spend a small fortune for that.
Good luck :-)

Stride rite shoes should be sized and fit to last at least 6 months- if he grows out of them before I think 3 months they replace the shoes for FREE check with the store clerk about the exact policy. We had a few shoes replaced for our kids.

YES they are worth it. We still get the older kids their tennis shoes there. They are a much better made shoe and are designed for the stage your childs muscles and body are in. They are reinforced differently pre age and walking stage.

We did our everyday shoes tennis shoes and summer sandles at Stride Rite and then becasue we now knew the size of our girls, we went to target for their SMART FIT shoes ( Stride Rite generic) Yes, they are stride rite shoes, but not as expensive, however, very hard to find in the sizes we ever need. Anway, smart fit for any additional shoes until the next time.

If you have the money for expensive shoes and feel the desire, go right ahead and buy them. However, there really isn't that much difference. Try to find a sole that is very flexible to allow the child to learn how to walk and run correctly. I have always gotten my kids shoes at Wal-Mart, Meijers and garage sales. You just need to know what to look for.

If your child doesn't have any walking or hip problems, it's really not necessary to buy them special or really expensive shoes. They grow out of them so quickly and at a young age really ware them very rarely. Because of that reason, I can usually find the name brand shoes in like-new condition at garage sales... Sketchers, Nike, etc. My kids mostly wear name brand shoes to school and on outings. I only have them wear the generics at daycare and home for play.

For both our girls, we chose Stride Rite for their first pair. We did this because they had wide feet at that age and because the shoes were better made than most. Stride Rite seems to help the foot balance better than some of the stylish shoe brands. We did not start going to the less expensive brands until they were walking well and playing rough in gym shoes.

Hi A.,
I went to strid rite for both of my new walkers and bought them Robeez. They are soft-soled shoes, so that they have protection for their feet, but also can develop the muscles in their feet as if walking barefoot. My son is five and still loves soft-soled shoes. Two of my favorite brands are Robeez and soft star www.robeez.com and www.softstarshoes.com
Good Luck! You can sometimes find good deals on shoes at children's resale shops, but if not, shoes are one area where we go ahead and make the investment.
M. S.

Did you try the Stride Rite outlet in Jeffersonville Outlet?? The prices are half that of the regular Stride Rite Stores. Our regular store tried to tell us they are last years styles but we have found the same styles at the outlet. We buy most Stride Rite but our son had issues with his foot turning inward, plus he was a wide. This is such a difficult decision!

I googled best walking shoes for toddlers... and on webmd and everyday family I got this response. It says that barefoot is best, but for outdoors the next best is a sneaker with a soft rubber/leather sole. It also says no hand me downs, and that it is a myth that expensive is better! so if you follow these guidelines you will find the right shoe for your little one. Hope this helps!

Personally I don't think so. I think a long time ago they were the best things because major shoe manufacturers didn't design shoes for babies. Now you can get Nike's, Adidas, etc. at a department store like Kohl's or other Shoe stores like Shoe Carnival for $20. They are also designed for toddlers foot needs. My kids both have pretty much always had Nike's and I usually don't pay more than $20-$25. I also have found the Stride Rite brand shoes to be really tacky looking (which I realize may not be a primary concern, but nonetheless, my opinion) Most of the Stride Rite stores carry brands like Nike, only without a department store type discount.

YES! My parents always bought stride rite for us and we won't buy anything else for our son. It seems like it shouldn't be a big deal but how they walk and develope now will effect their whole life. If you have one of those large outlet shopping centers near you that has a stride rite I would go there though to get them. We have bought all his shoes/sandals there at less than half of the original price! They usually have a pretty good selection also.

Check for clearances online. Type in "StrideRite Clearance" in google or yahoo and it will bring up different sites. See Cy Run are also very good.
Also, try resale stores like Once Upon a Child and sites like Ebay and diaperswappers.com because everyone else's kids only where them for a few months too and they stay in pretty good condition.

When my son had just started walking, the only shoes he had was the Stride Rite ones (mainly due to the fact grandparents were buying them for him) and I loved the shoes. Once he got about 20-24 months I would buy shoes on sale, no particular brand but I didn't notice a big difference at all in the shoes.

We have bought Stride Rites and have been VERY pleased! My sone has somewhat wide feet, but regardless, they are better made and easiest to put on. I supplement with less expensive shoes, but in the winter he wears Stride Rite about 75% of the time.

Sign up for their mailing list and you will get coupons... that helps a LOT! And shop the clearance section!! Also, if your Marshalls carries them, that is a great way to go.

