Kids' Shoes

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Wide shoes for 2 year old

Dec 2011

My 2 y/o son has wide feet so we've been getting him shoes from Stride Rite, but at ~$60/pair, it just doesn't make economic sense given how fast he outgrows them! What other brands out there have a good selection of wide shoes? anon

My 22-month-old son has wide feet, and See Kai Run shoes, which are very well made, fit him. They're about $45 a pair, but you can often get them on sale for half price on their website. Anon

Where to buy quality kids' shoes

July 2011

I'd appreciate recommendations for where to buy good quality shoes for younger kids. - Thanks

Hi, Kid Dynamo at 1481 Shattuck Ave has an awesome selection of kids and baby shoes. They also do a great job measuring kids feet. Anon
I wish I had a recommendation for a local shoe shop, because I would prefer to shop locally, but I haven't found a convenient shoe shop with the selection we need. I now order shoes for my kids from It works out really well- -I choose about 4-5 pairs for each kid, in brands that tend to work for them andstyles I approve of--no worries about my daughter falling in love with the pink sparkly heels at the shoe store. The kids then try them on in the comfort of our own home, and we keep the pair that fits the best and send the rest back (Zappos has free shipping AND free return shipping). Online shoe shopper
I buy shoes for my son at REI. He's 9 now but I've been buying shoes for him there for years. There's a very good shoe salesman there, his name is Gene, he's there Tuesday and Friday evenings, and he's very helpful with kids. Sally
I highly recommend Happy Feet in Alameda. Small but well-stocked with knowledgeable staff. The salesperson was helpful, attentive, listened to my criteria, and helped me find the perfect shoes for my daughter. Laura

Shoes for kids' wide feet

Nov 2010

My 4 years old daughter's feet grow like weeds and I have a hard time finding her the right pair of shoes. She has very wide feet. Can anyone recommend a good place (Walnut Creek area, but will travel to Berkeley) to shop for wide shoes and/or a type of brand? Would prefer affordable (less than $20 a pair), comfortable and girly shoes (she is very into sparkly). Thanks. Katherine

Your best bet might be online. We often found stores had to special order shoes anyway, which was more of a pain than just ordering online and it was difficult for my daughter to go to the store and see so many pretty shoes and be told none of them came in wides (or extra wides). We found a few brands that worked-- Stride Rite, New Balance, and some kinds of sandals, but none were under $20. Lands' End has one line (maybe more?) that comes in wides and in lots of colors and they are often cheap, especially since they are constantly having sales and promotions. (FYI they run on the big side) We've been very happy with the quality for the price, and even though they aren't sparkly, or as cute as some, they do have lots of colors and can count as 'fancy' while still being suitable for running around. When we've bought my daughter shoes not in wides, she only wears them once because they hurt (even though in the store her enthusiasm for them made her say they were fine). Boots have been an exception-- not sure why. It's a bummer, but she's just had to have fewer shoes than otherwise because they are expensive and there's less selection. But online at,,, or the like, probably has the most options in wides. -No Emeldas here
Try You can search by size and width (they offer wide and extra wide). offers free shipping to your home as well as free shipping on all returns. In addition, you don't have to pay sales tax. Also, if you search for coupons online, you usually can find one w/10-20% off. Once you purchase from their site, you will receive coupons 1-2 x per month and I have found that as a returning customer, I have rec'd an additional 10% off. Not sure if they are still doing that as I haven't had to purchase shoes in awhile. Hope this helps. anon
My daughter who is three, also has wide feet. Unfortunately, all the girly styles she likes do not come in wide sizes. I found the only shoes that really fit her and has girly styles is Stride Rite. They are expensive so I buy them at Nordstrom during their sales events. I've bought the 'Natalia' Light-Up Mary Jane shoe now twice - it's a sneaker style mary jane that's pink, has glitter, and lights up (it's subtle, not too flashy) with each step and is currently under $20 on sale. I've found that they have more styles online than in the store, but if you go in to the store and order it, they will ship it to you for free. Nordstrom has a sale going on right now so hurry! Tiffany
I have the same challenge with my daughter, who is now 7. Several brands market wide, and sometimes even XW shoes, namely Striderite and Jumping Jacks. They are both expensive at full retail, but there is a Striderite outlet store in the outlet mall on HWY101 in Petaluma. Its hit or miss there, though. Another company Tsukihoshi, market great tennis shoes, machine washable with velcro and removable liner, also expensive at full retail, but often available on the web at lower cost. The run very wide, but aren't labeled 'wide'. They also run about 1/2 size large. The strategy that has mostly worked for me is to find a shoe that fits from one or all of these companies, and then keep buying it in the next size, different colors, as my kids' feet grow. I use eBay often, buying new and some used shoes. The shoe store I used to go to on College Ave closed, any my experience has been that wide shoes in a conventional retail store are pricey..$50 and up, unless you hit a sale. Liz
The only place I know of where you might regularly find wide kids' shoes for under $20 per pair is Payless Shoe Source. The quality matches the price -- they're a pretty good value and the shoes can be quite comfortable (especially the 'Smart Fit' line) but don't expect them to last a long time or hold up to playground abuse as well as more expensive brands would.

My other suggestion is Lands End -- which you can buy at Sears stores as well as online. Their basic kids' shoes tend to be about $25 or $30 so they are just a bit over your budget, but if you shop online you may find end-of- season deals or discontinued colors for under $20. Free shipping codes are easy to get if you sign up for the catalog and/or e-mails. The shoes are pretty good quality, their girls' styles are cute but practical, and they do offer wide sizes in many styles. Holly

Aug 2008

My 16 month old has very wide feet. The only shoe I can seem to get on him are Crocs. Anyone have any recommendations for a good toddler shoe for kids with very wide feet? Thanks! heather

I'd recommend going to or and searching by size (you can search by size and width). After the smallest sizes, there are only limited options in extra-wide. Or, stores will often special order extra wide shoes for you, which takes longer but does provide some added confidence about fit. We had some sad scenes in stores when my toddler realized that almost none of the really flashy, fun shoes came in her size, so we switched to ordering online. Most online options have free returns. Striderite and New Balance carry extra wide shoes and we have been very happy with the quality of both brands. Caroline
My son also has a very wide foot and the only shoe that fits him are the slip on Merrils (REI) or See Kai Run (you can order them online directly from them). Good luck. kim
Have you tried Keens? They are very wide and very sturdy, and come in closed shoes as well as sandals. You can get them at REI and I've bought them at Cotton and Company in Rockridge too. I always had good luck with Stride Rite for my wide-footed boy - I think Cotton and Company carries them. There are more suggestions on the BPN website here: Ginger
We have a 21 month old toddler who has wide feet. So far we've gotten by with some pedipeds, but I see that they are starting to be pretty narrow on her. We recently got some Teva sandals which were great for wide feet, but perhaps not good for every day shoes. Last week, I got a Lands End catalog with their children's line and noticed that most of their shoes were available in wide. Perhaps it is worth trying them since they have such a good return policy. I've been very happy buying toddler shoes from Zappos and you can search for their shoes by narrowing on wide (E) or extra wide (EE). Good luck! Steve
I have been buying my son extra wide Stride Rite shoes at Cotton and Company. They are very well made and last a long time. If you need sizes 6.5-7.5, I have shoes if you don't want to pay full price. Jane
Stride Rite has shoes that are wide, double wide, and extra wide, at least for that age. They are about $50 if you get them at a retail shop and $30 if you go to the outlets in Vacaville. Believe it or not, I've had significant better and more knowledgable service at the outlets, though they are on our way to my parents' house, so not out of the way for us. My kids have wide feet too
Oct 2007

My daughter (age four, size 12.5 feet) has very wide feet (also very big for her age). We have a really hard time finding shoes that fit. Pretty much all shoes from Target are way too skinny. Even ''wide'' sandals like Keens have not been comfortable for her. We've had some luck with wide widths by Stride Rite and New Balance, but are looking for comfortable some non-sneakers (we'd love to find some mary janes, for example -- sporty or dressy). We'll take any recommendations we can get -- brands or stores. Thanks so much! Jen

We've got the same problem! I have found that our best choice has been to buy online through or because stores don't stock extra-wides. We have also special ordered shoes in wider sizes through shoe stores, but our daughter sometimes gets upset if we shop in stores because she can see all the pretty shoes that don't come in her size, and last time we ended up being pressured into buying shoes for her at Stride Rite that she won't wear because they are too tight. You can search by size and width online. Stride Rite and New Balance have been the only ones we've had luck with, except for velcro sandals that have a lot of flexibility and Crocs. We've had several failures trying to buy dress shoes and have never actually gotten a pair she'd wear since she outgrew the toddler sizes. Shoe-challenged as well
My son has wide feet and we've never had a problem when we've gone to shoe stores that specialize in children's shoes. I don't buy shoes at Target, though...I mostly buy from Carlins in Alameda or Howards in Walnut Creek. Nordstrom (but not the rack) has a great selection as does any actual Stride Rite store. Momma loves expensive shoes
Lands End is now offering many styles of kids' shoes in Wide -- including casual and sporty mary janes! Prices are reasonable, and returns can be made at a Sears store (saves on shipping costs). You can also try the ''search by size'' function at major online shoe merchants, like, and Prices are generally higher but shipping is often free -- even for returns. Holly
Go to Howards Shoes in Walnut Creek... in Broadway Plaza. They carry many brands of shoes and have many styles and colors. The staff is always pleasant... even when it is crowded. They measure BOTH feet! If the right shoe isn't in stock, they will order it for you... sometimes from one of their other stores, otherwise straight from the manufacturer. I had to order my son's tap shoes from them (no one stocks boy's tap shoes) and they placed the order, fit the taps, and then shipped them to my home for no additional charge. I've always been very pleased with their service... though the prices are a little higher, it is definitely worth it when you have special needs. Rose

Shoes for 7-year-old with big feet

Feb 2009

My son, who has always had big feet for his age, has outgrown the traditional ''kid shoe'' store (the last time we were in Cotton & Co, before they closed, they said they pretty much didn't have shoes any bigger than the ones we bought then). He's only 7, but is wearing size 5 or 5 1/2. He really needs someplace that will provide a good ''fitting'' for him, so Target and Payless are out -- the times I've tried to buy shoes for him there, it's never been at all successful. He refused to wear them after a time or two, saying they hurt his feet. I'd rather spend more money on shoes he'll actually wear. Also, he really needs a very sturdy shoe, and he'd still prefer a velcro closing (though we might insist on laces; it would be good for him to learn to tie his shoes well). Any suggestions? Karen

Nordstrom's is a great place for kid shoes, both bigger and little kid. They will measure and they have a great selection as well as some good sales every once in a while. Also, Howard's Shoe's in Walnut Creek. happy feet
we've had good luck at REI. R.K.
My big kid likes the velcro-close shoe options at the Skechers outlet in El Cerrito (and I like the prices). The workers there did an ok job of fitting him. If you want a really great fitting and service, and don't mind heading to Walnut Creek, try Nordstrom. They have a women-and-kids shoe sale a couple times a year that makes the prices more palatable. Shoe-Shoppin' Mama

Where to buy shoes for preschooler?

Feb 2009

We used to buy all of our kid shoes at Cotton Company and now that they've closed are looking for other places, ideally in the Oakland Berkeley area that have knowledgeable sales staff and a good selection of quality shoes. Any suggestions? sana

Hi- I was also a loyal customer of Cotton & Company.I can recommend Howard's Shoes for Children in the Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek.Now you may not get the deals that C used to offer, but they have a good variety of shoes in stock and the staff is very attentive. They also offered the children stickers and a comic book, after we purchased shoes. If you get on their mailing list, they do send a coupon postcard for discount shoes. Hope this helps! Denise

Where to buy high quality kids' shoes?

Jan 2009

Now that Cotton & Company is gone, where do you buy your children's high-quality shoes? I am looking for an alternative place to buy Naturino, Ricosta, Geoxx or similar brands for my 2.5 and 5 year olds. Strite Ride does not fit them. Any leads? Thanks!

A new shoe store recently opened in Alameda, called Happy Feet. I think they have all the brands you mentioned. I'm so excited they are there now! 2311 Santa Clara Ave Alameda, CA 94501 (510) 748-0524 Courtney
Actually we've gotten most of our shoes for toddlerhood-preschool at Stride Rite, which doesn't help you. But another place we've gotten high-quality shoes, in our case mostly when our kids were babies just starting to walk, is Nordstrom. Matt
I'd like to second (or third?) the recommendations for Carlin's in Alameda. We went there today to get shoes for my girls (1 & 3). I loved that we weren't presented with just shiny pink/princess shoes. Also, the salesman was really good about helping us find very soft/flexible shoes for the 1-year old and really nice about helping her be comfortable with the shoe sizer, etc. Sofia
Dec 2008

Hi, I've always got my children's shoes from Cotton and Company on College. They've now closed and I'm looking for a store which will carefully measure my children's feet (ages 18m to 7 years) and have a good stock of shoes (Stride Rite has worked well in the past). I've seen a store in Walnut Creek, but wondered if there was somewhere nearby that was a favorite? I'm not looking for an online thing or Target. Thanks Shirley

For kids' shoes try Alameda. There's a great mom and pop shop in SouthShore shopping center (back behind TJ's) and a brand new store that looks great just off Park across from the Beauty College, near the theater I think. Sorry I can't remember names! Good luck! shoe fiend
Hi Shirley, We were also loyal customers of Cotton & Company, and were saddend and at a loss when they closed. I can recommend Howard Shoes for Children in the Broadway Plaza behind Nordstrom's in Walnut Creek.They are a family run store with a large assortment of good quality shoes(ie.Stride Rite) for babies to adolescence.The staff is very nice and attentive,(we recently purchased shoes there for our 4 and5 yr old children.)Although I didn't notice any ongoing sales, so we had to pay full price. Oh well, my kids are worth it. Hope this helps. Denise
Happy Feet in Alameda a half a block off Park Street. It is a children's shoe store that has great shoes and good customer service. 2311 Santa Clara Ave Alameda, CA 94501 (510) 748-0524 Alameda Mom
Carlin's Shoes in Alameda Town Centre. One of the best kid shoe stores in the Bay Area. They carry Stride Rite and other great kid brands and definitely know how to help you find the right fit. You can find the mall online for info on how to get there and for more info on the store. Carlin's fan
The shoe store you are thinking of in Walnut Creek is Howards (in the outside/walking mall near Nordstroms). I believe they have a second location, but I am not sure where. I have had a lot of luck buying shoes at Nordstroms for my toddler daughter, and you can frequently find sales. Nordstroms has a good selection, and they know how to measure children's feet. If you get on Howard's mailing list, they do send coupons. I also frequently buy at Striderite and have been happy with the selection and quality. Careful about shoes also
May 2008

Are Cotton and Company and the Stride Rite at Hilltop the only places around Berkeley to buy kid shoes? I just can't find anywhere else and these two places never seem to have a good assortment of sizes and styles. Any recommendations for anywhere else for kids aged 2 and 7? Also, I prefer to have help getting fitted. I do not have the confidence to fit my kids myself. Thank you.

Howard's Shoes in Walnut Creek! Hands down, they are the best. They are a family run store and there are two or three in the bay area-- this one's the closest. It's in the outdoor mall in the back end area near Nordstrom's. They have a huge variety, they measure your kids feet and they will send reminders to you to come in and have your kids shoes measured again. The reminder always has a coupon for a % off next purchase. They are slightly expensive, but so is Cotton and Co!! It is worth it to have good shoes on your kids feet! LogicalMama
Couple other options for kid's shoes. There is a Stride Rite store in the mall in Alameda, where Park St. hits the bay. Smallish store though. McCaulou's (sp?) has kids shoes as well. There is one in Montclair Villiage, but we find the one in Lafayette has a better selection. Bryan

Great kids shoes for holiday gifts?

