Shoes that helped my daughter open up around new people

I attended my first JBF sale (that's Just Between Friends if you don't know out about them yet) last September. I had a list of a few things I was looking for, but I also didn't know what to expect. It was impressively organized and made shopping less overwhelming. 

The first pair
I stopped to check out some shoes and found these funky shoes that had flowers, peace signs, and sparkly studs on them. I thought they were great so I tried them on my daughter's feet in her stroller. As she was kicking her feet around checking them out, I noticed a twinkling. Then I realized the shoes were lighting up and I decided "That's it! We HAVE to get these shoes!"

Since the JBF sale is a huge consignment-style co-op sale of hundreds of moms' items, the prices are all way below retail since most items are previously loved (there are some things that are new in the package or have the original tags attached, but they cost a little more). Anyway, I was able to pick up the adorable shoes for only $12 and they were in really good shape! (Skechers Twinkle Toes shoes are a bit pricey when you think about how quickly toddlers grow out of their shoes!)

When we got home that night, my daughter was really excited to try the shoes on and stomp around in the living room making them light up. She wore them to daycare the next week and it actually made the morning drop off go a little easier. 

I asked her to show her teacher what her new shoes could do. She excitedly ran over to the teacher and started stomping her feet on the floor to make her shoes light up. She had a big smile on her face as her teacher and the other kids checked out her new shoes. 

The benefits
The excitement about her new shoes continued on long after the first time she wore them to daycare. She wore them when we went to visit her daddy while he was working at a bar/restaurant. Each time we go there, people come over and say Hi to her. She always acts shy and will either hide her face or lean over and grab onto my arm.

When she has the sparkly shoes on, she seems more confident and outgoing. When people comment on her shoes, her face lights up and they get to see the sweet, happy, friendly girl that I get to see all the time when we're alone.

She's also worn her Twinkle Toes shoes to different family events where she had to meet a bunch of new people (to be honest, I don't even remember everyone's name), and the result is always the same: smiley happy girl instead of super shy girl who hides her face or clings to me. Don't get me wrong, she still stays close by and wants to make sure she knows where I am, but she's a lot more open to talking/smiling at new people.

The sad day
The day I realized my daughter's feet had grown again and her sparkly shoes wouldn't fit anymore was a sad day. I snuck downstairs with the shoes (shown above) and added them to a bag of clothes she'd outgrown. I didn't want her to see me taking the shoes away because I knew she'd be upset. She'd worn those shoes so many times, I'd definitely gotten my $12 out of them, but I was still sad to know she couldn't wear them anymore.

There were a few times where she'd have other shoes on and stomp on the floor asking me, "Shoes light up?" and I'd have to tell her, "No, sweetie, those shoes don't light up." It never caused a tantrum, but I could tell she missed her light up shoes. I decided to keep an eye out for another pair.

I mentioned it to my mother-in-law and she told me she'd seen some Twinkle Toes shoes the week before at Nordstrom Rack. That Friday when I got home from work, I headed to the Mall of America with my daughter in search of some new shoes!

The new pair
We headed to MOA with our stroller (side note: if you have a stroller, park on the 4th level of the ramp so you can just take the skyway and avoid stairs or taking the elevator down to street level). We headed to Nordstrom Rack and I was happily surprised to see they still had some of the Twinkle Toes shoes in stock.

We chose a really cool pair that were black, pink and silver with stars on the side. I was also really excited because the new shoes had Velcro straps on them, so they'll be easy to put on and take off, and hopefully my daughter will be able to put them on herself eventually. 

So far, she's been struggling a bit to keep the shoe tongue where it's supposed to be when she sticks her little foot into the shoe. She doesn't have any problems taking them off — especially when we're in the car and only 5 minutes away from our destination!

Since we bought the new shoes from a retail store, I ended up paying just under $30 for them, but I know we'll get my money's worth out of them. I bought a size larger than my daughter is in right now because the Velcro helps make them tight enough to wear and it'll extend the length of time she'll be able to wear them.

If you're interested in either of the shoe styles we've had, I have links to them on Amazon in the Resources bar at the top of the page. I also have links to the main Skechers page showing all of their current styles (at the current retail prices — yikes) as well as a link for the JBF sale.

If you also have a shy child, I hope finding some fun shoes like these will help your little one to open up around new people like they did for mine. Until my next post... keep those sparkling personalities showing!

This blog is truthful and based on personal experience with the products or items mentioned. It doesn't have sponsors, and no one paid to receive positive reviews of their products. All of the links provided are for your convenience and are not "affiliate links" — Valerie doesn't receive payment or kickbacks if people purchase products based on her recommendations.

Valerie Moe is the Senior Graphic Designer for Minnesota Parent magazine. She lives in Bloomington with her husband and their 2-year-old daughter. You can comment below or contact her directly here.