Monday, February 4, 2008

Buying shoes for your teenage son

I know I said I'd talk about green smoothies today, but I have to tell you of my shoe venture today. My oldest son is 14 and does not like to shop for shoes. In fact, I don't think he likes to shop for anything.

He also doesn't think he needs more than one pair of shoes at a time. (Much different than my daughters, that's for sure!) When his shoes start wearing out or when I see a good deal on a pair of shoes, I'll ask him if he wants another pair and he'll say, "Why? I already have some shoes."

His last pair wore out so badly that the front soles fell off on a trip to Paramount's Great America (theme park), so he put them together with duct tape to finish the trip. He loved them so much that he wouldn't let me throw them away. They're hanging from their tied-together shoe strings from the roof of his closet.

He did let me get him another pair after that, but not from the choosing. I showed them to him and he wouldn't make up his mind, so I finally just bought them (some black high top Nike's that looked brand new from the school rummage sale I was in charge of last year) home feeling like there was no risk involved since they only cost $1. Again, he wouldn't agree or disagree to liking them. But they sat in his room for a few days until he thought, "Yeah, maybe I'll try them on" and he's worn them since.

They're finally falling apart nearly a year later (and I thought growing boys GREW out of their shoes before they wore them out). So I've been asking him to come buy some shoes with me to which he always declines.

Well, today I decided to just go by myself, bring home the shoe store to him and return what he doesn't like or what doesn't feel right. I went to Mervyns. They were just happening to have an Athletic Shoe sale, which was great. I looked for the cheapest Nike's (yay for bargain shopping) and they were $39.99. Out of those, I chose a pair that was similar to his black ones he now wears.

But then the BARGAIN aisle caught my eye in the back and I saw a section of $20 shoes. I searched for his size and only found 1 pair, but found 3 more pairs a 1/2 size up. Maybe they'd work. I bought $80 worth of shoes, brought them home, plopped them onto his bedroom floor and told him to choose. I actually thought he'd say something like "Not right now" but he was actually interested. Three cheers for progress!

He chose the ones pictured above, after questioning the brand, "Pony? What kind of name is that?" -- I told him the history of athletic shoes in the late 70's, early 80's -- Pony was just as big as Nike in those days. Then I pointed to the Adidas I'd brought home and told him how they had the 3 stripes, Nike had the swoosh, and Pony had kind of a check mark or 1/2 triangle (or 1/2 diamond?) He liked the Pony's because they were the most like his beloved duct tape shoes hanging from his closet (he's actually had me search for those on e-bay a few times, but to no avail. They were Ross finds and much of Ross is discontinued forever).
He told me to take the rest back, but later asked where I'd put them. He was reconsidering the
Adidas' too. Imagine him actually having two pairs to choose from. I told him this would be good for those days when they got all wet or muddy. No more waiting for the dryer to finish before leaving for school. He may just do it.

One fun thing I've learned about teenaged boys -- it's like leading a horse to water. It sure is fun to watch him drink though.

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