If you can afford to avoid it... don't buy shoes second hand... they form to feet fairly quickly, so once they formed to the first little one's foot, they will not be formed to your little one's. Just something I learned a while back from someone in no way related to the shoe industry!! :-)

No, they aren't worth it. Advice from Pediatricians is usually to keep the kids barefoot when at home because it helps the muscles in their feet develop and put shoes on to protect them when they go out. nothing wrong with a supportive shoe, but I wouldn't spend the money. My husband is a physician as well and he says they are definitely not a necessity. Save your money!

Yes they are. Had to take my son to a Podiatrist, top DR. out of Cleveland clinic and he said to use stride rites or a shoe that is light in weight compared to them. I also go to aurora farms when I can.

I think SR is a bit expensive but definitely worth it. We used their phases shoes for both of our kids and they seemed to walk so much better in them than in other cheaper brands with the solid soles.

the other brand that I absolutely love is pedipeds. they are soft soled like robeez but look more like a regular shoe, a little more dressy. my son has worn 4 or 5 pairs of pedipeds and they all look very nice even after months of constant wear. he has even splashed through puddles in them and they were no worse for wear. you can probably find used pedipeds on ebay and they will still be in excellent condition.

the other bonus to SR and Pedipeds that I've seen is that the velcro is very sturdy and strong. neither of my children pulled their shoes off when wearing these brands.

Here's what I did back in the 80s before the internet days. I took my kids down to Joseph Shoes (5184 Pearl Road) in the PearlBrook Shopping center at the corner of Ridge and Pearl Road in Cleveland. They are near the Cleveland-Parma Border. Their phone no.is ###-###-####. They are in Google under "Joseph Family Shoe Company".
I think that the owner then was 'Tom', but I don't know if he is still there.

The owner fitted my kids from cradle to junior high school. After that, we went to Kohl's. I did not want cheap shoes or expensive shoes. I wanted my kids to have an EPERIENCED fitter and the SAME fitter. This IS the path to take. Pick a place with the same fitter who knows the shoe trade and will get to know your child's feet. When you go to places like JC Penney you have different people fitting you at different times.

I did not have the best of shoes all the time growing up.
I paid for it with blisters in the back of heals and callouses on my little toes. I swore up and down that my kids would not have to go through what I did.

We had no problems with my children's feet. Nobody developed blisters or callouses. We got a pair of Osh Kosh tennis shoes one time for the summer there. They were blue and white pin striped with crepe bottoms. By early November that year, they looked brand NEW. You have other options besides Stride Right.

Go with the private independent store. The experienced shoe man/lady will steer you to the proper brand for your child -- be it Stride Right or whatever else is out there. I highly recommended Joseph Family Shoes in the PearlBrook Shopping Plaza. They don't sell junk. Keep us posted.

hey A.

i say can you reaaly aford them my family was on me about the same thing but i went to payless and found all white shoes that spoorted my lil one anklesand ever one thought that they we the real walking shoes and they go all the way up to a size five and the cost 12.95 all the stride rite stores were closed in my area and I realy dont shop online so you can look into those to help u with you choices

I really like Robeez. Every professional that i have spoken to has said it's best to keep shoes off so they can develop arches. Thats why i like the robeez because they protect her feet, but it's still similar to being bare foot.

I don't know if they are worth it or not, (they probably are) but if you do decide to go that route, you could try the thrift stores first to see what they have in your size. Because Strides are so well-made, they last well beyond the actual wearing time for most toddlers, since their feet grow out of them quickly. You could try Once Upon A Child (the gucci of thrift stores) which is the most like a department store with clothing sizes sorted, or the real thrift stores like on Cleveland Avenue, where the prices are even cheaper, but you have to spend some time sorting through to find the sizes you want. I rarely buy "new" items for my kids (2 & 4) since they are just going to get them filthy anyway and for my own sanity, I don't want to worry about whether they've ruined yet another outfit.

Just my 2 cents about clothing recycling.

No! We were told, and I have read that barefoot is the best way to let them learn to walk. So, when they do need shoes they should be as close to barefoot as possible. We had lots of those thin leather (or leather like, I should say) shoes from Wal-mart and Target. You can also find much more expensive versions... It's much better for the development of their little feet!


My kids are much older but wore Striderite when they were younger. I have bad feet in my family so didn't want to take any chances. They learned to walk in high top Striderite shoes. The doctor said the high tops were good until they turned about 2, after that they shouldn't be worn which upset my mother but what could she say. I was lucky and found a bunch of Striderites in a number of sizes with the insides is very good condition. Neither of my sons have the feet problems that pleague the rest of the family.


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