Small-Kid-Time Shoes

My small kid time shoes were a pair of black Buster Browns.




It was probably handed down three times when it finally reached me.  Sure, they weren’t hard and stiff like new shoes.  Nope, they were all broken-in by the time I got them.  Only thing was – they were broken-in to three different pairs of feet!


Back in small-kid-time, we hardly ever wore shoes.  Maybe to a funeral, or fancy wedding, or church service.  Otherwise it was slippers if anything.  Most times was just bare-feet.  Unlike today’s kids who wear athletic shoes everywhere from school, to the mall, to hanging out with friends.


Try thinking back to your elementary school days – what kind of shoes did you own?  Think about those excursion days when shoes were required.  What did you wear back then?

31 Responses to “Small-Kid-Time Shoes”

  1. Mark Shelby says:


    Ya! That was really cool! It even made the local news here in San Diego!

  2. Mark'75 says:

    Little late for the graduation topic, but wow, you’ve got to see this:

  3. Mark Shelby says:

    Here’s to no shoes!
    Kenny Chesney – No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems

  4. Mark Shelby says:

    Somebody above mentioned stink feet shoes…..

    Yup, had to deal wit dat at times, but not very many thankfully!

    I actually used to wash my tennis shoes, and then just air dry so they would not shrink.

    That’s when I discovered foot powder for your feet. Or then later on, da foot spray for your shoes.

    What a chore! It was always very hard for me to wear shoes in Hawaii. ‘Cause was always way too hot!

  5. 4G says:

    I dunno – nothing much comes to me about small kid time shoes. 🙁

    IIRC, most of the shoes back then came from Sears. My dad worked part-time there selling shoes. Was mostly stereotypical dress/casual shoes – one black, one brown. Was lace shoes, IIRC. I don’t like lace (dress/casual) shoes today.

    Was never allowed Beatle boots, nor taps. 🙁

    I think we had a dress code through intermediate school that mandated shoes. In high school, there was not much of a dress code.

    I remember from like intermediate school, a couple of years (two sets of shoes) of Hush Puppies. Meh, they not really all that comfortable . . . . LOL.

    Between then and high school, I seem to recall “Desert Boots” – is that the same as the “Chukka Boots” alluded to in other posts? Anyway, those were pretty comfortable.

    I think for “tennis shoes”, as they were referred to back then, was mostly Keds. Never owned a pair of Converse – those were supposed to be the shoe for basketball back then. Yeah, never had a pair even though I loved to play basketball. LOL.

    But, the all time great shoe, in my opinion, is the Cowboy Boot. Them guys is comfortable! I never owned a pair myself – I used to borrow my dad’s back in high school/college days. Hard to store, though, yeah? 😉

  6. dihudfan says:

    @hemajang… wuz hud to keep the white part, white… 24″ drapes with comb pocket… my friends mom sowed all my pants…

  7. hemajang says:

    I don’t remember wearing shoes in elementary school, think wore slippahs most of the time. In intermediate wore oxfords, the black and white shoes that I meticulously polished. It was the style then and wore 24″ drapes and 3/4 sleeve shirts form Shige Tailor or Arakawa’s in Waipahu.

  8. adobo says:

    Forgot all about hand me downs, for sure the best deals price wise. I would put em away if was too big then pull em out later and I out grew them, lose money haha. Yeah, I always wondered how some of those guys scored the choice retail jobs. Friends, connections? Don’t get me wrong though, my friend was a real cool guy but that didn’t mean all of the sales staff he worked with were best buds. I worked with an IT guy who would always turn away when he asked you to reset your password. He ensured you had that privacy. Professional courtesy, some have it, others no clue. I can observe what you’re observing. Same with retail sales, you got the shady ones. You have a choice to do the right thing. But back to elementary days, it would only be for special occasions, even then I couldn’t wait to take them off. I don’t think any of us liked to wear shoes. Could that be the reason my slippers always disappear when I was at friends house or at party’s? I go home with 2 different sizes and different color, sometimes not even 1 left 1 right side.

  9. Seawalker says:

    Think this was either 5th or 6th grade. Relatives gave us some hand-me-down sho(e)s to wear. It was dress shoes. But shoots, it was adult sizes. Think we were told to stuff kleenex in the shoes to make it fit. Used to get some mean stares going to school. But all good now…

  10. Seawalker says:

    @adobo – Used to know these couple of creeps who sold women shoes at LH. They used to tell me the stories of these women who would wear mini skirts and ask to try on sho(e)s. Yeah, right. Lucky them, but still can’t figure out how they ended up in that department.

