Teens Speak Out on Footwear

Young shoppers sound off on the down economy, how their spending habits have changed and their favorite brands and stores.

Kylee Chapa, 14
Payson, Utah

>>On her shopping habits:
“I go shopping with friends at the mall and I’ll usually buy one or two things. I spend around $20 to $50 at a time on clothes, jewelry and shoes. I like JCPenney, Aeropostale, Mervyns and Macy’s. I like Converse and lots of different kinds of boots, like Uggs.”

>>On her allowance:
“Each month I get an allowance from my mom of about $50 to $60 so I can get my own things.”

>>On feeling the pinch:
“I have to look for deals, and since I don’t get that much money, I try to get more out of it. A lot of my income came from babysitting, and now I’m not getting as many jobs because people don’t want to pay for a babysitter.”

Theresa DeLuca, 17
Sparta, N.J.

>>On splurging and saving:
“I usually save up for a bag or shoes once a year. This year, I bought a tote bag from Longchamp. I do like Ugg boots, and for flats I usually go for Steve Madden and Nine West. I buy from Zappos.com, Nordstrom’s shoe department and Lord & Taylor. I also really like to go to Marshalls and TJ Maxx because they are already on sale. My mom buys me a few pairs of shoes each season, but she says that this year it will be less. I will continue to save for big purchases, but they are probably going to be a little cheaper.”

Russell Toub, 16
Boyertown, Pa.

>>On how he spends his money:
“I work part-time at Giant, a grocery store. I spend a lot of my money at the movies and the mall. My favorites stores are American Eagle and PacSun. ”

>>On feeling immune:
“I am shopping about the same as I always have. There are a lot of discounts, but I’m not really [hunting for them]. The economy is not a big deal to me right now. It may be later on down the road, but not right now.”

Gabriela Ortiz, 17
Medfield, Mass.

>>On her sources of income:
“I get gift cards, usually for J.Crew, Banana Republic or American Eagle. I tend to spend them in the spring or summer. I also work at the nursing home in my town, running activities for the residents. Lately, my mom hasn’t given me money the way she used to. When I go out with friends, she first asks me if I have my own money.”

>>On her shoe wardrobe:
“I have about four pairs of shoes in rotation: Converse, black flats, Ugg moccasins and flip-flops. I don’t generally buy new shoes unless I need to replace them. Then I’ll go to the mall or Marshalls.”

Edward Meyercord, 13
Princeton, N.J.

>>On parental buying:
“I am not a big shopper. I usually get new sneakers twice a year. My mom lets me pick the shoes out, but she does have a little input.”

>>On economic awareness:
“I am aware of what’s going on, but personally, I am not as affected. I don’t want to ask my parents for a lot of stuff [right now].”

Ned Harvey, 17
Haverhill, Mass.

>>On must-have items:
“I always get new sneakers for school in the fall, and I buy running shoes for track at the beginning of every season: fall, winter and spring. I usually go to Whirlaway, a sports specialty store. I usually look at the clearance table first to see if I can save money, but I’ll still pay full price because I don’t buy a lot each year.”

>>On other expenses:
“Gas prices were a big factor last summer, but now that it’s cheaper, I can spend more on other things.”

>>On hanging out at the mall:
“My friends and I still go to the mall sometimes, but hanging out there was more of a middle school thing.”

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