How to Make Shoe Shopping Fun for Kids

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I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Reebok and Finish Line. I received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for participating

close up of blue and black tennis shoes on person wearing jeans and carrying white Finish Line shopping bag in front of brick wall

As a mother of 3 children, I can’t even calculate how many times I’ve had to drag a child to go shoe shopping.  Shoe shopping doesn’t rank high on most kids’ list of “Things I Want To Do.”  After at least 100 shoe shopping trips with my kiddos, I’ve learned some tricks to make shoe shopping fun for kids (and thus, more fun for parents, too!) without spending any extra money.
Why should you even worry about making shoe shopping more fun for your child?  If it’s a more enjoyable experience, your child will be more cooperative.  Like all families, my family is super busy these days, so I try to take advantage of every moment to connect with my child. Making shoe shopping fun is one more opportunity to connect with my child and spend some enjoyable time together (oh, yeah, while getting a chore done, too!).

Tips to Make Shoe Shopping More Fun for Kids

1.  Let your child pick the music on the drive.

Child's hand  and red sleeve reaching for car radio button

Bite the bullet and let your child choose the music, even if it’s not what you want to listen to.  My son is 12 so he’s old enough sit in the front seat.  If your child is old enough to sit in the front, let them have total control of the music (but you have veto power over the volume level).  Letting your child have control and decision-making power, gives your child a sense of independence and satisfaction.

 2.  Look up some jokes to share with your child.

Brush off some of your favorite childhood jokes to share with your child on the drive to the store. If you don’t remember any jokes, take a minute and look some up.  Ask your child to share some of their favorite jokes with you.  Laughing together is a great way to connect with your child.

3.  Choose a fun store to shop in.

Shopping in a cool, fun store makes the experience more enjoyable for your child, especially as they’re nearing the tween years and don’t want to be treated “like a baby.” We popped over to our local Finish Line store.  I was impressed by how bright and clean it was.  Half of the store held the adult’s shoes and half had the children’s shoes, so it was much cooler than going to the children’s shoe store.

top image - 2 Reebok tennis shoes on wall display, bottom image - close up of someone tying new tennis shoes

I was also impressed with the customer service we received at Finish Line.  The salesperson treated my son like a grown up, but balanced asking my son’s opinion with checking for my approval.  I’m a tough grader and I can honestly tell you that this was the best customer service I’ve received at a retail store in a long time.

 4.  Let your child have some say in choosing shoes.

Without breaking your budget and with parental guidance, let your child choose his shoes.  Let him choose the shoes that are the most comfortable to him or the color he likes.  We chose the new Reebok ZigTech Big N’ Fast EX shoes.  My son said that they’re really comfortable.  I let him choose which color he wanted and he chose these vibrant blue ones.

5.  Let your child wear the shoes home from the store.

person in blue jeans and blue and yellow coat placing white shopping bag in car trunk

Letting your child wear the brand new, cool shoes he just picked out home from the store is fun.  Be honest, haven’t you ever been so excited by a new pair of shoes that you wore them home (and had a great time doing it)?

6.  Stop by a park on the way home.

Close up of kid's tennis shoes in black and blue on yellow monkey bars with blue sky in the background

Take 15-30 minutes to stop by a park on the way home to play (and it won’t cost a dime) .  Let your child run, jump and climb to test out the new shoes. Take advantage of that time to talk with, laugh with and connect with your child.

close up of blue and black Reebok tennis shoes on climbing wall

Encourage your child to show you what he can do at the playground.  Let him show off.  Be sure to be impressed and encourage efforts more than outcomes.

 7.  Schedule some time to play with or walk your pet.

brown dog taking red ball from person's hand wearing jeans and blue tennis shoes

Playing with your pet is another opportunity for your child to test out the new shoes and for you to share more quality time with your child.

Can you tell that my son and I had a great time together shopping for shoes?  We did (big mama smile)!  What tips do you have to make shoe shopping fun for kids? 

Close up of kid's tennis shoes in black and blue on yellow monkey bars with blue sky in the background

You can learn more about Reebok by following them on Facebook and Instagram and more about Finish Line by following them on Facebook and Instagram.

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  2. I wish my kids were averse to shoe shopping because I would have a lot more money to spend on other stuff. I might steal some of these tips though for when I take them on other more dreaded errands like going to one of their sibling’s sporting events or band concerts.

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