Mom Explains Why There Should Be No Boy or Girl Shoes and She's On Point

A Redditor initially thought she had made a mistake when she bought her son shoes with pink stitching and details—but quickly realized there's no such thing as boy shoes and girl shoes.

An image of kids shoes on a colorful background.
Photo: Getty Images.

Earlier this year, California legislators introduced a bill that would ban large department from putting toys and child care items into boys' and girls' sections. But even parents celebrating the scrapping of limiting gendered boundaries might "screw up" from time to time, as evidenced by a Reddit mom who recently wrote a post about girls' vs. boys' shoes.

The Redditor, writing under the handle u/winesarahtops, shared, "I screwed up. I wasn't paying attention and I bought these shoes for my son, almost 4. Girl shoes. I saw the owl on them and thought, 'Oh! He will love these!' My heart fell when I got them and noticed that they had pink stitching and pink details."

The original poster (OP) said she didn't even show her son the shoes, because she didn't want to admit that she screwed up. But he found them on his own, and as it turns out, "he LOVES them," according to the mom.

"He said they are as cozy as a blanket for his feet," noted the OP. "And he loves the owls."

She went on to share the realization she had after seeing her son's joy. "It was that moment that I realized that I am the one who has always preached that there is no such thing as girl toys and boy toys," wrote the Redditor. "Why should these be girl shoes? They shouldn't. And they aren't. Gendering our kids clothing and toys is absurd, and we should really do better at normalizing that."

The bottom line: "He should be allowed to wear his pink owl blanket shoes without anyone questioning it!"

Redditors applauded the mom's admission and offered similar experiences. u/shadiestwalnut shared, "My daughter and her male cousin swapped shoes because they liked the other pair better. She got a pair of Star Wars kicks, and he's rocking pink and purple iridescent Swoosh Nikes. They like what they like, let 'em have fun!"

u/NellyGnu observed, "My 3-year-old boy also looooves owls, and I've noticed that owls seem to have been deemed a 'girl' animal as more often than not. 'Owl' clothes have pink or flowers or other stereotypical feminine details. This despite the fact that owls are predators, and other predators like tigers and bears are usually on the 'boy' clothes. I wish the clothing manufacturers would just mix it up so you could easily find whatever your child's interested in."

And u/FiendishHawk noted that they had bought a nightdress displaying bacon and eggs on it for their daughter only to realize that it's rare to see meat on girls' clothes. "But my daughter loves every sort of meat! It's weird diet stereotyping," they wrote.

Here's hoping more conversations like these among parents will lead to normalizing clothes that come in array of colors, displaying a variety of designs, animals, foods, etc., for all kids. Because no one—least of all playful, creative children—should be limited from expressing what they like and who they are.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles