Sandals limit our daughters ability to be in the world

Dear Target, Payless and other sellers of shoes,

As the mother of an active seven-almost-eight-year-old girl, I am asking you to please, please, please stop selling a zillion types of sandals for summer and only a limited types of actual shoes, especially sneakers.

Here is a what the Target girls shoes site looks like:

Note that there are *85* different types of sandals and only 15 different types of sneakers. Yet the best sellers include a boot, a sneaker and an active sandal/shoe. The Payless site looks to have the same representation of sandal versus real shoe. We stick to the lower end of shoes because well, when you have a girl who tears through shoes faster than her foot is growing out of them, you don't want to invest a lot of cash into shoes.But even at Nordstrom there are three times more sandals compared to athletic shoes. OK, some of their sandals are actually functional...

Over the last few years the different type of sandals for girls has escalated and it is maddening. Why? Because outside of a few sturdy sandal styles, like the one pictured above, you can't do much in a sandal. Oh, sure your feet might look cute in them, but ever tried climbing a ladder in sandals? Or running in a race? The summer is the one time of the year when kids should be able to be kids. Running around like crazy! How are our girls supposed to know how awesome their bodies are, can be if they are restricted by their footwear?

The kid knows I have one big rule about shoes: No flip flops to school. Why? Just in case they get outside (her school doesn't have a consistent recess schedule), I don't want her running around the playground in flip flops. I remember what that was like. And since we're in Chicago, you can't always count on the playground being glass shard-free.

Just as some believe that stilettos are backlash against women's progress, I believe the influx of sandals is a way to keep girls immobilized during the summer.

It's not a big conspiracy in the conventional way, but it is happening because "being pretty" has become more and more important to younger and younger girls. And while flip flops have a function, a lot of pretty sandals don't. I'm not saying being pretty shouldn't be a factor for girls. But by the shear number of sandals versus functional summer shoes leads me to believe that shoe makers think girls (or their parents) want them to be pretty versus active.

Then again, maybe all these girls in their pretty sandals will just end up like me. Discovering the joy of running barefoot in the grass when the sandals just don't keep up with my life.