December 2006

I am looking to find great, reasonably priced holiday gifts for my young nieces and nephews and thought that sending shoes might be a good option. Any recommendations for affordable, cute, baby/kid shoes? melanie

hi melanie: the following site has unique and adorable baby/kids shoes sold by a group of bay area moms: my 1 1/2 yr. old has a pair of shoes from this company and they constantly get compliments. they are also soft and (from what I can tell!) comfortable. you can also see their products in this month's issue of Real Simple magazine where they are featured as a ''great gift for kids''. Vanessa
Sizing is so precise and demanding with shoes -- I'd skip it, or give Zappos gift certificates. Anon
I would definitely recommend shoes at I got two pairs for friends' kids and they're great--cute, flexible soles, and not too expensive. Friends said they get lots of compliments. Also nice that the company is run by moms, one of whom is a local--you can order on line or call 888.LIV.LUCA lisa

Steel-Toed Workboots for a Child

June 2006

I need to find steel-toed workboots or shoes for my son. He has a small foot, so I'm looking in the size 2 to 3 range. Does anyone please know where I might be able to find footwear like this? Big 5 Sporting Goods has them in larger sizes for children, but I need smaller sizes. Thanks in advance. Amy

Give Red Wing a call. I know they have one in Alameda but I think they're everywhere Karen
Try the ''Red Wing'' shoe store in San Rafael. I don't know if they're still there, but work boots were there specialty when I was a kid, and they did carry kids' sizes. They were on 4th St. or 3rd St.... I don't remember. Otherwise, there's a store in SF called ''Stompers'' that I would call and ask if they know anyone that carries kids' sizes or if they could get them for you. They are on 8th St. I think, south of Market, and their storefront doesn't look very welcoming but they may be knowledgeable. anon

Wheel Pop-Out Shoes

June 2006

My 4-1/2 year old really wants shoes with wheels that pop out of the bottom. I'm not sure where he first saw them, but I can't seem to find them in small sizes (he wears a 12). Does anyone know where I could find some? Are they safe for a little guy to wear? JF

Try ebay. Though, I do believe Wheelies are suggested for kids 6 and up -Anon
I just saw an ad on tv for these, go to My 6 y.o. really wants them too after seeing the commercial -- power of marketing, and I am sure it only gets worse!!! Courtney

Where to buy childrens' shoes

June 2006

We would like to know where is a good place to buy children's shoes. We used to go to Cotton and Company but last time we were there, and after spending a considerable amount on clothes, the older lady who we believe is the manager asked not to return. She would not give us an explanation as to why, but obviously we have no desire to spend any more money there. kennerley

We buy our children shoes at Howard's in Walnut Creek (near Nordstroms). It is family owned. They measure and fit the shoes well, and are very customer friendly. Examples: One time my son's light up shoes stopped lighting up after a few weeks and they were very pleasant about trading them in. Other times we have found the style of shoes we wanted, but they didn't have the color in stock, so they ordered the shoes and mailed them to our home for no additional charge
mom of 2
We go to Howards Shoes in Walnut Creek. They also have a shop in Stonestown Mall in SF. They specialize in children's shoes and we've been happy with the service. They also send out coupons during the year, for $5. off, or ''buy one pair, get the second at half price'', etc. They also have a good selection of rain boots, umbrellas, rain jackets, and socks
Wow- that is bizarre, I really hope that there was a misunderstanding or something at Cotton and Co. But anyway, I like the shoes and service at Howard's Shoes for Children in Walnut Creek. They don't have a super large selection for toddlers, but the shoes they do have are awesome and they know them very well. My son's Perfection shoes by Jumping Jacks have held up for 6 months thru countless series of mud puddles, absolute drenchings in streams, hoses, and fountains, and they are still soft, flexible and wearable. My son also has long skinny feet, hard to fit in toddler shoes. The other place I like to go is the Children's shoe dept at Nordstrom's. It is hit or miss if you get a knowledgeable salesperson- the experienced ones are good. Just trust your own knowledge about your children's feet
I like good shoes, too

Toddler Girly Shoes

Nov 2005

What are the other stores to look for good toddler girly shoes (purple, flowers, glittery is best)? I did check the website first, and didn't find quite what I'm looking for. My very particular and very girly toddler needs some shoes for the winter. We got a great pair of sandals that she's worn all summer at Nordstrom rack, which is hit or miss in terms of style & size, and same thing with Payless Shoes and Ross, which often have nothing that works, surprisingly, and they aren't convenient so I can't look all the time. I went to Cotton and Co on College Ave, thinking if I was willing to pay the $$ we would at least get good service and a good fit, but I had to ask to get her feet measured, and 2 salesgirls came up with 3 different possible sizes for her shoes. I can't really do on-line, since she needs to try them on, and seems to have difficulty with the way many shoes fit. And most of the shoes at Target, for some reason, don't seem to work; the sneakers have never been a hit regardless of how pretty or girly. I'm also interested in the used places, since her favorite shoes seem to be primarily those she has found at rummage sales. Places like livie & luca would be great if they had larger sizes (currently she is about 7-8). Those girly Elefanten mary jane styles or something equivalent would work, if they fit (which is why I tried cotton & co.). Any other good shoe stores out there, or have I covered it? Or, ok, any online places with cheap shipping rates and good return policies? Any favorite used places?

