I’ve got a love-hate relationship with hand-me-downs. Love that they save me money. Hate that I feel so guilty having standards.
It started, really, with the first pair of shoes. I’m a thrift store shopper, but I wouldn’t dream of sticking my tootsies in set from the Salvation Army.
So why are kids’ shoes any different? Yes, they wear them for a much shorter period of time than the average adult and his/her shoes. But they’re also fairly less hygenic than said average adult. And they don’t watch where they walk.
There’s nothing quite like pulling a pair of hand-me-down mary janes out of a bag to realize there’s something brown smeared across the crepe sole. And it still smells. If you have to take a stick out on the front porch, it’s not worth it.
There’s also a grodiness to the inside that I can’t get past. Feet sweat. Feet stink. And dirty little feet stink doubly . . . not to mention breed fungus.
Of course, all shoes are not created equal. I’ve shoved a set of Crocs in the dishwasher, rendering them stink and dirt-free, then handed them on to a friend for her daughter. Cotton sneakers can likewise be run through the washing machine with some bleach. I’ve gotten pairs of boots from a cousin, only to be told “she wore these once . . . literally once” and placed them on my daughter’s feet.
Do you dress your kids in hand-me-down shoes?
Image: Stride Rite