It never ceases to amaze me how quickly kids grow through their shoes, or simply wear them out. By the end of summer, shoe replacement is more of a necessity than a desire. But in some cases, it’s just a matter of freshening up the shoes that still fit.
Here are some easy ways to save on those back-to-school shoes:
- Hit the local outlets. For example, Philadelphia Premium Outlets offer 26 name-brand shoe retailers such as Adidas, Bass, Converse, Crocs, Merrell, Skechers and Stride Rite Keds Sperry.
My son found a great pair of Adidas sneakers for just $10. For kicks, we added a second pair of Merrell hiking shoes just because they were at such an unbelievable price of $12. He’s set through the spring!
- Restore old sneakers. If your kids’ sneakers still fit but look a little grungy from playing all summer, just use this tip to clean them up to look like new.
Simply apply a dab of toothpaste (make sure to use original 'paste' and not 'gel') on a toothbrush, scrub brush or steel wool, and gently rub over soiled areas. You’ll be amazed by how quickly old, tired sneakers can become like new again!
- Watch for Back-to-School Shoe Sales. Places like Stride Rite or Famous Footwear will often offer specials like “Buy one pair, get the second pair free,” where you can stock up on new school shoes for the whole family at just a fraction of what you might have spent.
If you have two or more children, you can kill two birds with one stone by stocking up on new shoes for everyone. If you’ve got a single child, buy a pair of everyday school shoes and a pair of shoes that are better suited to the winter months.
One Web site actually recommends starting the year with two sets of new shoes so they last longer throughout the year. By rotating which shoes your child wears, all of their shoes will last longer into the school year, which ultimately saves you money in the long run.
- Host a shoe swap. Kids grow at varying rates. Some grow so fast their shoes barely show wear. Get together with other parents who have kids similar in age and see what you come up with. You might be surprised by how many useable shoes will be floating around within your circle of friends.