Last week I went to buy some school shoes for H. I’d waited till the back to school rush was over as his shoes were still in good condition and didn’t seem to be causing him a problem. So we went to buy the usual, bog standard, boys school shoe. Generally for 6 year olds, they come in black with a couple of velcro straps and some rubbery bits around the soles to reduce scuffing. That was exactly the sort of thing I had in mind buying again.
Once he’d been measured and we’d established that he’d gone up a half size, we were presented with a limited selection of shoes to try. It was clear that one pair fitted better than the others. H complained that they felt a bit odd though and the shoe shop lady said it was because they had a toy in the bottom. Yes, that’s right, a toy in a shoe. I have only two words to say to that and they are ‘why?’ and ‘no’.
H was surprised to find there were toys in his shoes and he felt the need to remove them to make his shoes feel comfortable. This may have been psychological, but it does again shout ‘Why were they there in the first place?’ What are children supposed to do with them anyway? Take their shoes off in class or the playground to get the toys out for play?
Of course the toys are cheap toys: a small car and some cardboard keys. Nevertheless they must have some cost and value as must developing and making the cavity for them to go in. And I am paying for it! I don’t want to buy shoes with toys in. If I want to buy toys I will buy toys. If I want to buy shoes, I want to buy shoes (and only shoes). We ended up buying these for £38 (Ouch!) despite not wanting to as they fitted best and there was only a limited range available in our local shop. Next time I’ll be asking to try only those without toys and allowing ourselves time to go elsewhere if they don’t have anything suitable.