The Invisible Shoe Protocol

My children seem to be allergic to shoes. They always break out in cases of the wiggles, squirms and stubbornness when I ask them to put their shoes on. So I sought advice. Both from friends and professionals. It turns out that the “shoe allergy” affects nearly every family in the US. Every parent is at wits end with this chronic condition. So I did some deeper research. Here are my findings.

The shoe allergy is compounded by any of the following conditions:

  • Tiredness (of either parent or child)
  • Tardiness (the later you are, the worse the breakout)
  • Doors (the closer the child is to a door, the worse the symptoms)
  • Extreme Weather (the squirms positively correlate with the necessity of footware)
  • Length of the “To Do” List (the busier you are, the worse the outbreak)

Parents seem to have their own shoe allergy symptoms. The condition may range from a mild irritation to a full-blown sobbing breakdown. If the following conditions persist, you may need intervention:

  • Flushed Face (rising from the neck to the cheeks)
  • Throbbing Veins (usually bulging from the forehead)
  • Deep Breathing (in through the nose, out through the mouth)
  • Occasional Chanting (“It’ll be okay. It’ll be okay.”)
  • Yelling-Induced Shame (severe cases only)

Post-research, I began to lose hope. I thought there might be no cure for the shoe allergy. That is when a friend told me about the invisible shoe protocol. It changed my life. There is an alternative to asking my son repetitively to put on his shoes, loosing patience, giving up and doing it myself despite protests, flailing and intermittent bouts of giggling and crying. It’s simple. All you have to do is institute the three-step invisible shoes protocol.


Step 1: Ask them one of the following questions:

“How did you turn your shoes invisible?”

“Can you please take off your invisible shoes?”

“Did you wear your invisible shoes all night long?”

“Do you think your friends will be jealous of your invisible shoes?”

“I don’t remember buying invisible shoes. How did you get those amazing invisible shoes?”

“Do you have a license for those invisible shoes?”

“Don’t you have to be secret agent to have invisible shoes like those?”


Step 2: Listen to whatever silly answer they have.

I know it seems like this will waste time, but in the end it will save you every morning, afternoon and night.


Step 3: State one of the following:

“You don’t want to get your invisible shoes muddy. They won’t be invisible any more.”

“They don’t allow invisible shoes at [school, the park, anywhere other than home].”

“Invisible shoes don’t work in the cold.” (or heat)

“Invisible shoes don’t work in the rain.”

“You don’t want to loose your invisible shoes. Let’s take those off.”

“You shouldn’t let anyone know about your super-spy shoes.“


With these three steps, most cases see a remarkable decline in “shoe allergy” symptoms. Repeat this protocol over and over. Be sure to change it up. Don’t just use the same question or statement again and again. If you do, the inoculating effect of the invisible shoe protocol diminishes.

We’d love to hear alternative treatments for the shoe allergy. If you have a useful treatment, please reach out.

- Kristin Lawrence


About Kristin: Kristin founded Science Galaxy - Boulder’s Innovator’s PlaySpace. She’s a scientist, mother of two, and entrepreneur. At tactac, we love Kristin because she's always willing to give great advice.