Thursday, March 23, 2017

Shoes 4 J: 2 dream the impossible dream

I realize not everybody has a Johnny, but I do... and I am desperate to figure out how to keep this kid shoed.

He trashes everything.

So, I am polling the masses. What brands are the best for this kind of kid?

I go back and forth between super cheap shoes that I can just buy many times a year or pricer shoes that I only have to buy once or twice. But, please if you will, peep J's current sitaution.

He is wearing these Cat & Jack sneaks for school right now but only because the office called as I was on my way to Target last week to let me know that the sole of one of shoes tore completely off. Those shoes happened to be his mass shoes which he was wearing because his other school shoes were wet or something weird typical. See below.

The sole-less shoes were Zara which I got for cheap last summer. As for dress shoes, these Land's End boots have been the only boy shoe hand-downable in this family, but I haven't had the same luck with the brand's regular sneaks. The boots are quality and worth the $$ if you're in the same spot as I am but I digress...

I thought a nice little photo pictorial would do you good.

Johnny's play shoes

Johnny's sneakers

Johnny's 3 month old school shoes

These slip-ons that lasted him from September to December

So, what's the verdict? Am I just being too optimistic? Should shoes only last a kid a few months? Converse seem to be the brand that wears the longest, provided they aren't caked in mud. (I realize that's asking alot -__-) But maybe there is a secret you know that I don't and if that be so... lay it on me.

All Shoed Out/This Kid/Womp Womp


  1. My children destroy everything.. Clothes, shoes, toys, MY HOUSE. My son goes to a very rugged school where they are constantly building forts in the woods all day. These Merrell Jungle Moc shoes have taken a beating and still look pretty darn good! I am impressed that your child even destroyed Natives because those things are pretty indestructable! :)

  2. the Native Miller style (thicker sole) do okay around here but he and Sebastian are one in the same - crying emoji. Also - new size every month I SWEAR

  3. I second Kathleen's suggestion as well as Keens. My oldest has a pair of black leather laceup keens for school that are indestructible.

  4. Converse and saltwater are the only brands that can hold up to my boy. Converse wash really well in the washing machine so that helps. But since you just bought cat and jack- did you know that if you keep your receipt and they wear out within a year, they'll refund you?? It's that way for all target brand clothing but cat and jack is the most vocal about it. I actually just took back a pair of jeans last week (that I bought in August) that got holes in the knees and they gave me a gift card for the amount I paid.

    1. Whhhhhaaat? Did you just change my life??

    2. That's awesome! We were thinking about going with Sears next year for uniform pants--but this would probably be way cheaper. Thanks for the tip!

  5. Pricy but I have heard great things about

  6. My 7 year old-who-lives-outside went through two pairs of tennis shoes in a month. Honestly it was cheap to go to the second hand kids store and get him another 2-4wk pair of shoes but I was tired of doing it! Finally invested in a pair of Keens and they lasted about 10 months! Tree climbing, sports and whatever else 7 year old boys do... they held up really well.

  7. Keens...? Our six year old has managed to destroy everything else too. :/

  8. Oh my. My oldest boy is 4...going on 5 and we live in a very wet-muddy area (South Louisiana), and the Kamik boots have taken good beatings, although totally not ok for school I guess. Saltwater sandals are doing alright, but I feel like I haven't hit this stage with my boys - they are 4, 3 and 1 - I guess I should start hoarding shoes?!

  9. oh girl, YOU HAVE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE. seattle kids are all decked out the climb mountains even though they are basically just car camping in the summer. everyone here wears performance gear at all times and everything is so high quality it will last for 7 kids. it's also all terribly ugly. but keens won't fall apart. neither will blundstones (and they have a lifetime guarantee). good luck, lady.

  10. My son also has this issue. He's better now he's 12 but it was crazy between 5-8 years old. I think he used to scuff his feet or do they destroy them so quickly? The buying cheap and nasty sneakers always made me feel depressed -for environmental reasons but also for the work conditions of those who made them. Buying good quality or ethical for ALL of the shoes just wasn't feasible for our family budget. I now do a combo of some hand-me-downs or second-hand, and some high quality shoes, and cheap-o's if necessary. I found that a good thing about the high quality purchases is that if you find a good shoe store then you can potentially keep the docket (reciept in American?) and go back to them in the 2-3 months and ask for a replacement pair. I found that sometimes they will just send the trashed pair back to the manufacturer and given a fresh pair ready for merciless destruction. (I've also driven around with the shoes in my car for a month or two and lost that window of opporturnity because two months became five. grmph.)

