Shoes for Grade Schoolers

Updated on September 01, 2014
J.S. asks from Los Angeles, CA
27 answers

Where do you buy your kids shoes? How much do you pay and how many pairs do they have? How old are your kids?? I have a kindergartener and just paid 100 bucks for two that a good deal? I always go to stride rite but is there a better place now that he's older? Thanks!

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answers from Chattanooga on

Gosh, I won't spend more than $20 on shoes for my DD. She grows out of them faster than she wears them out, so I don't see the point in spending a bundle for better quality when they aren't going to last any longer. (She is 4 and in pre-k)

I buy from Shoe Carnival, Payless, Shoe Show, Walmart... Pretty much anywhere that is convenient when she needs new shoes.

Once she gets older, I will probably spend more... Probably nowhere near $50 a pair though. I don't even spend that on myself. Lol.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Depends on what you need. My DD has orthotics, so we no longer get shoes from just anywhere, and they did run me about $45 for one pair. She will wear them to make up for the fact that they are more expensive, but she needs the kind of shoe that will fit the orthotics and support her feet properly, which means we do Stride Rite, New Balance, Saucony, etc. We buy her Sunday or dress up shoes and sandals elsewhere and spend the money on her everyday school shoes, one pair at a time. My sister does Stride Rite and waits for coupons and other sales.

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answers from Erie on

I sold shoes for 4 years. There is very little difference in the shoes that are $25 vs. $75, they will all wear out in about the same amount of time. When you get into brands like Dansko, then there IS a difference, but with children's growing feet there is little point to spending $125 or more unless you have the money to spare.
Most shoes will form to the feet properly, it doesn't matter the brand. I have a very high insole (high arch) and need Dansko shoes b/c of my job and suffering from plantar fasciitis. But my kids? They try on shoes until they find a pair that feels good. KMart, Payless, Target...all have decent shoes. I just wish they were still made in the US. I have never paid more than $30 for a pair, and those are made of leather and have stitched soles, not glued.

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answers from Tampa on

My kids have to wear sneakers to school, so that is what they wear most of the time during the year. I go to the Sketchers outlet before school starts when they run buy one get one half off sales. I buy three pair of sneakers for each of my two children and end up paying about $120 total. They alternate wearing each pair and they last pretty much the entire year... Some folks love Sketchers...some hate them, but they seem to do just fine for my children...

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Until my daughter started school, I never paid more than 20 bucks. But now that she's in school, she does a lot of running and whatnot in PE, and has issues with her heel growth plate so we have to make sure whatever pair she has is very supportive of her heel. We usually pay between 30-50 dollars. She is currently wearing sketchers we bought at Famous Footwear, but last year she had Nikes from Kohls and also I think Sketchers from Kohls. I go where there are sales or I have coupons.

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answers from Chicago on

My kids seem to grow out of shoes pretty fast, and they take a real beating at school so I shop around and usually spend about $30 per pair - for tennis shoes.

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answers from San Francisco on

My kids never grew very quickly so I found buying one or two pairs of good shoes per school year totally worth it, usually around $40-50 each. Shoes that didn't get worn more than a few times, like dressy shoes for special occasions, I bought the cheapest possible, usually at Payless.
Of course that was about ten years ago, so probably those $40-50 shoes now cost closer to $60 (Stride Rite, Teva, Timberland, Nike, etc.)

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answers from Washington DC on

our situation is slightly different because my older boy was severely pro-nated. we had to get stride-rite corrective shoes for him that were $100 a pop almost 30 years ago. and for a couple on a ramen regimen, it was terribly difficult.
but i think good shoes are important. when he got older, and then with my younger, we'd buy an occasional pair of payless fun shoes, but for their regular running around, if they weren't barefoot they were in good shoes. we didn't go to stride-rite, but we did go to actual shoe stores and outlets (usually on sale!) where actual professional shoe salespeople would measure them carefully and suggest appropriately. it meant thrift store clothes, though!

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answers from Rochester on

If I can get shoes at Payless or Target I will. But now that my 2nd grader doesn't want character shoes or Velcro shoes it is getting harder to find shoes there. My kindergartener is still ok with that, but they have had such poor selection lately. It also is hard to find gym shoes there that have non-marking soles which are required for gym. Payless had one pair in my son's size and none in my daughter's size.

I also have started having bad feet problems from all the years of wearing "cheap" shoes. I don't want my kids to have the same problems.

We always buy a pair of everyday tennis shoes and a pair of gym shoes. My kindergartener still had decent shoes for every day, so we only had to buy one pair for him for gym. We bought an everyday pair and a gym pair for our 2nd grader. I think we spent about $125 for the three pairs.

We usually buy a pair of dress shoes for each kid around Christmas time. Those I do buy cheaper because they wear them for hardly anytime. They don't wear those to school, just church and special events.