I'm so suprised to hear about your experience at Cotton and Company. I've always been well treated there. Maybe you caught someone on an off (ok, WAY off) day? While at the fruitvale day of the dead event I noticed a shop on E14th that had some over the top girly shoes. they're a little grown-upy in a baptism/special event shoes kinda way but your child might really love them. I'm not sure of the name of the store or the actual address but its on E14th somewhere between Fruitvale and 34th. There are some frilly special dresses in the window along with the shoes. good luck! S
Have you looked at the Sweet Potatoes outlet on lower Solano? They occasionally have girly shoes in a variety of colors (you may be on your own in terms of sizing). And across the street and down a bit, still on Solano, is a great new consignment store called Solano Kids. They also have new shoes, and had some mary janes and boots in fun colors. Donna
Both and have adorable shoes. If you can't find anything there, maybe you can get something plain and glue your own stuff onto them. You can buy/make little leather flowers (I don't know where or how), and little ''jewels'' (beads) and glue them to the shoes. anon

Comfortable dress shoes for boys

Aug 2005

My seven-year old son needs a pair of black dress shoes for his choir uniform. In years past, I've bought him black oxfords from Payless Shoe Source but every year he complains that the shoes are stiff (hard leather? not leather?) and hurt his feet and doesn't want to wear them at all. So this year I told him that I'd try to find a more comfortable pair of dress shoes for him. Can anyone recommend a store or brand (preferably online) where I can get a pair that's not more than $40 or $50? I already tried the Land's End suede oxford but my son's complaining about those too. Shoe shopping mama

Have you tried striderite?? Last year I got a pair of black Oxfords from JC Penny's that where striderite brand for my then 18 month old. He loved them and always choose to wear them over any other shoes he had including his sneakers. we got them a little before Halloween and they where on major sale but I just looked on and they seem to run between 40 - 50 dollars. Good luck Melinda
Try they have a larger selection of dress shoes for Big Boys. I have always purchased my now 10 year old sons' shoes from Stride Rite stores and have had to move on to the website now because of his shoe size. You can also try Nordstroms! Hope That Helps!
My son wears the Stride Rite Cooper shoe available online at It comes in a dress black color. He walks for miles in them with no complaints even on the first wearing. They are a little pricey at $45, but much more comfortable than the Nordstrom ones we tried once. I've been ordering him a new pair every September since he turned three. Howard's Shoes in Walnut Creek will order them in for you, if you don't want to pay shipping on the Stride Rite web site or if your son needs a fitting. Been there
Try for shoes. Free shipping most often. internet shoe shopper
I usually end up buying my son's dress shoes at Sears, but what popped into my mind reading your post was, are you sure you're buying him shoes that FIT? I would take him to Stride Rite or Nordstrom and have his feet measured -- including the width. If his feet are wider or narrower than average, that will affect the comfort of even shoes with the best materials and highest quality construction. Holly

Online toddler shoes

Aug 2005

a while back, someone recommended an local (i think albany) online store to buy toddler/baby shoes. i can't find it referenced on the website. does anyone have the website? liz

I think the website you are looking for is

Cute/affordable shoes for toddler

June 2005

Any recommendations out there for cute/affordable shoes for an active almost 2 year old? ellen

You can find many cute and cheap shoes for toddlers at Target/Sears/JCPenneys/Payless etc., but the question is, are they good for your toddler's feet? Because their feet are still so unformed and developing so quickly, I bite the bullet and buy more expensive and hence, well-made, shoes for my 19 mo. old son. I used to use Robeez, but he needs more support now that he is running and climbing. I have tried Preschoolians, but they did not have enough shape and made him move around awkwardly. I keep coming back to Stride-Rites, and you can find them on sale if you keep looking and sometimes they are very well-priced in Ross and Nordstrom Rack. Howard's Shoes for Children (in Walnut Creek)is expensive, but if you get on their mailing list, you can get $10 off a pair of shoes every 4 months or so. I have found that he really only needs 1 or 2 pairs of shoes at a time, as the best thing for toddlers this age is to be barefoot or in grippy-bottomed socks in the house. What I have done to cut costs is buy 1 expensive pair of shoes that he wears most of the time, and a couple ''cheapies'' that look really cute for special occasions when he is dressing up to ''show off'' to the relatives. Because his feet grow so quickly, he grows out of the good shoe before ever wearing it out. Hope that helps- Practical shoe mama
I recently had a fun shoe party by Mitzi! She came over during one of my Mom's group outings with tons of shoes and the babes tried on shoes. It was a lot of fun! She is great at finding the right sizes and answering any questions you may have. I highly recommend checking her site and contacting her. Her shoes can be found at: Shoe Momma
I've bought shoes at cotton & co (nice, but very expensive). I recently went to a shoe party run by an East Bay mom and found a good alternative. Her stuff is online at and is very cute and reasonable. I think she's also available to do shoe parties for groups. Noreen

Narrow shoes for an 8-year-old

Feb. 2005

My daughter's feet have gotten to the size where she can't find many selections in the children's shoe department. She has narrow feet, so the size 4.5s and the 5s tend to be too wide. She is a size 6 in teen and womens shoes, but the styles aren't usually appropriate for an active 8 year old. Any suggestions on where to shop for shoes for her? Shoeless in Berkeley

thought I saw kids' narrows at lands' end kids online. Chris
Try Nordstrom's. It's the only place I've consistently found narrow widths. Also, try the Nordstrom rack in Marina Square in San Leandro. Good Luck. I've walked in your shoes

4-year-old insists on wearing shoes at all times

Aug 2006

Hi, My grandson who is almost 4 has to have his shoes on all the time. (He's with me during the week) He had a fungus infection and finally was convinced that at night he couldn't go to bed with socks or shoes on, but at nap time, I have to wait until he's really asleep before taking them off. He screams when I ask him to run around barefoot or take them off for a while. In winter he has to have socks and slippers. Anyone with any suggestions, please let me know Karen

