This year is a different story. We got yellow Commander Cody shoes for the boys. Fairly rapidly, it became apparent that Q-ster's shoes had a manufacturing defect, so the store took them back and exchanged them for another pair at no charge. And then two months after that, those tore along a seam, so I brought those back also. They had the blue Captain Rex shoes in Q-ster's size, so I brought those home. Two months later, look at them:
Three big holes in the material. That's three pairs of wrecked shoes in six months. While I believe that little boys can go hard on shoes, this is crazy. The previous pair lasted twelve months - no holes, no broken seams, no protruding wires.
Buster shoes developed torn seams as well (lower shoe, towards the toe,) but since it took six months, I went ahead and just paid for new ones. I was feeling uneasy about returning to the same store with yet another problem. Did Stride Rite change suppliers? Did their quality standards go way down?
Q-ster asked for lace-up shoes anyway, so I got him a new pair of sneakers by a different brand. We'll see how they turn out.