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Ask the Readers: Where do you find quality children’s shoes at a great price?

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photo by DrStarstruck

Priscilla asks:

We are a family of 8. Our children ages range from almost 15 to 9 months old. So, every penny we can save does add up.

I was wondering where best to find good quality shoes for the lowest price? Do shoes usually go clearance certain times of the year?
 
Our oldest has gone through shoes faster over the past 2 years and it is becoming discouraging to shoe shop.

Since we only have younger children, I can’t speak from experience on how to get larger sizes of children’s shoes for great deals but I will tell you our secret for getting small sizes for great deals–consignment sales!

I don’t know that all areas have great consignment sales, but in our area, there are regularly large consignment sales put on by groups of moms. We have purchased the majority of our girls shoes at these. I can often find name-brand shoes in very good condition for $3 or less.

I also recommend consignment stores, thrift stores, and garage sales for little kid’s shoes. They seem to be plentiful and cheap. Best of all, you can usually get good brands in great shape.

That’s just what has worked for us so far, where do the rest of you snag shoe deals?

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78 Comments

  • Mary says:

    As the owner of a children’s consignment shop, I totally agree with you — check out a local consignment shop!

    We get in shoes costing as much as $125 (seriously!) new and we sell them anywhere from 99 cents to about 9.99 avg.

    I tend to price Stride Rites the highest – sometimes going as high as $19.99 if they look new.

    We get 100’s of pairs each week that you can tell were only worn a few times at most. Everything from Old Navy flip flops to dressy formal shoes to tennis shoes.

    If you want to buy new, I think that Smart Fit brand is a good buy. I think they are carried at Payless stores and the tags inside usually say $12.99 or so as a new price. These seem to wear very well, in my opinion, and they have good resale value!

    And, by all means – bring your gently used shoes to us!!! We sell a ton of shoes here and can always use more – I’m sure it’s like that at most consignment stores!

  • Elizabeth says:

    We have found hardly used children’s shoes at thrift stores. It seems that some people buy way too many new shoes and their children outgrow them without even wearing them (or hardly). Sometimes thrift stores will offer half-off days for certain items. This can make the shoes even more affordable.

  • Elizabeth says:

    We have had success with children’s shoes at thrift stores. It seems that people buy too many new shoes for their children so there are many never worn or hardly worn shoes available. Sometimes thrift stores will offer half-off days for certain items and this can make the shoes even more affordable.

  • Jane says:

    My daughter has narrow feet, and I’ve only had good luck with name brands like Stride Rite and Jumping Jacks to fit her, but I refuse to pay department store prices for them. I find new or like new ones on ebay, consignment sales, and sometimes at Marshall’s, where they sell last year’s shoes at a fraction of the price.

  • Michelle says:

    For tennis shoes, watch for the clearance sales at stores such as Big 5 – I got some great deals for my boys last month when they had a big sidewalk sale $10 for shoes that were regularly $70. Also, the Fred Meyer store here runs adds and puts shoes on clearance regularly and sometimes you can combine that with an extra percentage off coupon from the weekly ad. Garage sales and thrift store were great when my kids were younger, but as they have gotten older they wear their shoes longer and there are less of the bigger sizes available.

  • Honey says:

    I agree with Elizabeth. I have found boutique brand shoes for my girls at thrift stores. Garage sales are good, too. And lastly consignment shops.

  • Beth says:

    Ebay is great for inexpensive shoes and clothes.

  • Erin says:

    I love New Balance for my kids – I have two with narrow feet and one with wide feet (and one that isn’t in shoes yet). I get them at Marshall’s (or TJ Maxx) and have yet to pay more than $15.00 for a pair. They wear well and the kids love how they fit.

  • Lisa says:

    I have four children and buy nearly all of their shoes at The Children’s Place. I always wait for a clearance sale and a coupon code and have never spent more than $5 per pair.

  • Raizy says:

    I buy most of my children’s shoes at Payless. They look cute and last just as long as more expensive shoes. I particularly like to go when they are having a BOGO sale (buy one, get one half price).
    For a recent wedding I bought my daughter a pair of dress shoes at Target for $12.99. They looked great!