  11. Seawalker says:

    Think we locals get them luau feet from the rubbah slippers we wear. Get this. You know you local when you get one puka in-between the big toe and your index toe. You also know you one local when your feet matches the color of your legs instead of your buns. The sun makes tan lines from the slipper straps on your feet, just like a bikini. One caveat. The last toe stay bent from all the slipper action. Reminds me of a pick-up line at the nightclubs. “Seawalker, you sure got big hands and feet.” “Well, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad, eh?” Maybe that’s why some of us could never score in the nightclubs and end up at Zippy’s sulking. 😯

  12. adobo says:

    @Seawalker, yup back then it was all about looking in the big glass window display at the front of the store. Didn’t make a difference if it was Ala Mo, a mall, or neighborhood shoe store. You always check the glass window first then decide if you going in. Btw, back then you could make decent money selling shoes. 2 guys I knew, 1 sold shoes at LH during HS and just past graduation, the other entered carpenter apprentice, the guy selling shoes part time made as much or more than the carpenter. But he always said you gotta be prepared for when the old shoes come off, no bend over or get to close. Bumbai you learn!

  13. adobo says:

    @Mark’75, yup small kid time Thom Mcan was always a stop when had to buy shoes. Liberty House was high dollar so sometimes Sears and Pennys. Robin’s and Kim Chow was same owner but if you see same shoe at Kim Chow would be cheaper so buy from there. Back then hardly had wide shoes, go figga when we most all locals get wide feet! Now go Amazon or Zappos and check the 3E and 4E boxes, so easy. My older cousin had beatle boots, was so cool until you wore them for couple hrs. Chukka’s was cool too and comfortable. Seen a co-worker wearing them back when they were making a come back, whoa where you got those?

  14. dihudfan says:

    only remembah going to downtown Liberty House, small kid time… black and white oxfords, french toe to Beattle boots…

  15. Mark Shelby says:


    Thank you for shopping Wigwam! ; )

  16. Mark'75 says:

    @Seawalker: I could’ve used that contraption to stretch out my Beatle boots! 😆

  17. M says:

    I think I was barefoot in every class pictures from K-6 grade.

  18. losthawaiian says:

    I did wear baseball shoes in little league. I remember going to practice without my shoes and your Dad asked me to catch. That lasted only a couple of batters until I took a foul ball off my foot. No mo’ catching for me, ever!

  19. losthawaiian says:

    I think I had wannabe Ked”s from Wigwam. Then I got a pair of Converse basketball shoes in high school. I really don’t remember wearing any shoes until intermediate school???

  20. Mark Shelby says:

    I mostly went barefoot or rubber slippahs. In third grade at Manoa Elementary I remember going barefoot to school. Shorts, aloha shirt and barefoot. Coming from cold and raining Seattle this was a boys dream!

    But I remember loving my PF Flyers and Keds tennis shoes.

    PF Flyers made you run faster and jump higher you know! ; )

    Remember this PF Flyer TV commercial?

    Mom bought me dress shoes for church but I don’t remember what brand. But when I became a teen, I even wore slippers to church.

  21. Seawalker says:

    Kim Chow on Fort Street Mall was where we went to buy shoes. Somehow we always had the skinny Chinese man help us. Then on occasion, the Japanee man or haole-looking woman would help us too. I remember going to the windows to look at the different styles. As usual, the pair that we wanted was always substituted for a different pair. Probably because of the price. Our luau feeties were always a problem. So they had this contraption to stretch the shoes for the width. That was once a year before school started that we made the trek to downtown. It must’ve cost my parents a fortune. But they never complained. I always remembered this. So nowadays instead of buying a new pair of shoes, I always re-sole my existing pair. The creases on my shoes don’t bother me. That is until the leather starts smelling like pork harm har, duck eggs, and scallop soup all wrapped up together. That’s when I get told to get a new pair. 😉

  22. NKHEA says:

    Howzit UR,

    Beatle Boots

  23. Hbh says:

    I just remember wearing slippahs in Oahu from the real cheap to nice ones for dress up. But yeah either slippahs or barefeet was the norm. But i imagine in High School etc one wore tennis shoes if they played sports.

  24. M says:

    Good morning MLCers!
    I remember wearing black Ked’s high top sneakers

  25. Mark'75 says:

    Seventh grade was the last year Kaimuki Intermediate had a dress code and had to wear shoes. Mostly everyone, including me, wore tan colored suede chukka boots.

  26. Mark'75 says:

    I think my first sneakers were Converse. Took a while to break them in and always got blisters at first, but after that, they were the most comfortable shoes I had.

    More often than not, though, elementary school time was either rubber slippers or barefoot.

  27. Mark'75 says:

    I can recall having Hush Puppies from Thom McAn.

  28. 4G says:

    LOL – no purgatory for shoes! 😉

  29. Sally says:

    First thing in my mind is a pic of my cousin and me in front of my uncle’s ’56 Chevy all dressed up, including lace-trimmed socks and black patent leather (no way it was actual leather!) $h0es.

    My dislike for dressing up goes wayyyy back. I have the most unhappy face in that pic! LOL

  30. Sally says:

    Rod… did you take into consideration that most comments will be sent to purgatory for $h0es? LOL or did you disable it?

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