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So, if your 13 year old boy is really into sports . . .


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is their entire Christmas list footwear?

We've always replaced sports equipment at Birthdays and Christmas, when my kid needs a new size.  But right now, my kid's feet are growing so fast that he says he needs new shoes for every sport he plays, plus a new pair of rollerblades.  

How long till their feet stop growing?  Which sports actually require specific shoes?  What shoes do your kids have? 

Edited by BaseballandHockey
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  • ... changed the title to So, if your 13 year old boy is really into sports . . .

My son is 14 and has been in the same size for a hear or so now.  His feet are as big as his dads so hopefully they don’t grow any more.  It gets expensive once you can only buy adult shoes for them.

Edited by Ausmumof3
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11 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

My son is 14 and has been in the same size for a hear or so now.  His feet are as big as his dads so hopefully they don’t grow any more.  It gets expensive once you can only buy adult shoes for them.

You give me hope.  He's in adult sizes, but we're needing to replace things every couple months.  So, their feet stop growing before the rest of them?  I can't imagine he's close to his adult height, but he looks like a St. Bernard Puppy with giant feet.  

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My kids have needed new shoes every season, and we buy sport specific shoes for every sport. We have emphasized that having correct gear is a part of showing up ready to play. We do not buy sports gear as gifts, unless it’s a sport they don’t competitively play. We view sports gear the same as school supplies  

My five kids have participated in dance team, volleyball, basketball, softball, baseball, football, and wrestling - all through our public schools. We generally have not been able to utilize hand me down shoes, due to sizes or genders not lining up.

I believe my 16yo will not need new wrestling shoes this year. This will be the first time he wears the same shoes for two seasons. My 14yo is still growing. He’s in a size 13, and the podiatrist said he’s not done yet. 

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Our ped told us once that feet and hands grow first and then stop, then limbs, then trunk last. Observing DS's growth (he's 19 now), it seemed accurate IME, same with all my nieces and nephews. DS feet stopped growing by about age 14 or 14.5 I think, and yes, his feet stopped growing before the rest of him.

Also, like PP, DS played lots of sports and we never saw the necessary equipment as gift-worthy, it was just part of being on the team/involved in the sport. (We don't give underwear or socks as gifts either, LOL. Those are just part of basic living requirements.) All the sports DS played required specific shoes (soccer cleats, golf shoes, basketball shoes, baseball cleats obviously different from soccer, wrestling is definitely different too, etc). If you're going to participate at the teen level, you need the proper equipment. OTOH, rollerblades would have been a fun gift at our house.

OP, what sports does your DS play?

Edited by TarynB
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I think DS's feet stopped growing pretty much the same time he did, around 17. Maybe he added another inch between 17 and 20, but his feet were done by 17. I was biting my nails waiting to see what his final shoe size would be, and I was SO relieved when he stopped at size 14, because beyond that we'd have to special order fencing shoes from Nike (and the off-the-shelf ones are $180/pair and he goes through at least 2 pairs a year, sometimes 3).

I did give him sports stuff as Christmas presents because (1) it's incredibly expensive (like $350 for a new jacket, $180 per blade, and he goes through at least 5-6 blades per year) and (2) he rarely asks for anything else, so at least it was something to put under the tree. Now that he's in college, the team supplies some of his equipment (although sadly not shoes), so other than a pair of wireless earbuds and some candy, I literally have nothing to put under the tree for him this year, and he says he doesn't want anything anyway. 🤷‍♀️

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We aren't usually able to give athletic shoes/gear for holidays because the timing and need rarely seem to align. Fall sports needs are too early for Christmas and spring replacements are too late for birthday. Lol. DS is a runner so he goes through multiple pairs of running shoes and two types of spikes most years. They are expensive, but not nearly as expensive as hockey gear when he played, or cycling equipment when he raced.

I think his feet stopped growing around 15? They are narrow so he wears women’s shoes—those were the golden years when I got to share and then inherit some of his shoes like winter boots. Lol. 

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We usually buy sports equipment (bats, gloves, gear bags, etc) at Christmas and get shoes as they are needed, waiting until the last minute in case there is a change, or as they are outgrown.  Like, we'd intend to get basketball shoes right before basketball season but sometimes we end up getting them in the summer if kid is going to a basketball camp.  As they get into high school, most sports seem to run at least 9 months a year so we get shoes are they are outgrown.  My kid's feet stayed a size 11 for over a year but suddenly we needed 12s in everything.  He's almost 6'1.  At 14, he could be done or he could have some more growing to do - it's hard to know.  

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8 hours ago, 2squared said:

My kids have needed new shoes every season, and we buy sport specific shoes for every sport. We have emphasized that having correct gear is a part of showing up ready to play. We do not buy sports gear as gifts, unless it’s a sport they don’t competitively play. We view sports gear the same as school supplies  

My five kids have participated in dance team, volleyball, basketball, softball, baseball, football, and wrestling - all through our public schools. We generally have not been able to utilize hand me down shoes, due to sizes or genders not lining up.

I believe my 16yo will not need new wrestling shoes this year. This will be the first time he wears the same shoes for two seasons. My 14yo is still growing. He’s in a size 13, and the podiatrist said he’s not done yet. 