I hate spending that much on shoes, but with all the foot problems I've been having, I wish I had done differently for myself.

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answers from Toledo on

I went to a store that sells Stride Rite once. I almost choked when I heard the price.

I usually go to Payless or Shoe Carnival, especially when they have BOGO, and buy shoes for both kids. I've gone to Walmart and Target before. Sometimes their prices end up about the same s's a BOGO. It just depends. I've rarely paid more than $20 per pair thus way.

My oldest is in 2nd grade now and has requested Nike's. Those run between $35 and $50 a pair. But he's not growing as fast and wears them every day, so I let him get Nike's.

You have to do what makes sense to you. Personally, I wouldn't want to spend that much on shoes for a 5 year old.

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answers from Philadelphia on

Up until 4th grade I shopped at Stride Rite and Olly. If I recall, the leather shoes I used to get every year were about $65. I would buy good leather shoes, sneakers, cute boots and dress shoes.

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answers from Denver on

My son is four and I never pay a lot for shoes. Usually around 20 dollars. The reason for this is that he's four. He can't tell the difference between name-brand, or walmart. He'd going to grow out of them in about 3 months anyway! Lol. Kids shoes get trashed quickly, they grow out of them quickly, and they don't know any better. My son has gone from a size 10 to a size 1 in the last year, so why waste the money? I'll buy him a pair of 15 dollar shoes at the store that light up and have cars on them and spend the other 35 dollars getting him that new toy he's wanted for however long.

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answers from Los Angeles on

We buy good shoes.
Good shoes cost money.
Yes I look for deals.
But I could never stomach the thought of my kid running & playing in uncomfortable cheap shoes.
I won't wear them. I wouldn't expect him to wear them.
Shoes are important.
Find sales, use coupons....but buy good shoes!

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answers from Austin on

Our daughters elementary school has a rule that tennis shoes are the only shoes they should be wearing, because they run track every day , Yes on rain days they run around the gym.

Our daughter had never worn tennis shoes until she was about to start kindergarten!

I took her to one of the best shoe stores in town to get her fitted properly and to ask them a lot of questions about what to look for in good shoes.

Once I learned that, from then on, I was able to find her shoes from different sources,

Remember, their feet can grow very quickly, so you may need to purchase different sizes even through each grade level.

I purchased her shoes from discount store or places like sports stores,
I kept in mind that she needed a good pair and we were lucky because she has a regular sized foot and did not have any special needs for her feet.

I always feel bad for the parents that need to find extra wide or extra narrow shoes for their children, because they are more expensive and the perfect fit is very important. It takes more time, money and patience to shop for their children. I could pretty much go into any store that sold children's shoes and purchase them off the shelf.. Now her taste in shoes? That was the hard part.. Ha!

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answers from Houston on

Mine are elementary school kids.
I buy geox, Merrell, Primigi, Naturino

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answers from Portland on

I am a person who is willing to spend a bit for good shoes, for myself and Kiddo. We either look at resale shops or we'll go to REI for a pair of Merrells for Kiddo. We spend about $50 on average for a good pair of shoes which will last most of the school year and always buy rainboots at resale shops or on sale.

This year we bought kiddo's shoes a half size large, because they come in whole sizes. I'm expecting they'll last until June, when we get him new summer sandals.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

We spend less by going to the sketchers outlet. I only go to stride rite when they are having a major sale. One my son started school, he wears them out every 4-6 months no matter what we buy, so I try not to pay a lot.

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answers from Chicago on

$50 is too much unless for a teen. I spend good money on gym shoes but not dress etc. My kids always wore out their gym shoes first. I try to get gym shoes with more of a rubber front ( like Converse has) than cloth. But I look around to save money and look for coupons. I can usually get a better deal on line. I paid $40 less for my daughter's cross country shoes than I would have paid in the store For just school shoes, I try to pay less. For one of my older girls that runs, she needs really good shoes but I still saved money.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I spend between $12 and $18 at Walmart. Kids wear out shoes no matter what so why spend $100 when you can spend $35 for the same amount of time?

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answers from St. Louis on

Personally, I think you're overspending....but then again, you're in Los Angeles.

At that age, my sons had
1. a good pr of tennies $50
2. a pr of "play shoes"....a.k.a. the old tennies or whatever fit...or cheap tennies
3. a pr of dress shoes...or cowboy boots
4. a pr of snow shoes in the winter & a pair of sandals in the summer.
Total cost <$100, but that was 10+ years ago.

In my daycare, I have a preschooler who owns more than 30 pairs of shoes. I cannot imagine the $$ sitting in her closet.

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answers from Detroit on

My kids are 6 and 8. I would never ever spend 50 on a pair of shoes. The most I have ever spent is $25 on dress shoes when I was desperate.

