Outlet stores won hands down.
The main reason for going was to get The Man and his son some new shoes. They are both huge fans of those ever so attractive croc-o-dile clogs. I bought The Man some on a whim over a year ago and really didn't know if he would even wear them. Those shoes are now worn completely out. We bought The Boy some cheap off brand version to see how he would handle it. He loved them. We upgraded to the brand for school and he's worn them til they can not be passed down. The straps are gone and the soles are worn almost all the way down.
My boys are funny about some things and shoes are one of them. I have seen my overly sensitive child fall on the floor and literally melt into a puddle over being made to wear a pair of shoes he deems horrible. I know a lot of kids do this, my kid isn't breaking new ground. He despised wearing cleats for T-ball but, God bless his heart, he bucked it up and wore them for the game. Some times there are battles worth fighting and some times it's really not a bad idea to get the kid a comfy shoe to wear on a regular basis.
We hit that Croc-o-dile outlet with high hopes and expectations. We were not disappointed. Upon finding out that they offer a military discount, we were glad to give them our meager business. What a crowded store this was, with both people and all types of shoes. It was pretty overwhelming to be honest.
Paige was able to find a really cute pair of dress shoes she could wear to work. It's been really hard on her feet and ankles not being able to wear tennis shoes and being on her feet the full work day. The shoes she found are silver (score for neutral color!) and are almost like ballet flat sling backs. She has deemed them the best shoes ever and I'm glad we were able to find something dressy and workable for her.
What did that boy of mine find? Every single solitary pair of green shoes in the joint. We all know how much he adores the color green. He's not particular to any shade of green, it's all just magical and perfect for him. He gravitated to a pair of neon/lime green shoes that had potential to blind a person from fifty feet away and was insistent he needed that pair.
Did I mention the tape measure? Before we left the house, he got his Dad's tape measure out of the tool box. He measured his foot and he measured his old pair of shoes. He did the math in his head and decided how long a new pair would have to be. He put that big tape measure up in his pocket (cargo shorts) and was fully prepared to shoe shop.
In the midst of that busy store, people milling all around, my son would whip that tape measure out and measure a shoe before trying it on. God, how I love him and how his amazing mind works. Paige was on the embarrassed side because her little brother had a tape measure in public. I told her it just showed how incredible his mind is at being able to figure out measurement and apply it to every day life. I had not one problem with my child carrying that tape measure to measure and compare. I looked at it as an awesome learning experience. Shoot, you only live once.
In the end, we bought The Boy two pair of shoes. One pair for now, and one pair to start school with. The school pair are a good sturdy brown, guaranteed to match just about anything I put on that kid.
(Did I mention that I finished school clothes shopping for him while there? Every kid's store had amazing sales going on. I bought shirts from .99- 3.99. I bought shorts for 1.99-3.99. I am thrilled to pieces he is ready for kindergarten!)
What about the shoes he gets to wear now, you ask? Oh, what an amazing magical pair of shoes we have, Internets.
The Boy now owns his very own pair of kelly green croc-o-dile shoes that Mama happened to find in the clearance bin for $9.99.
Yes, sir, having your child come kiss you goodnight wearing nothing but a pair of Power Ranger underwear and green shoes? Priceless.