Our daughter is sometimes this way and there is nothing we can do about it to avoid the screaming. But sometimes it works to take our own shoes off (without making any demands or suggestions to her) and then raving about how good it feels to wiggle our toes. (Then we wiggle them and giggle and laugh like it's just so much fun.) Often then she will want to do the same. The alternative which will probably work over the long term is to disallow them to be on at certain times and mentally prepare for the tantrums and the screaming. Once he realizes that shoes on/off state is controlled by you and not negotiable, he will probably just give up with the willful behavior about it. Might take a while, though, and I realize it wouldn't be without some pain for you to do. Good luck - shoe-wearing stickler's mom
My son did this when he was younger. He would wake up in the middle of the night and request his shoes be put on. (I told him to go back to sleep.) He still mostly wears his shoes. I make positive coments to him if I notice he has been bearfoot for a while. For a few years now he won't wear shorts, only long pants. (he is four and a half now) He says that he doesn't like how his legs look. I think he doesn't like his skin exposed or something.

It sounds like your child might have fungus, like athletes foot in his shoes though. You might want to buy new shoes, and insist on socks. There is a foot treatment that I have bought at Berkeley Bowl called Lavalin that works well for about 5 days per application on stinky feet. It is a bit expensive $11 for a small pot. I don't know if works on fungus though, if your child does have it. Tea tree oil and GSE work great on foot fungi now sometimes shoeless

Three-year-old hates wearing shoes

June 2004

Our son has pulled off his shoes ever since we first put them on. When he turned one and walked, we put Robeez leather slip- ons on him, and those worked well. But then after that, he disliked any shoes we tried. Now at three years old, he yanks them off at every opportunity -- outside in parks and around our neighborhood, in the car, in shopping carts, in restaurants, libraries, ice cream parlors, etc. While I'm careful to get his feet measured, and I've purchased all kinds of quality shoes, sneakers, and sandals, he rejects them all. My husband tells me that he hated shoes too, but not to this extent. I'd love to hear any suggestions. amy

My two cents: My son just turned three and only a month ago we got him to wear his first pair of running shoes. We used to live in Japan, where you are always barefoot indoors, so he really hated wearing shoes. The only type of shoes he would wear were those very soft water sandals. He would wear them even in the winter (with socks). I think kids just feel more comfortable barefoot or wearing very, very soft shoes. The running shoes I got him to wear are from Payless Shoe. Yes! they were only $9 and I got them in the wide size. If this does not work, you can buy good non-slip socks that he could wear even outdoors. GAP's are good and come in larger sizes. I hope this helps. Maria
I have had the same problem with my son. For a long time he would only wear slippers, which he was happy with thru 3 and 4 years old. I would take him to a high quality shoe store, have him fitted, buy him a pair that he picked out, only to have him never wear the shoes. He has a wide foot, so I wanted to be sure that the shoes were a good fit.

Now at the ''mature'' age of almost 5 (!), he has finally picked out a pair of shoes from Payless that he thinks are superbly cool, and he wears them more willingly. He still takes his shoes off the second he can, and partly I think it's because he has hot sweaty feet, and it just feels better to be shoeless. But I can certainly sympathize with you, and I was so happy when he finally found a pair of shoes that he was pleased with.

I remember a friend's child had a similar thing of not liking shoes and during those pre-school years, he wore rainboots year round. jewel

Where do you buy shoes now that McPhee's is gone?

Feb 2001

I'd like to know, too, where people are going after the demise of McPhee's. We went to the Corte Madera Nordstrom's, and it was actually fine. I didn't notice if they had shoes for smaller children, though. I'd imagine they do. --Chris

There's a Stride Rite shoe store in Walnut Creek at the Broadway Plaza mall, near Nordstrom. Christina
If you're willing to drive into the city, there is a store that sells nothing but children's shoes. It is called Tuffy's Hopscotch. Located at 3307 Sacramento in San Francisco. The woman who opened it did so because she was disappointed with the selection of children's shoes in the bay area. Shoshona
There is a fabulous new kids shoe store in San Francisco in Noe Valley. It is called Wavy Footprints and it is on 24th and Sanchez? (Next to a fabulous children's clothing store little bean sprouts). The owners are the nicest women who show genuine love for fitting children in shoes. Many times I have been in there and one of them will entertain my son with a puppet while he is being fitted. The carry all the top of the line brands like Stride Rite and Elfanten. The have the best selection I have seen in this area. Hadley
Cotton and Company's does carry shoes larger than size four. In their new location (across the street from the old ones), the infant/toddler and older children's shoes are no longer separate. Perhaps the old maternity/infant shop only carried shoes through size four. Gail
When at McPhee's final sale, I asked where else we could shop for children's shoes, and was told that there is a store just like it in the Coddingtown Mall in Marin (or is is already Sonoma County?). One of the women who worked at McPhee's also works there. It's a trek, but to have the range of styles and expert fitting, it might be worth it. Lorraine
I have always bought my son Elefanten shoes from Germany. You can buy them at any Nordstrom. I used to work in a kid's store and sold these shoes and can highly recommend them. They are extremely soft, both the leather (in and outside) and the sole. Both me and my son loves these shoes; they never give him any blisters or other discomforts. Sometimes his dad buys him other shoes and he always ends up with blisters on his feet. Since they are quite expensive ($40-$60), I only buy him one pair of shoes until he outgrows them.

Jannette (6/99)

Decent & Affordable Toddler Shoes?

