I’ve mentioned before that I’m kind of bossy when it comes to buying shoes. Addie has always had wide feet, a gift for getting blisters if a shoe didn’t fit just right and the ability to bust a less than well made shoe. I’d rather spend $40 on one pair that is going to last her an entire year (or season, let’s be honest here) than $5 on a pair that is going to have to be replaced because it either breaks or wreaks havoc on her feet. I’ve made a few mistakes here and there, buying a good pair of shoes only to have her feet grow half a size the next week. Thankfully with nice shoes I’m able to get most of my money back by reselling them.
I also have rules about what shoes she can wear to do what. Church shoes? Well those are for church. And flip flops? Are certainly not for school or the playground. All it takes is one torn off toenail to learn that lesson (although I’d rather she never did.) Also, how fast can you really run in flip flops? Not very, that’s how.
This spring proved to be an especially powerful battle of wills when it came to our annual flip flop purchase. For the past three years I have bought Reef flip flops for around $18 a pair. EIGHTEEN DOLLARS YOU CRY! Yes, $18 for a pair of kids flip flops, and here’s why.
She’s had the cheap ones. They just don’t hold up. They flatten on the heel, the straps pull out or leave blisters. I have yet to find a cheap pair of flip flops that work on Addie’s feet (if they work on your kids feet? HOORAY!) We were at a super discount clearance store when a pair of purple sparkly flip flops with flowers and peace signs caught her eye, up until then I had been unable to find a pair of Reefs that fit her. She begged, she pleaded, she made a very good case and walked out of the store with a $3 pair of purple shoes. She changed shoes in the car and by the time we finished our second errand she was already complaining of blisters. Not even a week later she refused to wear the purple shoes because they had rubbed her feet raw. I’m sure some kid will be thrilled to get some purple shoes for $1 at Goodwill.
Yesterday we came across a pair of Reefs that fit, were cute and were on sale (score!) She put them on and has been wearing them ever since, claiming they are the most comfortable flip flop in the world. I made her promise me she wouldn’t second guess the reasons I have for not buying her any old flip flop. It sounds silly, but it seemed to sink in just a little bit more that quantity over quality is not always best. She even said “I’m going to make my kids wear good flip flops one day too.” while we were out running errands today.
I think my job here is done.