  • laura says:

    We get many of our shoes for the entire family at yard sales, Goodwill, consignment, etc. We find shoes that look brand new all the time! I have a couple of pair I bought for myself for $3 each. They are especially comfortable and they wear really, really well. I was curious, so I looked them up online and found out they retail around $300 a pair for this brand and these styles! They were like new when I got them…I can hardly imagine buying shoes and not using them, but I am grateful for the blessing to us!

  • katie says:

    I have prided myself on the fact that i have NEVER bought my daughter new shoes from the store. I get almost all of her shoes from Ebay. most are new but some are gently worn but you can never tell after she wears them. i keep an eye open for a good deal and only purchase if it is still a good deal after shipping costs. I recently got a new pair of Nike sneakers (they were on sale at Kohl’s that week for $29.99) for 4.80 plus $3.00 shipping.

  • Tracie says:

    I love payless for my kids also. We only buy shoes when they have their b1g1 half price. If they don’t have any that we like Target is next. Our thrift store around here doesn’t have shoes so its not an option.

  • LANA says:

    Word of mouth works…chances are you know somebody that knows somebody that is trying to get rid of baby/kid items. Hand me downs are a great thing and the best priced! Also, Ebay and Kijiji are good.

  • Brittany says:

    EBAY!! I get my girls Stride Rite…but they are about $50 and up at the stores. I’m happy to say that I just got my 5 year old a pair of light up Stride Rite sneakers – brand new- for 15 bucks (including shipping!!) She’s happy they light up…I’m happy they were only 15 bucks 🙂

  • Marcy says:

    I love Target for my daughter’s shoes!

  • Julie says:

    My husband has foot problems that stem from years of wearing inexpensive shoes. This is one area where we are not willing to scrimp. My little one is only four. We get him measured for quality shoes at an old-fashioned shoe store for his every day shoes. I have not had much luck at garage sales, and consignment or thrift stores are few and far between around here. The shoes that he wears to church Sunday mornings and for holidays and special occasions come from a store such as Payless.

  • n says:

    We get a LOT of our shoes from Target’s clearance racks. I have picked up countless pairs for around $3 when they hit 75% off.

    If shoes are one thing you don’t like to scrimp on and/or you aren’t having luck on sales, I really like Shoebuy. They often have coupon codes out where you can get a good percentage off and they have free shipping and returns. I have picked up shoes at half off retail from them several times. If you also go to inboxdollars.com and purchase thru the link to Shoebuy you will get a 10% rebate. 🙂

  • Heidi says:

    I am lucky to have a Stride Rite outlet nearby. I can get a new, high quality, Dr recommended pair of shoes that fit perfectly for $20 there.

    I also buy a pair of crocs for the summer just to run around in. There also is a Crocs outlet.

  • Carrie says:

    About 5 minutes before I read this post I found two tiny spots on my son’s feet from where his shoes had rubbed him until his precious feet bled! I had JUST said to my husband, “Honey, we’ve got to get him new shoes as soon as possible.”

    I logged on to Moneysavingmom.com and the very first post was about how to get children’s shoes on the cheap. You’re probably saying to yourself, “Wow, God really had your family on his mind tonight!” You have no idea.

    Before he was born, a friend from church gave me a ton of baby clothes. We’ve been very blessed and haven’t needed to use many of them as many were stained or past their prime. However, in this large sack of clothes were about 15 pairs of hardly used shoes…………6 of which fit my son right now or will fit him in a few months.

    I would have never remembered those shoes tonight if it wasn’t for this blog. My son will have shoes that won’t hurt his baby feet tomorrow and I didn’t even have to leave my house and my son has new shoes to last him through the winter and beyond!! We don’t serve a great God–We serve an amazing-beyond-my-wildest-dreams-who-provides-for-every-need-we’ve-ever-had-and-goes-before-us-in-every-step God.

