Now how do I know that aside from buying them online, purchasing lace-up walkers in a real store where they can be tried on is not an option? Let me tell you about the last two hours. Before we go camping I thought it would be a good idea to get some shoes to cover G. and L.'s little feet, so I announce that I am going to go shoe shopping for them. A., P., and A.'s friend who is over immediately ask if they can come along (they like shoes) and I agree since I don't think I can handle both babies by myself in the shoe store. Then I realize that the three younger boys also need sneakers because their feet have grown. The trouble is I have no idea what size they are anymore. I decide to take them to the shoe store as well to have their feet measured. (Their shoes are coming from somewhere less expensive, but it helps to know what size to look for.) So I tell the 8 children to get in the van, hoping that the shoe store is not having a busy afternoon. There are only a couple of children's shoe stores around where shoes are fitted well (in my opinion) and since I don't take children to malls, we head to the one three suburbs north and 20 minutes away. I usually have success finding shoes at this store, though I have walked out without buying anything once or twice, always over the lace/Velcro and lights/no lights issues. I thought I was pretty safe not calling first. I mean, lace-up baby shoes would seem to be a pretty standard item.
My mistake. In the girls' size (which is exactly the same, by the way), they had one pair of lace-up shoes. Even calling the other store did not yield another pair. Since one pair does not do me much good, I didn't buy anything. I did have the boys feet measured before we left. I have spent enough money in the store on previous trips that I did not feel guilty over this. Perhaps annoyance at the inconvenience and at the expression on the store clerk's face which would seem to indicate I had grown another head, but not a whole lot of guilt. I guess I am going to have to order their shoes online, since I now know their size. Once I was home I called every shoe store in the area and none of them had lace-up walkers. One helpful clerk suggested I wait until the fall lines come out and maybe there would be something then. I'm not sure what he thought I should put on my children's feet in the meantime.
I should perhaps share why I dislike Velcro so (because I seem to be the only one who has this little obsession). First, they are just too easy to take off. Especially with babies, if they are wearing shoes it's because they need to be wearing shoes. I know my girls well enough to know that to put velcroed shoes on them would merely be an expensive game. I would put them on, they would take them off... until we lost one of the shoes somewhere because I didn't notice the baby threw it out of the stroller. We have had the odd pair of velcroed shoes here and there and it has confirmed the other reasons I don't like them. I don't think they fit as well. With laces, it is much easier to adjust them to fit the child's foot in a secure way. (My children have narrow feet, so perhaps I am more obsessive about this than other people.) The Velcro also has not lasted as long as laces do. If a lace breaks, it is very easy to replace it. With Velcro it is not so easy to do so. It's too bad to have to get rid of a pair of shoes merely because the Velcro doesn't stay fastened anymore. And finally, have you thought about the noise that more than a couple of children can make playing with the Velcro on their shoes? It is not as bad as soccer fan horns, but it is still not a pleasant sound.
I have one last place to try tonight, but then it is off to Zappos I go.