I think one of my boys may have worn football cleats for a few baseball games one season, when we hadn’t gotten to a sports store before the season started. 

At 13yo, the social aspect of gear becomes important. Teammates and coaches know if you aren’t wearing the right shoes for the sport. If kids are still participating in a sport at 13yo, they are generally at a point where gear matters because the sport (and playing time) is competitive. The advantage of having the right gear + the appearance of coming ready to play are important. Having the appropriate shoes is a gear starting point.

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I commiserate, though my kids are girls.  For years I defaulted to the cheapest shoes that did the job, because the feet grew so fast, it didn't matter.  Once I ordered a pair of shoes and it was outgrown before it was delivered.  That was the turning point.  😛

For my bigfoot, the only expensive footwear I really had to buy was riding boots, and even then, I only bought the short boots.  I was able to buy a slightly bigger size and some cheap inserts that could be removed after she grew.  As an honor roll reward, I bought her a pair of "half chaps" which make short boots look like tall boots.  I will not buy the really expensive stuff she wants until I'm reasonably sure her feet have stopped growing.

I had to buy the following over the past couple years:

  • Soccer cleats
  • Riding boots
  • Marching band shoes
  • Cheer shoes [2 pairs because uniforms for 2 different sports]
  • Running shoes (I bought a cheap pair, that didn't work, so I bought an expensive pair, and then she quit the sport.  But that is for my older, smaller kid, so I think she can use them for years to come.)
  • Shoes for bumming around / public school [these tend to be gifts since they are a fashion statement at this age]
  • Dress shoes [cheap material because they don't get much use]
  • Gym shoes [again, cheap because they don't get much use]
  • Snow boots.

I never bought special shoes for volleyball or basketball, but some parents do.

Edited by SKL
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5 hours ago, MEmama said:

We aren't usually able to give athletic shoes/gear for holidays because the timing and need rarely seem to align. Fall sports needs are too early for Christmas and spring replacements are too late for birthday. Lol. DS is a runner so he goes through multiple pairs of running shoes and two types of spikes most years. They are expensive, but not nearly as expensive as hockey gear when he played, or cycling equipment when he raced.

I think his feet stopped growing around 15? They are narrow so he wears women’s shoes—those were the golden years when I got to share and then inherit some of his shoes like winter boots. Lol. 

Covid has sort of solved the issue of seasons, because my kids are only playing with each other and their cousins, but it's increased the number of sports, since they need to compromise so that every kid gets to practice their favorite sports.  

Usually, I tell my kids the basic level of sports participation I'll pay for, including gear.  So, for example, I'll pay for rec soccer in the fall, and cleats, but those cleats might be handed down from your brother, or come from the cleat exchange our rec league runs.  If you want to play select soccer in the spring, or shiny new cleats, then that's a gift. 

If the season starts before the holiday, you just get the gift early, and on Christmas, I remind them so they aren't surprised that they get fewer gifts.  If the season isn't starting yet, then you might get a gift certificate to go pick out shoes.  

This worked fine for us pre-covid and pre-growth spurt.  Now, it's kind of absurd, though, because nothing my kid got for the fall fits.  Between that, and the fact that he's playing all the sports (in the backyard) he seems to need replacements for everything.  

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36 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

Covid has sort of solved the issue of seasons, because my kids are only playing with each other and their cousins, but it's increased the number of sports, since they need to compromise so that every kid gets to practice their favorite sports.  

Usually, I tell my kids the basic level of sports participation I'll pay for, including gear.  So, for example, I'll pay for rec soccer in the fall, and cleats, but those cleats might be handed down from your brother, or come from the cleat exchange our rec league runs.  If you want to play select soccer in the spring, or shiny new cleats, then that's a gift. 

If the season starts before the holiday, you just get the gift early, and on Christmas, I remind them so they aren't surprised that they get fewer gifts.  If the season isn't starting yet, then you might get a gift certificate to go pick out shoes.  

This worked fine for us pre-covid and pre-growth spurt.  Now, it's kind of absurd, though, because nothing my kid got for the fall fits.  Between that, and the fact that he's playing all the sports (in the backyard) he seems to need replacements for everything.  

The gift certificate is a good idea! My DS loves practical gifts and would have been excited. 🙂 

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1 hour ago, MEmama said:

The gift certificate is a good idea! My DS loves practical gifts and would have been excited. 🙂 

It probably would seem like a better idea in other years.

Last year, my kid got new basketball shoes as a gift from my brother.  He opened them at Thanksgiving, because that's when we saw him, and by Christmas his brother's health had declined dramatically and we decided not to do indoor sports during flu season.  Then we planned that he'd still play baseball in the spring, since it was outdoors, and so he got a gift certificate for baseball cleats.  He wore them to one practice before covid cancelled the season.  

 

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We are a member of a local running store. When I say we are a member, we get discounts and such. They also collect shoes that are outgrown to give to a charity that gives shoes to people in need especially kids.

So lots of shoes especially this year. 

 

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I'm all about updating the sports gear as long as it keeps them active and we can make it happen. The years really do pass quickly though it seems like the updating is endless and financially painful at the time. I have short girls, so the growing was slower, but replacing competitive figure skates is $$$$$ Plus cross country ski equipment, running, dance gear, rock climbing. Oh my goodness, lol.

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