  • anna says:

    I know what you mean. I do not buy shoes from Payless. They are cheaply made and I find that they do not hold up well. I go to Kohls and Rogans and look at other places like Pennys, Shopko and Yonkers. I only buy them on clearence. I am always on the lookout for the next size that we need. I buy Adidas, Nike and other quality shoes but all of our favorites are New Balance. I do have a “shoe store” (a large shoe rack with the shoes lined up according to size so I can just go down and swop them out) in the basement for the gently worn shoes that will fit the next child. Our almost 8 year old boy goes through them quickly and is really hard on them (they only have one pair of shoes * I was them when I need to, and a pair of slicker boots). I just bought his size 6 shoes Adidas at Rogans for $20. (that is cheaper than payless and they have wonderful support in them). Keep on the lookout. There are many days that I pop into a store just to look at the clearence shoes and leave. For myself I often find my New Balance in the mens department. Because I don’t wear the usual 10-13 comon mens size I can find some really great deals. I once had someone ask “if you don’t have any money how come your kids wear name brand shoes” buying them the way I do saves more money than just running buying random shoes. I can’t buy a pair of shoes for $20 or less unless I make an effort but I REFUSE to pay more than that.
    For snow boots we “splurged” and bought our son a pair of Rockys. They hold up amazingly well (they are brown so all of the kids will be able to wear them) so the rest of the kids can wear them also. (and of course I found an awesome deal on those too… not quite $20 but for this frugal mom I thought is was a good price). We have three boys and a girl… I feel your pain!

  • I have always heard not to put kids in used shoes or cheap shoes. I buy Stride Rites for my 3 year old son, either at Marshalls (about $20 a pair) or at the Stride Rite outlet ($25-$30 a pair.) I buy him one pair for each size; I don’t see a need for variety at this age. A simple pair in a dark color works for any occasion.

  • We are big fans of consignment shops as well! I also got to large “mom’s sales” where there are over 100 moms selling their gently used items for prices that tend to be cheaper than consignment shops, and maybe a little more than a garage sale price. There are several of these in my area and I always get GREAT deals, on shoes and all other needs too!
    Erin

  • Martha says:

    I like to get shoes on ebay too. I’ve done really well getting my son dress shoes that have been worn just a couple of times.

  • Felicia says:

    I am thankful that my cousin passes on nice almost brand new shoes to my daughter and now my youngest is using some of them. Recently tho I found shoes at Walmart for $1. They were silver dress shoes and will go with her Christmas dress perfectly. Anytime I am at Walmart or Target I go to the shoes and look thru the clearance to find a deal.

  • Finance Girl says:

    I think you can usually find new shoes for the prices people are paying on eBay and consignment stores. I RARELY pay more than $5 for a pair of shoes (often $3-$4), and buy them on clearance at Target and Old Navy. As long as the shoes are comfortable, there’s really no need for them to be extremely high quality because they grow out of them faster than they can wear out. The problems begin when the kids get older and want specific brands or types of shoes. Still, I’ve gotten really nice name-brand shoes for $5-$10 online.

  • A great place for nice clearance shoes is Kohls. Their kids clearance are often $4.99 or less.

    Consignment sales are also a great place. Almost new nikes for $5!

    Craiglist also has shoes.

    Ebay.

    In general for clothing I would say buy stuff on clearance and stock up for the coming year, not what you need RIGHT now.

  • MK's Mom says:

    I have yet to buy shoes my little one at a store. All of them have been from ebay or consignment sales. I did purchase one pair of Keds at Goodwill. I spray them all with Lysol and we are good to go.

  • miou says:

    Garage sales for “fancy” dress-up shoes. Most of them were only worn for photos-just like ours will be.
    There are also Stride-Rite outlet stores.

  • Misty says:

    My DS 14 only wears Vans (and he is in men’s sizes!). I have actually gotten him two pairs from Kohl’s for less than $20 a pair. About once a year our Kohl’s will have huge clearance sales in men’s and kid’s shoes while the women’s shoes seem to be clearanced seasonally. I bought my DS 8 a pair of Skechers from Kohls.com for about $10 after 30% off and free shipping.

    For both boys I always look for good prices on shoes for them and buy them in the next size up so I am not forced into paying full price when they need a new pair.

    They also have only one main pair of shoes that they wear on a daily basis. They aren’t interested in having lots of shoes. They each have one pair of snow boots and one pair of thongs for the pool.

    Ebay is also great for shoes if you are familiar with how a particular brand fits.

    For anyone concerned about pre-owned shoes, you can always spray them with Lysol like the bowling alley to kill any germs then wash them in the washer and air dry. This should take care of any issues. As far as the footbed being molded to someone else’s foot, you can always cut down an adult shoe insert – like Dr. Scholl’s – and slip it in the shoe. This gives your child’s foot a “new” foot bed. These are also great for getting flat feet to fit in regular shoes.