    1. I feel that same burden. I think good brands, second had is for sure the way to go!

  11. We buy Keens and Converse over and over and over again. Keens are washable (!!) and seem pretty darn indestructible- my daughter is only 3.5 and currently on her 4th pair (for sizing reasons- they've all been in good enough shape to pass down). We always get the Newport Sandals, but they do make sneakers and boots too. I can usually find clearance pairs at REI, 6pm com (one of my favorite sites for kids shoes right now), Amazon, and even LL Bean. Land's End also has a lifetime warranty so at the very least, you can return them when they fall apart. :)

  12. I have a Johnny, too! Keens, Chacos, Merrill, and Salomons are your best bet.

  13. Nikes have held up the best for our son. I totally feel your pain!!!! I'm currently trying to figure out a summer sandal option that will last all of 3 months out of school before we have to get yet another pair for the school year. *gulp* my girls hardly wear out shoes.....

  14. We've had luck with Vans. They're a little sturdier than Converse and can be tossed in the wash every week if you need to. My kids shoes only last about 6 months--mainly because they grow so fast.

    1. I bought a pair of high top vans last year and the soles were the fastest to go yet! I don't think they even lasted a month. Maybe the slip-one are better??

  15. My vote is for Keen. I have been lucky to find at consignment sales and haven't had to pay full price, but I sure would for how well they have held up. My daughter is very rough on her shoes and has a wide foot and these are the only ones that have lasted!

  16. Keen Komodo shoes! Keen in general have been excellent for my kids, but the Komodo was especially good for my son who DESTROYS shoes bc it doesn't even have the bungee laces-which he's broken before. For some reason they are called sandals, but they are completely closed and he wore them like sneakers. Keen can be pricey (full price is around $50 but I've never paid that, can usually get some around $25-30 shopping sales) BUT they really so honor their guarantee. My son broke the bungee laces and clip in a pair after about 4 months, so I sent them pictures via email and they sent back a new pair AND store credit for the original price of the shoes (I'd paid significantly less on sale). They are awesome and the only shoes I buy my boys anymore.

  17. What a great post--We have a child like this too. Never unties them; walks on his toes; is constantly on the go! As far as tennis shoes go, which our son (age 9) prefers cause he wants to look like his buds, we have had better luck with new balance than Nike (sorry LeBron) or Adidas. But, I've definitely marked the Keens and Merrell's, because it seems like they might be good choices for summer (don't think either would be "uniform" compliant. Thanks!

  18. Cat & Jack will refund you if they wear out within a year, if you keep your receipt!! Best news everywhere for moms of little boys! :D

  19. Crocs!! for all outside play. They can get wet, can be washed in the sink with soap and water.

  20. I second the Merrell recommendation. It's the only shoe we found was both and comfortable.

  21. Merrell Jungle Mocs for Fall/Winter, and Keens for Spring/Summer. I can usually get away with only one pair of each, plus rain boots. Check Striderite, I got the Merrells for $20 a pair this year at one of their sales.

  22. I have four boys. Oldest is a shoe murderer. Even Keens. We have had the absolute best luck with Stride Rites. The all of the pairs we have have survived to be able to be passed down, which is a first here. Sometimes they have a $20 sale, or you can catch them on for cheaper than regular. So work it! Or maybe LLBean boots. I think some have a lifetime warranty.

  23. Geox have treated us really well! We have these low hiking style boots that are on their third child and still look like new. We've had runners from them as well and I've had good luck getting them at consignment stores. My boys are surprisingly easy on shoes...maybe cause they don't wear them half the time?! We're in the PNW so they wear a LOT of gumboots and we love bogs for their warmth and comfort.

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  25. okokokok this is a super annoying comment and feel free to roll your eyes and put me on your do not disturb list -- but shod is the word you're looking for. i only know bc i used to ride horses and it's a common equestrian term (you get horses shod, meaning you put shoes on them. or you say, "is she shod?" meaning, do they have shoes on?)

    i also was a copy editor before having kids (i know what you're thinking -- "fancy grammar girl doesn't capitalize. i know.), so grammar stuff is interesting to me, so i hope it's interesting and not annoying :)

  26. I know I'm a little late to comment here but have you heard of Blundstones? They might not be what you're looking for in sunny SoCal (I'm from wet and rainy Vancouver, BC ��) but have lots of friends who swear by them for their kiddos, even during the hot summer months. They are super durable and comfortable!

  27. Totally late to this but we have the same problem. Why do they destroy them like that? The laces are dead in about a week it seems. We are Vans fanatics and very occasionally Converse wearers. I go to Shoe City where they are discounted and probably buy 4-5 pair a year. (Maybe $30 each?) I also find that having more than one pair at a time helps, but you know, that seems hard somehow...