Monday, April 21, 2014

The experience of shoe shopping with a kindegartener

www.payless.comOn Saturday we made a trip to the mall as a family. Bry said he wanted to look for some new shoes for himself at Payless, so I said, "Great! We'll all go because S needs new shoes too." I love Payless. For one thing, you typically do pay less for shoes than you would elsewhere. For another, all of the shoes they sell are completely synthetic unless specifically marked otherwise. That is great for the busy vegan who doesn't want to have to look inside every single shoe to check the materials. Beyond the time factor, let me tell you that it chafes to see a pair of shoes you really like only to have to pass because they turn out to have a leather component. Disappointment eliminated at Payless! Hooray!

So, shopping for shoes with a kindergartener... What is it about a shoe store that makes it this magical place where all shoes fit properly and everything is perfectly perfect? Apparently when you're five and a half, shoes that "feel great" in the store, "just feel so bad" when you get them home three hours later. Why Universe, why...? I did everything right! I asked the clerk to measure his foot. I made him try on both shoes of both pairs. I had him walk around in them for a little bit; again, both pairs. I don't know, maybe it's just part of him being five. But the end result is that I wound up taking both pairs back to the store today. To a different location actually so that the mall clerks wouldn't think I'm insane. The clerks in the plaza were really nice and helpful. "Did you want to exchange them, or just return them?" Hrmm, well I had planned to just return them and wait for a time when the boy wasn't in school so we could try again...but her question reminded me of something Bry had said to me Saturday evening, "Whatever size they measure his foot at, next time just buy a half size bigger."

**Side Note: I love love love my left-brained husband and his logic!**

Exchange them I did, and I got lucky in that the plaza location had both pairs in a half-size up. When the boy got home from school, he tried them on. He said, of the black/blue/green pair: "They feel good. For real. I'm not joking." Good to know. Joking? Really son, really? Sigh... And of the black/red/silver pair: "They feel okay on the outside [of the foot] but not on the inside." Also good to know. My plan at this point is to call the plaza location back tomorrow, and find out if they have a second pair of the black/blue/green shoes in his size. If they don't, they'll call other locations for me until they find what I'm looking for. Here's hoping I don't have to go back to the mall for this... Heh.

What have I learned from shoe shopping with a kindergartener?
1) Having him try shoes on at home produces a different analysis on his part than having him try them on in the store.
2) Always have more than one pair of the current size shoes on hand - one to wear, one to wash.
3) Just say NO to shoes that light up because you can't -ever- put them in a washing machine.

Now, I didn't warn you, dear readers, that this was going to be a "mommy post" up at the top. And that's because it's not. Well, at least not entirely... The mommy portion of the post has ended and the Zumba portion shall now commence!

As my family and I were waiting in line to check out at the Payless, here's the display I saw built into their cash desk. Notice anything?
This crazy Zumba girl be like, "Whoohoo, neon shoelaces!" Or sparkly ones, or colored zebra print's all good. Scanning the selection, my brain immediately began matching what's for sale, to the stuff I already own. What caught my eye are the bright blue sparkly ones. They are hiding behind a pink pair and a silver pair on the right, next to where the black and navy laces start.
Here's a close up view. They are a $1.99 and come in 4/5 hole and 5/6 hole lengths. At that price, they were worth taking a chance on. Although I was pretty certain they were going to match a certain pair of Pumas I had at home. And I was right!
The Puma Soleil's come with shoelaces intended to match the shoe. I mean white on white does match, and they made the end-tabs (does anyone out there know what the actual name is?) on the shoelaces coordinate with the color of the stripes. But the effect is kind of blah. I don't know why I never thought of changing the shoelaces before. It seems like a no-brainer now...
The fact is, I've never really care for the original Puma laces. They are ribbon-style which means they are very thin and flat. They are also somewhat slippery. I wouldn't dare wear them without double knotting and even then they've been known to come undone in the middle of the middle of a song. In fact, that happened last Wednesday night. I was in a rush to get out to class and this particular pair of shoes was handy so I just tossed them into my satchel. Part way through a song, I felt something under my shoe and when I briefly glanced down at my foot, I saw that it was my shoelace. This wasn't the first time this has happened, but I have a feeling, that with the new pair, it's no longer going to be an issue. The texture of the blue shoelaces leads me to believe that they will stay knotted quite well.

Best advice: New shoelaces are a cheap and easy way to change the look of your shoes. I kick myself for not figuring this out sooner. Do you folks know how many pairs of this style of shoe I've gone through in plain white/grey before I "went crazy" and bought a white/blue pair? Four! They would have looked so much better with any one of those colored pairs of shoelaces... Sigh, live and learn.

I am neither affiliated with, endorsed by, or compensated by Payless Shoesource -- Simply a shopper with an opinion!

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