  • Karen says:

    I have a 3 year old with extra wide feet and have bought him brand new Stride Rites from Amazon.com. I have never paid more than $15 for a pair. They are high quality and withstand a LOT of wear and tear!

  • Lynn says:

    Check out if there is a Mothers of Multiples sale in your area. They have sales every six month in my area and I can find a lot of good bargins on kids items.

  • jenny says:

    I find tons of shoes at The Children’s Place. Wait for a sale to maximize your savings too. You can find a great deal when they have a sale that takes 50% off already clearanced items, then sign up for their e-mails and they sporatically send out coupons for an extra 15% off your total. The most I have ever paid for shoes here is $3-$4, and these are great quality. Good luck!

  • Heather says:

    Right now JCPENNY has the kids shoes Okie-Dokies that were $15.99 onsale for $9.99. Plus you can get a printable coupon for 15% off your purchase from http://www.slickdeals.net, search for JCPENNY, and a thread that is updated should be the first on the search matches.

  • Krista says:

    Secondhand stores, like Children’s Orchard and OnceUpon a Child and garage sales are where most of my 22 month old’s shoes have been purchased thus far. I also like Marshalls and Kohls and find lots of good buys there for myself, so that might work better for older kids who wear shoes longer and wear them out more.

  • Carrie says:

    Wow — $5 at The Children’s Place, I had no idea that had such god clearance sales.

    I have gotten lots of Stride Rites at our local big consignment sale. Usually perfect or very good condition. I even found a few wide widths which fit my girls the best.

    I also grabbed a pair of ugly but expensive looking suede toddler shoes at the recent sale. It was during the “bag sale” at the end where you pay $5 for everything you can stuff in a trash bag, so I didn’t think twice about it. When I got them home, I saw that a bit of the original price tag was still inside the shoe — $56!! I cannot imagine ever, ever paying that for a pair of toddler shoes, especially a pair like this that could not have been worn with many outfits.

  • Megan says:

    My oldest is almost 10 and she has three younger sisters. When they were all very young I had success with thrift stores and the like. Later I thought if I bought good shoes I could pass them down girl-to-girl. The truth is, though, that my kids are very hard on their shoes and they don’t pass down very well, so my philosophy is to buy them new, buy them considering they will only be for one girl (with rare exceptions for shoes not worn everyday), and to stay under $15/pair. I can pretty much only do this at Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, etc. $15 may be a lot, but when I do this I’m not worried about their soles falling off half-way through the season (yes, this has happened in the past with pre-owned shoes). That’s just the way we do it.

  • jc says:

    I have the same concern about my kids wearing shoes that have formed to someone elses foot. We do pick up dressy shoes that aren’t worn much second hand, but otherwise we usually get them at Children’s Place.
    Children’s Place has great deals, I’ve gotten leather boots for $5 and tennis shoes for $3. When they have those type of sales, I will buy a pair in a bunch of sizes and then we already have shoes for them to grow into!

  • Bethany says:

    If you want new, then Target is good. If you are fine with used, then Value Village is fantastic. They have storewide 50% off sales on many federal holidays (Memorial Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, etc).

  • I personally never find great looking shoes at consignment sales or garage sales. my secret is end of season clearance! I love it! For example Kohl’s this summer put shoes on clearance back in Aug/Sept. I was able to snag my twin daughters some great name brand tennis shoes for less than $4.00 per pair and i bought my son a pair of Stride Rite’s for $2.60 and some Nike water sandals for next summer for under $5.00. The other place I like to look for end of season clearance are high end stores like Dillards and Macy’s. I got $200.00 boots at the end of last winter for $39.99! We never pay full price for anything at our house… I sell the kids clothes, shoes, etc. that they have outgrown in a local consignment sale then I take that money and it more than covers the needs to clothe them for that season. Example: last year I made over $500.00 in the consignment sale on clothes that I hadn’t spent half that on. Then I turned around and bought all three clothes for under $300.00! The extra $200.00 is hung on to for that emergency outfit/etc.

  • We’ve gotten our girl’s shoes (mostly Crocs) used on Ebay. You have to shop around and watch a few for a while to find a good deal, but one usually pops up.

  • Rachel says:

    I find great deals at thrift stores like GoodWill. It’s true that you do have to shop a lot to find good deals but it is probably worth your time. You can save a lot of money.