I try consignments shops first. You can often find shoes that are practically brand new and that are very nice brands (if you go to the high end consignment shops). Sometimes I buy shoes there that are for the next sizes up. They are so cheap, I take a gamble that they will fit when the time comes if I find a really awesome pair.

I also sometimes find really good kids' shoes at Marshalls, but they are few and far between. It's worth looking, though, because sometimes you do find kids' Timberland and Stride Rite, etc. at Marshalls for really good prices.

Otherwise, I go to Sears next. I hate Kohl's shoes. They aren't worth the money. They fall apart too soon and are not supportive of their feet.

Most importantly -- I won't spend a fortune on their shoes if I don't have to, but regardless of whether they outgrow their shoes soon, they still need shoes that support their feet properly, especially if they are running and playing in them. So, I don't spend over $25, but I search long and hard for a good brand I can afford.

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answers from Las Vegas on

I buy LEMS.. they cost 95, but they are best for my son's feet.. one, they allow his toes to really spread out.. two, they have NO arch in that they are completely flat and therefore allow a person's own arch to support the foot and lastly, they have no toe drop.. meaning... the front of the shoe doesn't rise up like most sneakers do.... now why do I LOVE these shoes.. because traditional shoes (like I too used to wear) eventually cause foot deformities..
for years my son wore leather addidas... I thought I was doing him a favor by giving him a solid support shoe. .turns out, the shoes were slowly turning his big toes inward.. (which if you look at most peoples toes) often they do that and it isn't normal...
before you buy another shoe, I recommend viewing on youtube, on there (or facebook) the podiatrist, Ray McClanahan gives a short talk on what shoes are actually good for kids. if you have a FB account, just go to that site and take a look..As someone who has had foot problems for a long time, having found the info that this podiatrist has to share has been life changing.. believe me when I say, having switched shoes myself..................... WOW WOW... my feet feel so much better... who knew it was my shoewear that was messing up my feet..... from sacony, nike to many other name brands..I thought buying those name brands for my family and I were doing us a favor. NOT..

check out youtube or FB... you ll see what I am talking about..

good luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I buy stride rite for my two boys, too. However, I make sure never to pay more than $60 for two pair at a time. I do this by shopping the stride rite outlet. More often though, lately, I go to the brick and mortar, find what we like, and then go online to shoebuy or amazon and buy there for far cheaper - usually because of sales or coupons. Shipping is free and with shoebuy, no sales tax.

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answers from Norfolk on

I never skimp on shoes for our son.
His Dad has large feet and his toes are a bit twisted because his parents kept him in shoes that were too small for him (they never got him a new pair until his toes pushed out of them).
Some years were tough (our son had some extreme growth spurts several years - he shot up 4 inches 3 separate years and each time his feet started it off) and I had to replace his shoes several times his feet grew so fast (sometimes he increased 2 sizes in 8 weeks - no kidding).
He's 15 now and wears size 13 Wide but his feet are perfect and beautiful!

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answers from Las Vegas on

In a few years, your little one will hit a growth spurt, which will make you shoot right down to Payless.

My daughter has two pairs of school shoes. One pair of dress shoes and one pair of PE shoes. The dress shoes are maryjanes and I get them at Payless, if I can. The tennis shoes are New Balance and I pay about $60 for them. They have to be all white.

The school required they wear their dress uniform on a day they had PE and nearly every little girl ruined their new shoes. My daughter wore a hole in her shoe which extended from the beginning of the shoe to about the knuckle of her big toe. It went right down into the cloth. Some parents purchased their shoes from the uniform shop and some from stride rite. In any event, there were a lot of upset parents. Luckily, I paid $17 and had a coupon at Payless.

She usually has a couple of other sneakers to play in at home. She is growing, it is difficult to pay too much.

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answers from Grand Forks on

Shoes are way more expensive in Canada than they are in the US. When I can I buy in the States and I buy used. They like Nike, DC, Reebok and Osiris. We also need more shoes in Canada. The kids need to keep indoor running shoes at school and they need some for home. They need rubber boots and snow boots, sandals, flip flops and dress shoes etc.

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answers from San Diego on

Payless and maybe Target mostly.
We have tried buying more expensive shoes in the hopes that they last longer. I wish I could attach a picture to show you just how much better the expensive Vans didn't hold up. My second child is the killer of shoes. We have bought him ones from REI hoping they would hold up longer and better. We bought him the Vans. They don't last any longer than the cheap ones from Payless.
His next pair of shoes will be coming from Payless. Experiment over.
It depends on how hard your kids are on shoes I guess and how fast they grow. Some kids have their shoes still looking perfect before they outgrow them. Others, like my son go through several pairs before he even goes up a size.
My second son is 10. My 13 year old does a little better and the pair we bought him from REI are holding up relatively well. My daughter is 5. Her dress shoes get beaten up faster than her sneakers for whatever reason.

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