Painless Shoe Shopping for You and Your Kids

Painless shoe shopping for you and your kids starts when you lay down some ground rules. Descending on the shoe store with a herd of cranky children and no game plan is a recipe for disaster. However, planning ahead and defining a few key factors in your shopping goal can make the experience easy instead of a nightmare.

Take one child at a time

Shoe shopping gets easier when you take only one child at a time with you or at least lay down the order in which each child will be given attention during the shopping excursion. Take the process one step at a time:

  1. Clarify which kind of shoes is needed. Nothing is more frustrating than ending up with ballet flats when your kid really needed sneakers. If the shoes are for school, check regulations about footwear. Some schools are very strict.
  2. Set a budget. Define a maximum, and let your child know what it is. Upon arriving at the shoe store, you can even zip down the aisle containing the child's size and pull all the shoes in your price range and the correct styles from which the child can choose.
  3. Combine sales and coupons to increase your savings. A BOGO sale plus a 20-percent-off coupon can make shoe shopping for children less of a financial strain. Check into possible additional ways to lower the cost, such as military discounts, which are available at many shoe and sporting goods stores.

Utilize available help

Don't forget that the shoe store staff is there to help customers. Let the staff size your child's foot while you scout for deals. Ask some questions about what's in style and help your child select shoes that will let him or her feel on a par with classmates even if the brand is a knockoff.

When in doubt on sizing, go a half size up and buy some socks on the thicker side. Kids grow fast, and nothing is more annoying than having them complain of pinched toes only weeks after a shoe-shopping excursion

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