  • Staci says:

    I love stride rite shoes for my youngest daughter (3 1/2) but don’t like the prices in the store. We are lucky enough to have a stride rite outlet close to us where i am able to buy shoes for her. Recently i just picked up a $52 pair of shoes for $12.99. I have also found that i can find them on clearance on sites such as shoes.com and shoebuy.com. The best part is there is no shipping either way…so if they don’t fit you can send them back for a different size and never pay shipping.

    I love to save money on clothes but shoes are one purchase i am willing to spend a little more money on. I have heard from a lot of people not to put kids in hand-me-down tennis shoes because the shoes are formed to that childs foot.

  • Staci says:

    I love stride rite shoes for my youngest daughter (3 1/2) but don’t like the prices in the store. We are lucky enough to have a stride rite outlet close to us where i am able to buy shoes for her. Recently i just picked up a $52 pair of shoes for $12.99. I have also found that i can find them on clearance on sites such as shoes.com and shoebuy.com. The best part is there is no shipping either way…so if they don’t fit you can send them back for a different size and never pay shipping.

    I love to save money on clothes but shoes are one purchase i am willing to spend a little more money on. I have heard from a lot of people not to put kids in hand-me-down tennis shoes because the shoes are formed to that childs foot.

  • naphtali says:

    I buy end of season at REI, they cost a little more, but after combatting athlete’s foot on my 4-year-old, I think it is worth it. the shoes last all season, and are quality for play or for dressing up a little. The best part is, if you snag a good deal, and buy a bunch of shoes for a few years in advance, if you are a member at REI you can return them forevor. So this year they had a bunch of NorthFace sandals for $12.00 and I bought a few sizes. If they don’t fit him at the right season, I can return them, even a few years later.

  • Andrea Reynolds says:

    I like to wait for big end of season sales to stock up on shoes at usually 75-90% off their original price. I do thrift stores for lots of stuff, but I’ve got a thing about shoes not having been used yet, so I’ll only pick them up if their still new (happens more often than you think). Ross is a good source for nice shoes at cheap prices, too.

  • Erin says:

    I have great luck at Kohls’ Dept Store. I always check the Clearance racks and have rarely paid over $10 for Nike Tennis Shoes for my boys. I have a charge card there and frequently get an extra 15% to 30% off from their mailers. When I get the extra percent off of the clearance price….it makes for great deals! I always buy ahead. I recently bought a size 1 Nike for my oldest who only wears an 11 right now. I know he’ll need them in the next year to 18 months and got a great deal paying less than $10 for the shoes. I’ve also bought snow boots for as low as $7.00. I love Kohl’s.

  • TopazTook says:

    I second the Payless BOGO sales. During the last one, we bought my daughter two pairs of shoes: one in her current size, and one the next size up. (I will buy tennis shoes ahead, because I figure that no matter what time of year they end up fitting, she can always use tennis shoes.)

  • Thanks, everyone, for chiming in on this.

    I wanted to remind you all that the purpose of this blog is to *encourage* others, not to question their own family’s decisions.

    This conversation was quickly turning into a debate over new vs. used shoes which I don’t want to have here. We all are seeking to do the best we can with the resources we have; let’s focus on taking care of our own families and let other families do what they feel is best.

    Just a friendly reminder to keep your comments encouraging and on-topic. 🙂

  • I get tons of shoes at Target 75% off sales. I like Payless too but sometimes the quality isnt so great. For my big boys I have been buying shoes at Steve and Barry, the Starbury brand, they are cheap $8.98-$14.98 they look cool and are great quality. I am bummed they may not have them anymore.

  • Jennette says:

    JBF-Just Between Friends Sale-check out this link to see if there is one near you.
    http://www.jbfsale.com/home/
    I just bought 2 brand new looking pairs of Stride Rites for $6 each. Their sale has saved us sooooo much money with clothing/shoes. I also consign-this fall I made about $400 consigning our last 2 years clothes/toys, and this just for one child. LOVE JBF!!!