Oct. 2003

We have looked high and low for decent shoes for our 3 year old son. We ended up going to Cotton and Co. and spending what seems like a fortune for shoes. Somehow $50 seems a preposterous price to pay for a 3 year old. Anyway, we've been to target and ross and they either don't have shoes in his size, no customer service or the shoes weigh more than a pair of barbells. Am I a scrooge to think a decent pair of toddler shoes could be as little as $20-30? Where in Berkely/albany/el cerrito can decent and reasonably priced shoes be found? All the recommendations involved driving to a different county (no thanks). thank you adrian

Too be honest I am a little bit of an amelda marcos when it comes to shoes for kids but here are a few suggestions. Payless Shoes. I know there is one in the rockridge shopping center next to Longs. Hannahs kids consignment store on Solano in Berkeley has cute shoes new and used. You could try exchanging some of your kids too small clothes for a pair of free shoes. anon
Try the Sketchers outlet at Cutting and San Pablo in El Cerrito. good luck
I've always gotten shoes from Rockridge Kids. Currently my 2.5 year old son is wearing their $24 ''Weeboks'' -- great little sneakers with normal sneaker soles. They also carry another brand (''Tumbler'', I think) which run about $15. We used this brand for over a year -- they're a good, easy shoe. Christine
I like the shoes at Rockridge Kids. They are all in the back room near the windows. They don't have as big a selection as Cotton and Co., but are more reasonably priced. Also, the Weeboks are great for my 3 year olds wide feet. Julie
Payless Shoe Source. Many locations including San Pablo Ave @ Central in El Cerrito. Janet
Hi Try Old Navy - I just bought a pair of sneakers for under $20 for my almost 3 year old daughter. Target is also good. Julie
I too agree that children's shoes should not cost $50+. However, I have two things to say about this. All the shoes with decent reputations and fairly large price tags (e.g. stride right etc.) I bought for my first child are in GREAT condition for my second child to wear. All the Target/Mervyen's shoes I had to throw away after my first son wore them. Secondly, I hardly EVER pay full price for my children's shoes...I hit the Nordstrom's half- yearly and anniversary sales and get them half price! Maya
Try Payless shows anywhere. They don't always have a large selection but often there will be one or two pairs of very nice shows. I'm not an expert on how important it is to have exclusive shows for kids, but after testing the ''hot'' names and trying to figure out what's so special about them, I think that if you find flexible shows with a good sole, it's really fine. anon
Two stores at the top of Solano sell reasonably-priced shoes for kids: A Child's Place (at the corner of The Alameda) and Hannah's (which mostly sells used clothing, but they have a limited selection of new shoes). Both carry Angel brand shoes, which fit our toddler well and cost about $15-20. Also, Rockridge Kids carries some shoes, including Angel sandals in the summer ($15). Nomi
I just bought two pairs of just about brand new Nikes from a used clothing store for children for a total of $8 (size 7). Everything in the store is just about new and they have a great play area for toddlers in the middle of the store. It is located on Fruitvale, just east of its intersection with MacArthur in the Dimond district of Oakland. It's called Making Ends Meet. Best of all, if you can't find anyone who needs your kids used clothes, they will buy them off of you and give you a store credit. David
try nordstrom rack in san leandro or san francisco - good brands at low prices. or tjmax often has better selection then most ross's but also located far away, only one i know of is in dublin by the babies-r-us. or the better ross stores, like the el cerrito plaza ross is better than the emeryville one. finally, shoe pavillion. w/ all these places though if you are shopper like me you know it's hit or miss. the best luck is to check back when you're in the area and grab the good ones when you can! with our 12 year old son we buy several pairs in larger sizes to take advantage of selection and sales when we can. good luck! bargain hunter
After reading the current posts for reasonably priced kid shoes, I couldn't resist where I've had great success in buying my 2 year olds shoes - eBay! I've bought name brands (Weebok and Stride Rite) shoes, both new and used, at incredible prices. Maybe a tad more expensive than used stores when you include the shipping charge, but the advantages are I don't have to waste time shopping and the selection is outrageous! I recently did a price comparison when my son outgrew his much beloved Stride Rite sneakers with lights. I found the exact same sneakers, brand new, in the next size up on eBay which I bought for $15 + $5 shipping. I compared them to the sneakers with lights at Payless for $19.99, which were NOT leather, and while I'm sure he'll outgrow them before wearing them out, I think the Stride Rite sneakers are much better quality for essentially the same price. I've bought adorable hiking boots and Weebok leather boots with lights for as little as $5-10! Happy bidding!
I have found a number of reasonably priced kids' shoes in the bins at Rockridge Kids; usually between $15-$25 for sneaker-type shoes. They don't always have all sizes, but they do reorder frequently. Karen
I always buy my son's shoes used at Childs Play or Lauren's Closet. He grows out of them so fast, I really don't want to buy new most of the time. I've also purchased Robeez and some simple tennis shoes for him at Baby Gap which I thought were reasonably priced. Susan

Athletic Shoes for preschooler

Elizabeth 10/99

I just wanted to pass on an experience I had shopping for my preschooler's tennis shoes. I was on Telegraph with my 3 year old whose shoes had just disintegrated, so we decided to check out the new Althetes Foot that has opened there. They display kid's shoes, so I figured they could help us. We had a terrible experience. Our clerk mis-measured my child's foot and then walked off in the middle of helping us after pointing us to not very well ordered wall of tennis shoe boxes. The shoes in the boxes were not laced. There were staff standing around chatting, but no one was available to help us lace the shoes, much less fit them. When I complained, they were utterly unresponsive.

