One of the most common question I get from people when I tell them about The Simple Year is, “What about shoes?” Some think it is “yucky” to wear others shoes, some are worried about the kids having appropriate foot wear since their feet grow so fast. And, a few others have voiced concern over athletic shoes.
There is some validity to their concerns. Often shoes will end up at consignment stores because they have some sort random defect like they rub in weird places or the dye runs and stains your feet. So, I have actually developed a pretty good solution. When you first arrive at any second-hand store, go directly to the shoe area. If you find something you think you might like, put them on and wear them for the rest of your shopping trip.
That is not a joke…this is my helpful hint to you. This is a great way to find out if you can actually walk in them for any length of time and it’s not like they are going to get MORE USED. This is particularly applicable for children. Kids know pretty much right away if something is comfortable or not and their sizing seems to vary significantly.
Although, I broke my own rule recently; I couldn’t pass up a pair of shiny new Croc brand shoes for Kelsey who was not with me. When I got home we discovered they were apparently a hobbit size two, not a child size two.
I recently bought some beautiful unblemished Ann Klein riding boots for $3.99 at Goodwill. However, this is my second attempt at second-hand black boots. The first pair I bought from Ebay a couple of years ago. They were gorgeous black patent by Franco Sarto and my winning bid was only $26! When they arrived, I could not believe my good luck, they were even more beautiful than they looked in the photo.
The next day it was a cold early winter day, the perfect showcase for my new boots. I jumped in my car, dropped the kids off at school and headed to work. And this is when it all began to go wrong.
As I was driving I started to notice a smell, faint at first, almost unnoticeable, just a hint of unpleasantness. Then, as the heater kicked in, the smell became gradually stronger and stronger, and very unmistakable- the ammonia infused stench of cat urine.
It was soon apparent that the odor was coming from my nattily clad feet and as the temperature increased so did the potency. I actually had to roll my window down and hang my head out the window in about 25 degree temps for the rest of the drive.
So, this is when someone with sense would have gone home to change shoes, right?
Yeah, well that clearly doesn’t describe me, because I went into work. I was not ready to give up on my fabulous boots and I assumed (incorrectly) that once inside a larger room, the smell would dissipate. Instead, to the delight of my coworkers, I sat through a series of meetings with the stink of “Fluffy” emanating from my feet. This was not my best second-hand purchase.
But honestly, shoes really aren’t the issue. If you are looking, it is shocking the number of mint condition shoes for the whole family that show up in resale stores. Also, I’m trying to plan ahead for items like next year’s school shoes and snow boots.