Do you “hand down” shoes? Or only buy new? (Back to School Shoe Shopping!)


Do you hand down shoes?

We’re in the midst of cleaning out and sorting through the kids coat closet, deciding what coats and shoes still fit, which ones are worn out, and which ones should be “handed down”. And it made me think…. should shoes even be handed down?

It Depends on The Shoe

I think it depends on the condition that the shoe is in…. sometimes my kids will get a new pair of cleats near the end of a soccer season, but by the time the next season rolls around, their feet have grown and the fairly new cleats are too tight. In that case, I keep them in a bin as a possible pass-down candidate for the next soccer player in our family.

At our house, our girls definitely own more pairs of shoes than our boys. Sneakers, sandals, mary janes, and fashion boots are all in the shoe bin in their current size right now…. and all 4 types of shoes are replaced as they grow. My husband kind of shakes his head at this…. because the boys, for the most part, wear one pair of shoes at a time- a sneaker. I’ve even given up on buying the boys dress shoes because they outgrow them so fast, and we rarely have an occasion to actually wear them! But the girls…. they need shoes to wear with dresses, shoes for shorts and jeans, shoes for summer and shoes for winter. So since they are cycling through all of these shoes- sometimes a pair is outgrown while it is still in pretty good shape- so those I pass down. But the boys sneakers? Never passed down! They wear those out!

Oh yeah… and Crocs

And aside from the school shoes I already talked about, each of my kids has a pair of crocs. Perfect for the beach, car trips, around the house, etc. And those suckers pretty much never wear out… and they are fairly easy to scrub up and make all shiny and new again. So I do pass down crocs.

Zappos- a Mom’s Best Friend…

Shoe Purchases Do you hand down shoes? Or only buy new? (Back to School Shoe Shopping!)

In spite of all of that handing down of shoes… we still have a pretty sizeable need to replenish our shoe supply as we head back to school. But the idea of taking my kids all into a shoe store to try shoes on is the stuff of nightmares. Which is why I adore Zappos! I have an at-home shoe sizer… so everyone gets re-measured, and then we shop together online. I love that I can choose a category and then sort or filter by price, so that my kids can’t drool over the $75 pair of sneakers that I am never going to buy! And I can also sort by “what’s popular”, to get a sense of what other Moms are buying for their kids right now (and helps to me make some reasonable fashion decision for my kiddos too).

And if you shop at Zappos as regularly as I do, you can become a Zappos VIP, where you get free one-day shipping . The only tricky part is when you forget to log into the VIP section of the website before checking out, and then your child stands sadly at the window looking for the UPS driver who doesn’t come because you forgot to take advantage of this feature. (or maybe this only happens to me….)

Can shoes be fun?

Heelys Do you hand down shoes? Or only buy new? (Back to School Shoe Shopping!)

They can be when they come with wheels! My son Spencer has been dying to try Heelys for a long time. But his overly-practical Mom wasn’t going to allow him to have the one pair of sneakers that he wears every day come with built-in wheels. I envisioned my wood floors getting all torn up, and the dog being turned into a husky with a dog sled pulling Spencer around the house on his shoes.

And then the kind folks at Heelys sent over a pair for Spencer to try…. and to teach his Mom a few things. First of all- did you know that the wheel is easily removable? (As in- Spencer can do it himself?) I sure didn’t! And the shoes themselves are pretty cool and stylish too. Spencer has a blast skating around the driveway in them (with the wheels in), and even took them on vacation with us so he could skate along on the hiking trails!

Heelys did send my son a pair of shoes to try, but the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. Zappos did not sponsor this content in any way- I am just an avid fan!

So now I want to hear from you! Do you pass down shoes at your house… or only buy new?

Sharons Signture Do you hand down shoes? Or only buy new? (Back to School Shoe Shopping!)

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Valerie Hartman August 24, 2012 at 7:59 am

I agree with you, Sharon. I keep dressier shoes, hiking boots, and sports shoes/cleats in reasonable shape for younger family members. Any daily wear shoe is recycled at the elementary school (I think they will have them turned into playground materials). Shoes formed around one pair of feet will never provide proper support for another pair of feet. Sometimes they provide the end-of-season size change or one-time concert attire rather than adding another last minute errand to my to-do list.
Valerie Hartman recently posted..Review: Clarisonic Mia 2


2 Sharon
Twitter: sharonmomof6
August 25, 2012 at 7:52 am

I love that your school recycles shoes and turns them into playground material! And I am glad to hear that you too will pass down your more lightly-used shoes to your younger kids.


3 Barb @ A Life in Balance
Twitter: BarbHoyer
August 24, 2012 at 8:53 am

We do pretty much the same with our shoes for boys and girls. Our boys do have an extra pair because they need black tie shoes for their school uniform. Since these get worn out just as much as the sneakers, I generally don’t recycle them.

A neighbor of mine passes along her barely worn shoes for my daughter, usually crocs and cleats. Occasionally snow boots.
Barb @ A Life in Balance recently posted..easy paper crafts for toddlers & preschoolers


4 Sharon
Twitter: sharonmomof6
August 25, 2012 at 7:54 am

I should have mentioned that we have friends who also pass along their more lightly-worn shoes for my older boys too. So it is not only my younger kids that sometimes wear handed down shoes. Any my daughter actually owns a cute pair of pink/purple Uggs (something I probably would have never purchased for her on my own) that she loves… that were handed down by a friends’s daughter.


5 Krista August 24, 2012 at 4:46 pm

LOVE LOVE Zappos! I actually just blogged about how much I love them. Hey, where did you get your shoe sizer? I want one! Anyway, I pass down the shoes from my older daughter to my younger one and she wears those shoes for play (going to the park, pumpkin patch, etc). Dressier summer sandals and nicer snow boots can be worn and not repurchased for my younger daughter if I am lucky. I have, however, stopped buying Sketchers! I purchased 2 pairs last year and they lasted 3 weeks (with my girls wearing mostly flip flops, too) before they developed holes. For the $50, I insist on trusted brands now, such as Merrill, Stride Rite, Keen, etc. My son’s Sketchers held up a little better than the girls’ did, but for the money, I need the shoes to be outgrown not worn out because of poor quality.
Krista recently posted..Asher’s 1st Day of Preschool


6 Sharon
Twitter: sharonmomof6
August 25, 2012 at 8:00 am

Hi Krista! We purchased our shoe sizer at We still use it all of the time (although I think that I am going to need to buy an adult-sized one soon for my oldest boys!). I do agree that the Sketchers twinkle toes don’t last as long as regular sneakers… but for us they last about 4-5 months before getting holes. And the holes are actually in the bottom of the shoe- in the sole, not in the upper cloth part where you might expect holes after use- which is strange. The other thing I don’t love about the twinkle toes shoes is that I don’t feel that they provide great support for their feet, the way a running shoe does… they are more like flat Keds (which come to think of it is the shoe that I grew up wearing in the 70′s!) However, this is one area that I am caving to the fashion desires of my girls…. they love love love these shoes.


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