Sunday, June 12, 2011

Salt Water Sandals {the only pair of shoes your kids need this summer}

When we lived in London two years ago, I told my mom that I wanted a versatile pair of sandals for Ella that she could wear for both play and church. She suggested Salt Water Sandals. I remembered them from my youth, and she told me how they were cute, waterproof, and stood up to use and abuse so well that she could pass them from child to child and they still looked amazing.

She started a search, and when she found them, my student budget-minded self couldn't bear to spend the $40 on my 18 month-old who would quickly outgrow them. After Ella trashed 3 pairs of shoes that summer (and stayed in the same size- go figure), I really wished I would have listened to my mom sooner and invested in Salt Waters.

Salt Water sandals have become quite popular in recent years (Crewcuts even carried them this year), and they retail anywhere from $32-40 per pair.  They are specifically designed to be worn in and out of water (even salt water, hence the name), they are well worth the price, and if you don't believe me, read the reviews.

These are especially amazing for NYC, because nearly every playground here has a water feature. I don't have to worry about whether or not my kids will ruin their shoes as they run in between the playground, the sand box, and the water features. It's so nice!

Here are my tips for buying Salt Water sandals:
  • Buy used.  My mom started looking at thrift stores and would find Salt Waters for $5-10 dollars, and my sister and I soon started to find them on eBay for less than half the retail cost. I've never paid more than $15 (including shipping) for a pair of Salt Waters, and they wear beautifully. We've actually never owned a new pair. I'm not keen on buying used products, and Salt Waters are my only exception.  
  • Darker colors wear better.  If you insist on a light color for your little lady, my experience is that the light pink wears far better than the white sandal.
  • Think ahead:  Purchase unisex colors so that you can pass them down from child-to-child like my mom did.  My favorites are navy, brown, black, and red. All the shoes in these pictures are either on their second or third owner, and they still look fantastic (don't you agree? Guess I should have cleaned them and they would have looked even better!).  We have quite the collection these days, and counting all the girly colors that are in storage, we have 12 used pairs and they are all in excellent condition. They are just waiting for someone to grow into them :)
There are several options these days when it comes to the style and color of these sandals: the Classic, Surfer, Shark, Sweetheart, and the Classic and T-Strap for adults. 

Here are my most recent acquisitions, again, all for $15 or less through eBay (my personal best being the tiny size 2 "Surfer" style sandals for Jones that were $7.25 with shipping):

We are all set for this summer and next summer (if I guessed right with sizes), and I'm vacillating between buying the silver t-straps or black classics for myself.  Would you wear shoes that match your children? I'm not quite sure how I feel about that...


Lorrie said...

Lindsay scored a pair of navy blues at a yard sale last Saturday for 25 cents! And they look new! Fred Meyer in Portland also occasionally has them half price. Alas, FM doesn't carry them here in Boise. There's nothing I love more than cute little feet in Saltwater sandals!

Melanie said...

I am obsessed with salt water sandals as well!! My mom wore them and so did I!

However, I rarely find them for good deals on ebay and usually end up paying about $20 or for them.