Day 20 of My Favorite Things: Stride Rite
New shoes and back to school go hand in hand for me. I remember with such happiness going to Stride Rite with my mom at the end of every summer to pick out new shoes. I can vividly see the store if I close my eyes. Mr. Seymour would be our guy – we’d wait for him if he was busy (in fact – I think he took care of my mom’s feet when she was little too). There was a little play area to keep me occupied, a mural on the wall, shelves upon shelves of shoes and that little inclined bench that he would sit on to measure my foot, put on the new shoe, and tie it up. I cannot remember what I ate for breakfast today but I remember every aspect of this as clear as day.
The Mint Chip Mama in her BELOVED “Left and Right” Stride Rite shoes in 1981
When my daughter started walking I wanted to continue in the Stride Rite wearing family tradition. Poor Mr. Seymour would have been about 150 by this time, and the original location we patronized was closed, but luckily there was another location not too far away. I was so excited to walk my little baby in holding her hand for a proper fitting (that is why you go to Stride Rite – the sales people are properly trained to fit your child – and their knowledge on the product always impresses me. You feel like you are buying a shoe from someone selling you the correct shoe – not just any shoe). With pride my mom bought my twelve month old daughter her first pair of Stride Rite shoes – the Stride Rite SRT Emilia (oh shoot – I’m crying).
My daughter outside of Stride Rite wearing her first pair of shoes – February 19, 2011
It was so much fun seeing my baby toddle around in these little white shoes. As her foot grew we tried all of Stride Rite‘s different styles of sneakers and when each summer rolled around we bought her the new version of the amphibious Liddie and the dressier Hazel sandals. Both closed toed. Both adorable. Both shoes she could eventually put on herself.
I will only buy shoes for her at Stride Rite. I think it is so important to have a good supportive shoe for my incredibly active kid to wear. My strategy each season is to stock up when they have a good sale – which luckily coincides with when she needs new shoes! For example – from now until September 2nd Stride Rite’s Back to School Buy One Get One 40% off sale is running (with lots of support, no less – ha ha).
You can imagine how excited I was when I got a sneak peek of the Stride Rite fall collection at the Momtrends Back to School Event a few months ago. I (uh – I mean my daughter) HAD to have the Stride Rite SRT Preschool Lydia. This specific style of shoe has been a favorite of ours and when I saw the updated version with the super jazzy purple and pink sequins – OMG, it was like the shoe design fairy made these with my daughter in mind. I love that this shoe is super girly and glitzy on top of an amazingly supportive sneaker. Very often you get the glitz or the support. In this shoe there was – say it with me – synergy. Or would it be Shoenrgy? (sorry). Her mouth dropped open when she opened the box. Immediately followed by “I love these shoes. They are amazing! I love them so much. Thank you Mama”. Happy mama, happy kid. What more do you need?
Back to School shopping is so much fun. When you couple it with a product that not only means something to you from when you were younger, but also provides your child with a great foundation – or should I say footdation (again, sorry) you’ve got yourself an ace in the hole.
As an added bonus if you have small feet like me then the “and Get One 40% off” can be for you… Oh you have cute shoes that are super supportive, fit perfectly, are cheaper in children’s sizes and I can buy them right here, right now? Sold. We call that “efficient shopping” in my house. Plus it doesn’t count if you buy shoes for yourself in a children’s store, right? If you use the $5 coupon on the receipt from completing the survey online and the coupon you get from accruing points from their Rewards program, it’s really like you are saving money by buying yourself shoes. That’s like losing weight by eating ice cream. I want to live in that world.
Thank you Stride Rite for not only introducing me to great shoes in 1979 but for staying true to your roots and being around 30+ years later so I can buy your shoes for my children. You have become one of my favorite things (and my mother’s and my daughter’s)!
Here are some tips from Stride Rite that will help you on your back to school shoe shopping trip:
• Shoe shopping should always be done later in the afternoon or evening, since feet swell over the course of the day.
• With the rate children outgrow shoes, it’s probably tempting to buy shoes that are too big, but shoes that are too big can cause a child to trip and develop footproblems.
• It’s recommended to switch between at least two pairs of shoes to avoid wear and tear and maintain support – they will last longer.
• As adults, we often say we’re “breaking in” a pair of shoes – this is not smart for anyone, especially for kids. Shoes need to be immediately comfortable – don’t allow for a breaking in period or expect shoes to get more comfortable over time – they need to fit and feel good now.
• Hand me downs might save money but they are not good for your kids feet. Old shoes lose support from wear and tear and sharing shoes can spread foot and nail fungus. It’s best to start off each season with a new pair of comfortable shoes in their new and right size.
*GIVEAWAY* Stride Rite has offered to give away a pair of shoes to one lucky reader!
To win – please post in the comment section below:
What is your favorite shoe buying experience? Did you save up for a pair of red bottomed fancy heels, or do you remember your back to school shoe ritual like me?
Winner will be chosen Thursday, August 28th.
Here is a little more on Stride Rite because as you know – I LOVE learning about the heritage of brands:
In 1919 Jacob Slosberg and partner Philip Green started the Green Shoe Manufacturing Co. The quality children’s shoe manufacturer, specializing in stitchdown shoes, operates out of a converted stable in Boston, MA. In 1937 the name Stride Rite shoes is applied to every pair.
During World War II, Green Shoe worked with the U.S. Army to develop a nurse’s field boot and produced thousands of pairs of WAC boots.
In 1986 Stride Rite succeeds in banning smoking of cigarettes, cigars and pipes from Stride Rite workplaces, a rare effort among corporations of the time.
Stride Rite currently offers 400 different styles. They pride themselves in their sales associates who are trained to get you to find your size and get the right fit. The shoes feature breathable materials like leather; many with anti-stink linings. The soles are sturdy, lightweight and flexible for comfort – giving mom piece of mind. Stride Rite also offers a full line of uniform friendly shoes.