Back-to-school shoe shopping is my least favourite task. I have three very active girls who are likely the direct descendants of monkeys… they never, ever sit still! The problem is that they love love love cute “girly” shoes. You know the ones: strappy, with a bit of a heel, and slippery bottoms. I’ve even seen some with felt on the bottom! While they are certainly adorable, they aren’t practical for the kind of wear and tear my girls subject their shoes to. Shoe shopping gives me grey hairs because I find saying “NO WAY!” to every pair they wave at me stressful. Last year I gave in and let them buy little “moon boots”. A week later Amber’s toes were sticking out of the front of them. The boots had completely worn out from her running, jumping and playing at school.
This year, Sport Chek approached me and asked me if I would like to take the girls to a local store to pick out any pair of shoes they wanted from their fall line up of kids shoes. The girls were ecstatic, while I was more reserved. I have to admit that I had never considered Sport Chek as a destination for school shoes for the girls, or any shoes for them at all for that matter. We have purchased a lot of hockey and softball gear for the girls there, but have never looked at their kids shoe wall(s).
The first thing that struck me was the sheer amount of selection of shoes they have that fits MY criteria for back-to-school shoes: durable, comfortable, and affordable. They had a ton of shoes that would be suitable for the amount of running, jumping, dancing and playing that my girls do. Shoes that will allow my girls to create their better – in the classroom, in the gym, in the rink or on the court. My oldest and most sensitive daughter, Sierra, even began crying because how happy she was over the number of choices. She’s very used to the shoe store we used to always take them to only having one suitable pair for her that we would purchase by default because it was the only viable choice.
“Mommy! They have so many shoes!!”
The girls and I were in back-to-school shoe shopping heaven! The staff were very friendly and helpful. My girls always seem to think they know what shoe size their feet are, but once we get their shoes home they suddenly don’t fit a week later. Ugh! To prevent that the shoe staff measured each of the girls to help us find the best fitting shoe for each of them.
Besides finding durable shoes for the girls, the second hardest task is finding shoes the girls LIKE and will wear after the novelty of new shoes wears off. Each of my girls have their own unique tastes but I hate going store to store to store to find shoes that fit with each of their personal style preferences.
Sierra (my oldest) is my super sporty athlete, but at 10 years old she’s starting to want to stand out from the crowd with her own personal funky athlete meets girly style. She instantly fell in love with this pair of cute converse that combine function with style (that can be slipped on and off in a rush at hockey or softball practice):
Brooke (my middle daughter) is my little runner and aspiring gymnast. Her breaks at school are spent either practising for cross-country (she just joined the school team), or doing back walk overs, elbow handstands, round offs etc. I really don’t know how to describe her style – usually she wears funky printed skinny pants and some matching (or not matching, depending on the day) shirt. She instantly fell in love with these bright yellow Under Armour shoes. They were actually in the “boy” section but she took a liking to them because they weren’t pink or girly.
Amber (my youngest) loves everything about being a girl. Dresses and skirts are her favourite things to wear, yet she won’t sit still or be “lady-like” so she wears shorts or leggings under her dresses. She also loves to sing and “dance” and even did a little happy dance while shoe shopping.
In the video I believe she’s dancing in a pair girls Mizunos. Amber had the greatest difficulty picking out a pair of shoes because there were so many to choose from. After much deliberation (I swear we were at the store for almost an hour) she ended up picking out a cute pair of pink Nike Frees that she can put on and take off herself(!). The pink shoes match perfectly with her backpack:
That’s quite the range of styles she has happening all at once!
All told, I was really happy that we were invited to do our back-to-school shoe shopping at Sport Chek. The staff were friendly, nice and most importantly PATIENT! My girls were loud with their dancing and singing and destroying the displays (aka trying on every single pair of shoes possible). I was happy because there were quite a few shoes suitable for school (and playing!) that are durable while my girls were happy that there was such a good selection of “Yes” shoes. I don’t think I said no to any of the choices they presented me with.
Thank you Sport Chek for the wonderful back-to-school shoes!
Question/Sharing: How do you make back-to-school shoe shopping fun?
For more great back-to-school shoe choices check out Sport Chek online at sportchek.ca or: