Lamb 1 has complained all summer when he was required to wear tennis shoes (not his sandals) that his shoes are too loose. Sometimes I would try to tighten the velcro, but he still complained.
On Monday, we went to the Cities and one stop I wanted to make was Stride Rite and get all the boys' feet measured. I have tried other stores including stores like Payless and department stores and some of the other few shoe stores we have in our area (and our area is defined in a 3 hour radius), but I have never found any place besides Stride Rite that can get measuring the Lambs' feet correct.
Our Lambs have a lot of shoes. We try to have one pair each of sandals, church shoes, tennis shoes, boots, and slippers for each Lamb. I want them to have shoes that are easy to put on for every day, but shoes with ties for church. Last fall we had a terrible time finding church shoes with ties for Lamb 2. Several stores told me that they didn't make those in smaller than size 12. We finally bought Lamb 1 and 2 church shoes on sale from Lands End. They had a terrible time getting them on each Sunday morning and they weren't that comfortable.
On Monday we had an excellent sales woman at Stride Rite. She explained that Lamb 1 had small feet for his age plus narrow feet. She recommended shoes that tied for him for all the time. So we're going to be working on learning to tie shoes.
They had brown shoes that tied in size 11 and size 13 for Lamb 1 and 2. They look really comfortable-like brown tennis shoes. Plus they were buy one get one half price so it wasn't so terrible like Stride Rite prices usually are! This style even went down to size 8 1/2 so it won't be long before Lamb 3 can also have a pair of these nice shoes.
I have to look at our stash of shoes to see if any are acceptable (not totally worn out) for Lamb 3 before we purchase shoes for him. The sales lady reminded me that children should not wear hand-me-down shoes. In our family, we hand down church shoes, but usually their tennis shoes are thrown out when they outgrow them-sometimes even before they outgrow them they need another pair. I can tell this is going to be a problem in our family because Lamb 1 has such narrow feet that he may not be able to pass down his church shoes to Lamb 2. We'll deal with that problem if it continues, but I was thrilled with our find after such problems last year.