  • PollyS says:

    Until last year my #1 place to get quality children’s’ shoes was from eBay. My son had an extra wide foot and Stride Rite was the only brand that would fit him. Funny story~I had bought a lot of SR shoes when my son was 18 months old. We loved them and it was a terrific deal. When he was 3, I could not find any shoes anywhere at a good price. My husband suggested that I email the same mom and see if her son had outgrown any of his shoes. By golly if she wasn’t about to list 3 pairs of SR and 2 of them were new! I was able to exchange the new pair at Macy’s because she still had the exchange sticker on it. What a deal!
    This past year someone told me to go to Dillard’s when they had their clearance after Christmas. I did and I got SR and Tevas for 80% off! Needless to say, he has shoes for a couple of years now. I know of no other store that marks down that much. Maybe check them out now since it is the change of seasons. I will be going by there soon.
    Oh, and I agree with everyone, consignment stores and garage sales area also good places to look. You never know what you’ll find.
    Trust this helps ya!

  • angela says:

    Just after school started I got my 10 1/2 year old’s shoes at the local Goodwill. Goodwill takes in the clearance items from Target and various other stores. I bought her one pair of brand new converse tennis shoes, one pair of brand new puma’s and one pair of brand new adidas all for $4.99 each!! She wears a size 8 1.2 to a 9 1/2 women’s shoe!! Happy shopping!

  • Lee Scott says:

    I used to work at target so I can tell you there Shoes usually go on clearance 2-3 times a year. 1st about october-november before people start buying dress shoes, and about 10-6 weeks before easter. The biggest clearance sale usually comes sometime in early summer because they are preparing for their new back to school sales. My son is Autistic and will only wear shoes with his favorite character on them I stock up on clearance. This year I bought his next 6 sizes for 3.24 a piece brand new!

  • I buy shoes for my kiddos mostly from the Kids Swap Meet. There are several different ones hosted in my area, and they are generally on Saturday mornings, in school or community center gyms. They are basically one huge garage sale, but all focused on baby and kids items. I love it!

    If I can’t find shoes there, then I try thrift stores or regular garage sales. If all else fails, Walmart usually wins out, unless I am able to get to an outlet mall in the States (I’m Canadian- we don’t have good outlet malls!).

  • NerdMom says:

    I love Target clearance and Walmart. Walmart is almost always cheaper and better for cheap boys shoes. Target has cuter shoes but they are a little more. I watch for clearance and buy a season ahead. I recently got clearance shoes for my 5 yo girl and paid less than $2. Now late cheap is a rarity but usually no more than $6. And of course I pass down what I can but usually all dress shoes.

  • Mom of 4 says:

    My kids are 20, 15, 11, & 8. I learned to get them good new pairs of shoes buying those off season a sz ahead. I tape the register receipt inside the box, in case the shoes get damaged or torn- many stores will allow exchange with original box.
    Watch for clearance sales at department stores that do sunday paper discount coupons like JC pennys outlet you can grab when things are on sale and stockpile for later. Get in the habit of buying an extra pair a full sz larger when you find a hot deal.
    The outlet malls are also the best place to pick up tennis shoes adult sz 13 and up. Our thrift or resales don’t carry sz 14 mens for my older sons. I buy my 8 yr old dd shoes in the womens dept. I just bought her good leather sandals for next summer for less then $10 a pair at the Nordstroms outlet.

    Hang in there! IME a 15 yr olds feet are almost done growing. Then they will just wear your shoes -while they are driving your car- 🙂

  • ModestforHim says:

    Ebay has shoes sometimes even new ones for less than new prices. They have a way to search by size also. Also if you want to earn cash back for your purchases on Ebay cpoy and paste this link in your toolbar http://www.bigcrumbs.com/crumbs/landing.do?=LooktoJesus&s=6834

    Every purchase on Ebay and many other merchants gives you cash back each month if you click through the above site first. Also you can earn money by sending out referals.

  • TxMominCT says:

    I’ve found good quality Stride RIte shoes at the consignment shop and Goodwill. (For less than $4/pair) We also have a Stride Rite outlet near us, so we go there and get the shoes on clearance for $10-$20. Kinda pricey, but they are such high quality shoes, it’s worth paying the $5 over the Target/Walmart prices in my opinion. Usually we go with the used shoes though!

