As a child in England, my memory of shoe shopping involves a shoe store with an ancient shoe x-ray machine. An x-ray machine? Yes, an x-ray machine about the size of a filing cabinet with a space at the bottom where the child would insert his or her foot. It was not in working order when I was young. Yay! No extraneous x-ray exposure!
Why was x-raying a child’s foot necessary when buying shoes? I don’t know. Probably a custom from a bygone era? Because really why was it the shoe store owner’s job to check on the bone health of the child’s foot?
As a child I had very few choices when choosing shoes. In fact, my mother made all shoe decisions. My mother’s criteria for shoes went something like this:
– She bought whatever shoes were on the school uniform supply list. In a quirky, British way I was required to have TWO pairs of school shoes. A brown lace up — the style was “Cordelia” — and a brown buckle shoe — style name long since forgotten. I would travel to school in Cordelia shoes and change in to the second pair of shoes for inside the school. For recess and going home I would change into the outdoor pair.
– She bought plain black or plain white sneakers for home and school use. To use a British-ism, I wore plimsolls or trainers not sneakers.
Shoe shopping for my own kids is an entirely different experience. First of all the choices that kids can choose from are extensive. My kids can look at shoes in a shoe store, a department store, a discount warehouse, or online.
My son needed a pair of shoes recently. We struck out at the shoe store. He has a large foot for a 6-year-old and all the styles he liked in the store were not in his size. I was left with no choice but to search online.
Have you shopped online recently? The selection and information offered is extensive and invaluable. My search for boys’ shoes yielded many possibilities. Athletic shoes. Boots. Bedroom slippers. You name the boys’ shoe and I found it online. I may never go back to a shoe store again!