Do Kids Really Need $100 Sneakers?

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It’s kind of like one of those age-old questions. Do we give our kids too much? As little ones, they “want want want” everything they see. As they get older their demands become a bit more polite, turning into “please please please!” Sometimes it’s hard to resist those cute, little dimples. And probably, more often than not, we give in because we’re sick and tired of hearing the begging.

I took my (now 10 year old) son school shopping last week. We picked up $80 worth of school supplies from a list that the school provided (thankfully, the backpack from last year still works), and then we headed to the mall. My son has recently decided that he’d like a say in what sorts of clothes he wears to school. The skinny jeans, shorts that are just the right length, certain brands of t-shirts, and kid-approved, Mom-makes-me-wear-these collared shirts were among our purchases. All were on sale for pretty good prices, and I was feeling pretty good about what I had spent. And then we moved on to purchase the fashionable item that my son cares about most: sneakers. He pleaded with me for a few minutes to buy some $90 Nike feather-light running shoes that “all of his friends have” (until the sales gal told him that they did not have his size), and then his heart fell onto these Reebok ReeZigs.

Upon first glance, I thought they were kind of ugly. They’re not understated in any sort of way, and they won’t exactly match a whole lot of outfits. But then he tried them on. He jogged around the store with such excitement and pride that I thought… I’m really going to have to consider these. They were on sale for $80. My husband happened to call on my cell phone at that very moment and told me not to buy our son $100 sneakers. I didn’t listen. I bought them anyways.

Reflecting upon my decision later that week, I came to the following conclusions to make myself feel better about this grand purchase for my 10 year old:
1. I had gotten all of his school clothes on sale for good prices.
2. He’s a runner, and these are supposed to be good running shoes.
3. I actually DID make him contribute $20 toward the purchase of the shoes.

When I admitted to my husband that I bought the shoes (that he requested I not purchase), I dissolved into tears. I explained that when I was a child I always wanted those “cool” shoes that other kids were wearing, and we were never able to get them. I wanted our son to have them.  Perhaps I’ve sent the wrong message… he asked, I bought, and now I’m stuck with buying uber-expensive sneakers from here on out.

So what do you think…do we give our kids too much? Are you able to hold back and just give your kids what they need? Or do you fall into the trap of wanting your kids to have things you didn’t have as a child?

Lori Lange of Recipe Girl

Meet The Author: Lori Lange

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  • Jennifer Cox wrote:

    I think its rediculas to spend more than 70 or 80 on shoes, my 16 year old son is working and told me he was going to buy some shoes for 150.00 and I told no hes not, and if he does hes buying his other school things he needed, that I was going to buy and didnt mind, but since priorities are in wrong area, hes mad at me.

  • DP wrote:

    I think it’s ridiculous to spend $100 9n a pair of shoes for a kid who will either out grow a few months or be so hard on them, they’ll be torn up I no time.  Make your kid work.for.the money to buy his own shoes if that’s what they want.  I’d limit it to $45 and if they want something beyond that, they need to pay the difference.  People wonder why kids feel so entitled now a days.  Mayne it’s because their parents give into all of their whims.  Don’t complain when your kids expects you to let them live at home until they are thirty as they sit in their rooms playing video games all day.

  • Chris Coudriet wrote:

    I don’t know what any of you are talking about. Not saying that in a disrespectful way but, $80 for shoes is NOTHING. All the “trendy and popular” shoes are $120 plus for the least expensive ones.

  • Shayne Corritori wrote:

    I am Shayne Corritori and I am 13 years old and I have a pair of $450 Bally dress shoes. I am an A+ student in my schooling and I take all AP courses of Biology, World Cultures, English etc. These courses are also advanced placement 10th grade even though I am only in 8th. I am very respectful at home and I work my hardest to keep my health and grades up and, because of this, my parents spoil me without any consequences. Kids may have nice stuff but only if they work for it which is where I agree with you. I think that an allowance is great, but grades are equally important. Why would you get him whatever expensive shoes you got him because he works for money at home and is an athlete. What if he is a B-F grade student. There are other things to keep in mind when spoiling your kids.

  • Mark wrote:

    My son is 13 now and he want’s all the expensive brand’s. I mean Kevin Durant and Jordan’s shoes. I say I’ll get you some pumas to start off and at the end of the 2nd quarter, if the grades are good the brand’s are good ?. So yes some of them do deserve expensive shoes

  • Alejandro caballero wrote:

    Expensive shoes cost more because they are higher quality.
    I bought a pair of Nike lebron 9’s (170$+) three years ago and they have not creased, worn out, nor fact one of nike’s most expensive shoes, air foamposite one (250$+), has been known to last upwards of a decade whilst remaining in near perfect condition .