  • Robin says:

    We tend to just let them go barefoot or in flip-flops or slides when they are young (under school age)…Flip-flops fit when they are too big, fit when they fit, and then still fit when they are too small so they get worn for a longer time. I am not a fan of “supportive shoes” for littles. I figure barefoot is healthiest and just use shoes for fashion. 3/4 of mine have narrow feet, like me, so not many styles fit, but we do look to Target first for shoes, they have such lovely styles for very good price, and occasionally we find some that fit.
    For school shoes, I buy each daughter one pair of sneakers a year and hope they fit all year.

  • Kelli says:

    I find that Target’s clearance prices are great. A couple of times a month I scout their clearance racks for kids clothes and shoes as well as clothes for me. If one of my kids will need dress shoes or tennis shoes ect. in the next 6 months I can predict the size–usually up 1/2 a size– and buy them. I don’t usually spend more than $5 for shoes there. For some reason the standard clearace price seems to be $3.24. I also only look at their 50% or more off racks–30% off is not cheap enough!!

  • Sarah says:

    We get shoes for our boys at different places. We get play shoes at garage sales (in larger, nicer areas where they spend good money on their shoes) and if those garage sale shoes are in good shape they may become their good shoes! We also get new shoes at Steve & Berry’s and Meijer. At Steve & Berry’s everythings always below $9. and at Meijer we have got a lot of really nice shoes stocked up for next year already. They mark their shoes down and have them in one area. We have got water shoes (really nice ones), nice leather sandals, and 2 different types of dressy-er tennis shoes (they look very good with dress pants). We have been able to find shoes from these sources so far, and the same sources even have adult shoes too. So, great penny pinching options for the whole family! ,

  • Bridgett says:

    I have two boys and it seems to me that used boy shoes are hard to find. I think boys tend to wear their shoes down. My best finds have been sales/clearances @ The Children’s Place & Toys R Us. At The Children’s Place I’ve bought shoes as little as $10/never more than $13 and Toys R Us $3.00/never more than $10(not infant either). You are allowed to use coupons on clearance items @ Toys R Us. Also, I would NOT recommend Wal-Mart, Target, etc. for boys. I bought shoes from there for the first two years for my oldest and he would wear them out in 2-3months. I would have to buy the same size 2-3times! I have never bought shoes from there since I found such good quality for little at “name brand” stores.

  • Jenna says:

    Consignment stores, 75% off at Target or Kohl’s, and garage sales! I will only choose used shoes that are barely worn.

  • Nancy G. says:

    I don’t know if anyone has a daughter with large feet! That has really been a challenge the last few years for me. She is 14 and is now almost a “Ladies 14” – she may be a 13 1/2. Yup, when she was 11, she was a “Ladies 11”, then 12, she was a “ladies 12”, then 13, she was a “ladies 13” and so on. We are hoping it stops at size 14. We have heard that. Anyway, I don’t find much of anything over a size 10 or 11 at thrift stores…. so usually I only find her size at Nordstrom Rack OUtlet. But they are pricey- even on sale. Payless has some that you can order online but have not been pleased with the arches on these shoes. If anyone knows other places to get large size shoes- and at a good price, I would love to hear! Thanks so much,
    Nancy

  • Tonya says:

    Stride Rite shoes are the only ones that have ever fit my 7-year-old son well, and they are my favorite for my 1-year-old daughter. I have gotten SR for my son from amazon for $15. I also use shoebuy.com and shoes.com. You can usually find great codes, and you can earn points at mypoints or cash back at ebates from your purchases. I also get shoes from Children’s Place and Target if I can find some that fit them.

  • Sheri says:

    I agree with the Target posts…i got a pair of pink champion sandles for $1.74 …i buy all of my sons and daughters shoes/clothes on clearance at 75% off for the next season….usually pay anywhere from 98 cents to $3.24….love it!

  • Kristin Gjertsen says:

    My kids have wide feet, so I rarely find shoes at consignment or thrift stores. I buy them one good pair of leather shoes for school and church each fall. I get shoes that can be polished to keep them looking good. This is expensive, but the shoes wear very well. I also buy them one pair of inexpensive sneakers and a pair of inexpensive sandals for summer. I never had more than 2 or 3 pairs of shoes as a child and I do the same for my kids.

  • Amanda says:

    I found a bunch at Target 75% off so around $3 or less a pair.

