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I don't think there's ever been a baby who's worn out his or her shoes before their feet grew too big to need a new pair. One way to get more use out of the shoes, especially those used only for special occasions like patent leather mary janes or wingtips, would be to make them expandable. A small dial set into the sole could be turned to make the shoes a little longer and wider as the child grew. This might encourage people who were standing on the fence because the cost/use equation didn't look too good to get off the fence and buy a pair. Shoe manufacturers would have to answer a tough economic question though - would the larger market offset the sales that were lost due to less shoes being bought?