My daughter loves shoe shopping! No really, I don’t think you understand, when we pass by a Stride Rite store, at the tiny age of 2, she will sit in silent but pleasant protest outside the display window in hopes that her father and I will stop and head in with her. I believe in self-expression strongly and I always allow my daughter to choose her own style of shoe from the wall and then I choose one for special occasion wear and, let’s face it, tear.
I have just recently changed Stride Rite locations with my recent move across the states. The one I was using for my daughter and step son was the very one that my brothers used and all my cousins. The manager knows us all by name as she has been working with our family since the early nineties. I am a strong believer in quality shoes and our visits to Stride Rite are never due to faulty shoes but instead the rapidly growing feet of my munchkins. The price is high, but definitely worth it, I know they fit and I know they will last until we hit our next size.
I have tried Ross and Target in a financial pinch and though the shoes are not terrible, they do not always fit right and they slide off often. I remember before I had kids I found a single toddler shoe on a weekly basis in my store, in fact most of my lost and found for customers was compiled of a child’s left or right shoe. I held them for weeks sometimes months, surprised that very rarely did a parent return. Being that parent now: who knows where that shoe fell off, and honestly I don’t have the energy to go back searching for it.
Last week my husband decided it was time for Little A to have a pair of warm weather shoes and a pair of tennis shoes for play. For his lunch break we headed to our local Stride Rite for the first time. Again, I let my daughter choose her favorite pair, a pair of sandals that had neon mulit-colored straps, and then my husband of course being the nerd he is opted for a pair of the light up Hello Kitty Tennis Shoes. The associate went into the back, and as it always seems to go for me in any Stride Rite location she came out to let me know that Little A’s favorite pair were all sold out, but brought the closest alternative out.
In my old Stride Rite this happened often but the manager knew us well and would bring out at least three shoes that were similar for Little A to dig through, but this woman at our local one brought out a pair that were just plain silver and said, :”we don’t have the exact one you want, so you will have to take these instead.” I would at least prefer the illusion of choice I thought. I reluctantly took what was offered to me since the associate was so incredibly kind and patient as Little A modeled her new shoes, and allowed her to wear them even before our purchase was complete, but next time I believe I will try to kindly mention something. I need to practice what I preach, eh? 😉
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This is a post from April 8, 2015 in reflection to the unfortunate news that Stride Rite is apparently shutting down many of its locations.