  • Kimberly says:

    Well….if only Children’s Place and Target shoes would fit my DD. Unfortunately, she’s been blessed with super wide feet. We go with Stride Rite for the majority of her shoes, but I do my best to purchase them at the outlet (or ask grandparents!). However, for dress shoes or ‘cute’ shoes for specific outfits, I go with Kmart’s Thom McAn. I have found them to be the cheapest shoe I can find with the most flexible sole. Anything I have tried from Payless or other inexpensive brands have been really hard for her to walk in. They are also a decent leather shoe. They’re on sale this week for 30% off, so I was able to get a pair for about $12. Soooooo much better than paying the $50 it would take at SR.

  • ginnysgarden says:

    With 7 kids, I have tried to find people with kids that are older than mine, and without younger siblings coming along. I simply ask them if I can buy any shoes that their child outgrows. So far, they have all said sure, and no one has wanted anything for them. They seem to be glad to have something to do besides throwing them away. We live in a shamefully wasteful time!

  • Bridgett says:

    I have two boys and have always had a hard time finding boys shoes used. So, for the first two years of my oldest, we always bought from wal-mart, target, etc. He would go through those shoes in 2-3 months! I would buy like 2-4 pairs of shoes in the same size easily b4 he’d move up! When I realized how much I was spending, I checked out Toys R Us. (someone had recommended but I brushed it off) I’ve bought shoes there for as low as $3 and no more than $10. You can use coupons on clearance items there (for some reason I always thought You couldn’t LoL). Also, Children’s place, if on sale, I’ve bought shoes there as low as $10. The key I’ve found is to check often and be on the look out for the next size up and of course coupons & clearances. They do not wear the shoes out at these stores like he did wal-mart,etc.

  • Jill W. says:

    A few months ago, a website went out of business, so all shoes were $2 or $3. I bought 18 pairs in all different sizes, so she’s set for years! They are great quality & so cute. I also look at Other Mothers if I am looking for something specific, and Target has their knockoff Robeez on sale for $10 sometimes, so I have bought a pair for her there, too. I am a shoe fanatic, so her collection is beginning to look like mine! 🙂

  • Meredith says:

    Our local Toys R Us will run additional 50% off clearance priced shoes in late December/early January and again in Late July/early August. I have gotten Rebok and Nike tennis shoes for both my sons for roughly $10/pair. I also have found other shoes for under $7. I try to buy ahead (as best I can). Our KMart just had an additional 50% off clearance shoes and they had last year’s winter boots for $3. I keep my eyes open and always scan clearance sections to see what is available. I try not to wait until it is urgent to get new shoes. If I can plan a little bit ahead, I find I save more money.

  • Melanie says:

    My 3 year old has extra wide feet (I call him SpongeBob Square Feet!) and I only have success with Stride Rite shoes. They are hideously expensive but I found http://www.Endless.com to be a great source of SR on sale. They have sale shoes at all times (many different brands) and FREE overnight shipping! Yeah baby! I usually get his shoes for $15 to $25 which is an excellent deal for Stride Rite – plus no sales tax and free shipping!

  • Marsha says:

    I identify with Nancy G’s comment above. My older son always had shoes the same size as his age! At 14 he had gotten up to a men’s 14W. I was praying that his feet didn’t get any bigger, since anything larger than a 14 is very hard to find, and special order shoes are outrageously priced. Well, he’s 15 now, and his feet haven’t grown for the past year, although he’s gotten several inches taller. He still needs to grow another 4-6 inches to fit into his feet. I think it’s fairly common for the feet to grow first, then the rest of the body catches up. (My 13-year-old son is only in a men’s 12, so we call him little foot.)
    I shop at thrift stores, garage sales for my own shoes, but I’ve had very little luck at those places since my boys got into men’s sizes. I usually buy their shoes at outlet stores, with occasional buys at Payless.

  • Kelly says:

    I buy shoes at consignment sales. Like Boutique For A Week. They have hugh selection and great prices. They only accept like new, so check them out. http://www.BoutiqueForAWeek.net

  • Anne says:

    I buy my son’s shoes at consignment sales, outlet stores, Amazon, anywhere I can get XWs! (he can only fit Stride Rites usually so I just keep an eye out all the time, and buy bigger sizes when they are on sale or end of the season)

    After he grows out of them, I sell them on ebay and usually make three or four times what I paid. If I love the shoes I’ll hold on to them but I figure if I can keep buying cheap and selling for more, I might as well save the storage space by shipping them off!

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