When Takeh, my son, would run around in the park, he would often come back to his parents with a worried look on his face. Then he would point to his feet.
When I looked at where he was pointing, I found that the Velcro straps of his shoes were usually coming off the backs of his feet.
Thinking that the shoes might not be the right size, I put on a pair of shoes that were one size larger. But this time the shoes were too big and he seemed to have a hard time walking. His toes had a lot of space between them, which made him feel unbalanced.
Apparently his feet are higher at the instep than other people’s. I realized that because his feet were higher than other people’s, ordinary children’s shoes would not fit him.
I think children in general have a high instep, but he seems to be particularly prone to this tendency. To begin with, his father, myself, has a high instep, and I recently had custom insoles made at an orthopedic clinic. I was surprised to find that my genes were passed on to him in this way.
Constantly wearing shoes that don’t fit or are easy to slip on and off is detrimental to his development. I decided to search the internet for “high instep shoes for kids” and found that New Balance shoes were available. Apparently, New Balance shoes are made with a high instep.
However, it is difficult to make a judgment without actually trying them on. In fact, in the past, we have had trouble choosing shoes based on “foot length”.
So we took advantage of Amazon’s Prime Try Before You Buy service.
This service allows customers to order up to four items of clothing, shoes or socks at a time, and only buy the items they like after trying them on. If the items are not purchased, they can be returned free of charge. If you don’t like all the items you order, you can return them all.
Of course, they only carry a limited selection of products from their partner manufacturers, so they do not have a large selection. Fortunately, they do carry New Balance shoes for kids, and I was able to try on three pairs.
I tried on the shoes I got right away.
Well, they are indeed good. They are sturdy enough for Takeh, who has a high instep, to wear, and the Velcro is strong enough to keep them from falling off. The feeling of security is completely different. It was as if they were firmly attached to my feet.
I had only worn Nishimatsuya shoes, which sold for about 800 yen a pair, so the difference was obvious. This is not Nishimatsuya’s fault. What they are trying to sell is completely different in the first place. The price is about five times higher than what Nishimatsuya is trying to sell.
We talked about how we wished we could find shoes from Nishimatsuya that would fit him as well as these, but that was impossible. At the very least, our son’s size does not fit the “shoes made for the average Japanese foot” sold at Nishimatsuya, so we have no choice but to buy expensive shoes. Not for the sake of fashion.
After trying on three different types of shoes, some of which fit my feet and some of which did not, I finally decided to buy the “313” model. The size of the shoes we ordered this time (13 cm) was a little tight for him, so we returned all of them and bought a new pair of 13.5 cm shoes from Amazon. This is one of the good things about “Prime try before you buy”.
*Just to be clear, this is not stealth marketing. Seriously, it is “personal opinion”.
Since the introduction of New Balance shoes, he has been able to take his shoes on and off by himself. And no more Velcro coming off and making him pee his pants. It’s all good. Unfortunately, as he grows up, we will have to buy a new pair of slightly more expensive shoes.
Raising a child is expensive. In many ways.