We went next door to Foot Locker. A lovely woman quickly figured out Aaron's size, whipped out 3 styles of inexpensive shoes, and helped us try each pair on. We left with a pair of shoes for $10. The least expensive pair of (on sale) kid's tennis shoes at Athlete's Foot was $25.

Shoes for a big 8-year-old


I have read all the wonderful statements about the shoes for your children. My problem is that I have a 8 year old daughter that is currently wearing a womens 7 1/2 (almost at the toes). To top that off, her feet are narrow. I want her to continue looking like a little girl and not have to put grown up styles on my eight year old's feet. Please, anyone out there help me. I am thinking of wrapping them soon. (Little humor)A Parent Crying Out For Shoe Help! Renee

Try Tuffy's Hopscotch on Sacramento Street in San Francisco. They carry a lot of great European shoes that come in larger sizes Kristi
I would imagine that you can find casual shoes for your daughter in adult sizes that are very similar to kids' shoes. For good weather, saltwater sandals, a flat sandal that is worn by many kids around here, are available in women's sizes To my untrained eye, it doesn't seem as if there is much difference between girls' tennis shoes and women's Also, if your daughter doesn't mind wearing a boy's shoe, I believe that boys' sizes go up to a 6 which is actually equivalent to a women's 71/2 or 8 Finding a dressy shoe that's age-appropriate would seem a bit more of a challenge. If you have access to a store that sells dancewear, you might be able to find a dancer's flat that would fit her. Good luck. Nancy
I'm an adult who prefers low-heeled shoes. Consequently, I know that there are a lot of shoes out there right now that are not necessarily adult-styled even though they are in adult sizes. Look especially for mary-janes--those rounded-toe shoes with straps over the instep that we all wore as children. They've been quite popular recently. And of course, plain tennis shoes are ageless, and you can find those at the Target or Walmart. If you can't find what you are looking for in the stores around here, consider on-line or catalog shopping. I know that the Newport News catalog (for instance) has had several styles of ballerina flats or maryjanes. They also have some low-heeled boots that might be good (the sort of thing one might want for a Peter-Pan or Robin-Hood costume). One caveat is that if you order from one of their sale catalogs it is often the case that there are no shoes in any sizes larger than 5 1/2 or 6. But sometimes there is limited availability in larger sizes. And getting used to shoe shopping by catalog might come in handy as your girl gets bigger, since you can't usually find anything bigger than a size 10 in a regular store.... ;^) Good luck! Dawn

Wide Shoes

Nils 9/99
We need help finding good wide shoes for our 5 year-old son. He needs square-toed, flexible-soled shoes, for his wide, square-toed feet. We have had no luck at Carlin's or McPhees. Does anyone have a recommendation either for a shoe store, or a mail-order outfit that carries wide shoes for kids?
With regard to the wide shoes for the 5-year old, we have had success with Nordstrom's which carries the Elephanten line of shoes. These shoes are a bit pricey but have all of the recommended features such as flexibility in the sole and a firm part around the ankle (I forget what this is called). Generally, the salespeople in the kid's shoes are very used to dealing with kids and can work with you on getting the right fit.
I also have two boys with wide feet. The only brands of shoes that I have found for them are Elephanten(German) and Stride Rite. THere is a Stride Rite shoe store in the Hilltop Mall and you can purchase Elephanten in Villager Shoes on COllege Ave., & Nordstrom in Walnut Creek and Corte Madera - Walnut Creek has a better selection and nicer sales people. You can also find ELephanten on the internet

Sparkly gold and red shoes

July 2002

Does anyone know where to get sparkly gold and red shoes for a three year old (preferably a Mervyn's/ Target etc. priced kinda place rather than a more expensive kids shoe store)? Thanks, Andrea

I saw both sparkly gold and sparkly red shoes in pre-school sizes at Target last week. Also Payless Shoes had white sparkly ones, but the heel seemed a little high to me for young kids. Cathy
I have seen sparkly shoes in many colors at Hanna's on Solano Avenue in Berkeley. Their prices aren't bad - perhaps not as cheap as Target, but reasonable all the same. Awaldstein
Target in El Cerrito (San Pablo & Potrero) carries those shoes. Tikva and Yoram
I saw red sparkly shoes at Target in El Cerrito last week, but the size selection was pretty bad in the sparkly shoes. You could try Target online, but also the used childrens store at the top of Solano has had them continuously (these are new shoes \\) for the past year or so. They aren't very expensive. Elizabeth
Target has sparkle shoes. urthlink
I just got a used Dorothy dress and slippers at a used toy store (on Solano). The dress and slippers looked perfectly new. I would try there. I have also seen red shoes that would work at A Child's Place and at Hannah's, on Solano. Mary
Regarding the red glitter shoes (aka, the Ruby Slippers, which I have always wanted, too - great idea for a party!), I have seen them fairly regularly at consignment shops such as Lauren's Closet (Lafayette) and They Grow So Fast (Lafayette). You might check there. Lori
We get ours at Target. Approx $10.00 Vivienne

Tomato Brand Shoes

Hi there;I know this seems silly,but I am looking for a particular sneaker for my son.the vendor is tomatoe,and i've only seen them onother peoples kids!I must have them,i've looked everwhere.can anybody help?He is a size 10 1/2 (Pre-schooler ) Danielle (4/00)
I bought a pair of Tomatoe sneakers for my son at A Child's Place a while ago. As I recall, they had several different styles. The store's on the corner of Solano and The Alameda in Albany. You might give them a call. 510-524-3651 Barbara