My son is hard on shoes. It seems that every few months he has holes worn into his shoes or the bottom starts separating. Other shoe issues for kids include stinky insoles, scuffs and dirt build-up. I was tired of buying shoes, so I decided to focus on making the shoes we did buy last longer. Here are some tips to get a longer life out of your kids’ shoes.
Store Shoes Well
You can’t always control what happens to your child’s shoes when he wears them, but you can control how they are stored. Instead of letting your kids kick off their shoes wherever, have a designated shoe area. Get a shoe rack for the shoes. Store them off to the side and out of foot traffic so they don’t get kicked around or stepped on. If you have pets, keep the shoes in a place where they won’t get chewed on.
Mix It Up
If your child has one pair of shoes that he wears every single day, the shoes probably won’t last very long. Have at least two or three pairs of shoes that your child can rotate through them. By rotating, you give the shoes a break from the wear and tear kids put on them during an average day of play.
You can also have different types of shoes for different activities. Keep aside nicer shoes for activities that won’t involve lots of running and hard playing, such as a meal out or a school program. Have a few pairs of shoes that are designated play shoes.
It’s tempting to buy cheap shoes, especially if your child wears through them quickly, but you may end up spending more if you’re replacing them frequently. You don’t have to spend a fortune to buy a quality shoe. Instead of buying the most expensive option, be thorough when choosing shoes. Look for a sturdy heel. Inspect the seams to make sure they won’t come apart easily. Some tennis shoes have mesh-like material to make them more breathable. Use caution when choosing those types of shoes. Your child’s toes could push through the mesh and cause a hole.
Keep Them Clean
If dirt is the main issue, take time to clean your child’s shoes. Don’t wait until they are so filthy they look brown instead of white. At that point, the dirt is probably so ground in that it won’t go anywhere. Wipe down the shoes on a regular basis to keep the dirt from building up.
For stinky kids’ shoes, socks can be the solution. When your child wears shoes without socks, the sweat soaks into the shoe. Over time, that creates a stinky shoe. Have your child wear socks each time he puts on shoes, especially tennis shoes. You can also sprinkle in a little baking soda to soak up odors and moisture. Dump out the soda before wearing the shoes again.
Teach Shoe Care
Your child can also play a role in keeping his shoes looking new. Remind your child not to drag his feet when he walks. Teach him to avoid puddles in regular shoes. Use a pair of rain boots for that type of outdoor fun. Get him in the habit of storing his shoes properly every time he takes them off.