Children’s Shoes Recalled WHY?!?

Shoe (danger) fetishists at work. THIS is the nefarious footwear in question.


Readers — Please first take a guess as to why the Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled these shoes last week. Then, read the real rationale. (Boldface mine.) 

Recall Date: February 20, 2014

Eastman Footwear Recalls Coleman Runestone Children’s Shoes Due to Laceration Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Consumers should stop using this product unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Hazard: The metal rivets surrounding the holes where the shoestring is secured on the shoes can have sharp edges, posing a laceration hazard.

Units: About 12,200

Description: The Runestone children’s shoes are black with gray mesh fabric panels on the side of the shoe with a green “Coleman” logo name and lantern graphic on the tongue. The black shoestrings on the shoes are threaded through green fabric tabs on the top of the shoe. 

Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received one report of an adult who scratched or cut his finger. No medical attention was required.

Lenore here: So, I just got back from Mexico where, one night,  I was on a bus where the bus driver’s 4-year-old son was hanging onto the back of his daddy’s seat. No seatebelt, no carseat — nothing. This is not to recommend unbuckled 4-year-olds. I believe in carseats and seatbelts. It’s just to remind us that our standards for safety are already so above and beyond much of the world’s, it feels like we have no place to go but off into the stratosphere of psychedelic uber-safety, where we hallucinate dangers and then dream up elaborate procedures to defuse them.  

An adult maybe scratched his finger?

If that’s all it takes to turn a shoe into a hazard, what ISN’T hazardous? – L. 

, , , , , , , , , ,

54 Responses to Children’s Shoes Recalled WHY?!?

  1. derpdedoo February 26, 2014 at 10:05 am #

    I can’t begin to beleive that this shoe is now illegal! You can go to jail if you try to sell this shoe! A SHOE!

    You have to imagine the cost to Coleman/Eastman Footwear caused by an adult scratching their finger on a rivet on a child’s shoe (why was the adult handling a child’s shoe…). I suppose the truth is the potential for lawsuits would be a greater cost than recalling this shoe.

    To paraphrase Fight Club:

    Narrator: A new shoe built by my company is placed on the foot of a child, and tied by their parent because the child cannot be trusted to do this on her own. The parent sustains a scratch on their finger from the edge of a rivet. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of shoes in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of scratches, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don’t do one.
    Business woman on plane: Are there a lot of these kinds of accidents?
    Narrator: There has been one.
    Business woman on plane: Which shoe company do you work for?
    Narrator: Eastman Footwear

    Obviously in this case, X is more than the cost of a recall.

  2. Gina February 26, 2014 at 10:33 am #

    I wish I could have heard the actual conversation this “adult” had with the shoe company.

    Shoe company: Hello, Coleman Footwear, how may I help you?
    “Adult”: I scratched my finger on your shoe.
    SC: Well, sir, how can I help you. Do you need an ambulance? Shall I call 911?
    A: No, it’s just a scratch, not even bleeding…
    SC: So how can I help you sir?
    A: I want all of your shoes recalled immediately and I want the sale of them to be a felony.

    I tripped over my own feet on a sidewalk last month. I demand all sidewalks and feet be recalled immediately.

  3. Nanci February 26, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    Funny you should mention the car seat thing. Just this morning I’ve been following a story on fb of a girl I went to high school with. She woke up this morning to find that her 4 year old daughter’s father accidentally took the car seat with him. She writes about how she is stranded at home and needs help from someone. She ask to borrow a seat so she can get her daughter to daycare and get to work. When no one is close enough to help she post that she is going to bundle her daughter up and they are going to walk to a store to buy a new one. The temperature is in the teens here! I decide to comment even though I don’t know her well. I say just buckle her up in the backseat of the car and drive to the store, it’s not ideal, but better than walking in the freezing cold! Actually I personally would have just buckled her up and driven her to daycare and gotten her original seat back this afternoon, instead of buying a new one, but I somehow knew that suggestion was going to go nowhere. We have these safety ideas so ingrained in our heads that we can’t do this and shouldn’t do that that we can’t even think logically anymore when a “crisis” emerges.

  4. Ben February 26, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    If you want something really dangerous to recall. Get rid of cutlery. Knifes and forks are dangerous!

  5. SKL February 26, 2014 at 10:49 am #

    I can see not wanting kids to be cut with a sharp edge on a shoe. But do we know that they are all sharp, or was there just one defective piece?

    I see nothing wrong with a manufacturer recalling a product that had faulty design or workmanship. I expect my kids to be able to put on their shoes without getting cut. Seems reasonable to me.

    But what they should be telling consumers to do is: check the shoes. See if there are sharp edges. If there are, take them back for a refund. If not, enjoy your shoes.

  6. SKL February 26, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    Re Nanci’s car seat comment. I have been in the situation of being separated from my kids’ car seats for whatever reason. I try not to, but it happens, and when it does, we *shhhh* There is not THAT big of a difference between a seat belt and a car seat (assuming the child is able to sit up). And, most of the car trips we take do NOT end in collisions.

  7. pentamom February 26, 2014 at 10:55 am #

    I was almost right. I looked and thought, “What tiny piece could come off that someone could deem a choking hazard?”

    But “laceration hazard” takes it to a a new level. The worst thing I could imagine happening, assuming those things aren’t deliberately sharpened to a cutting edge, is a 1/4″ cut that doesn’t go into the second layer of skin. And that would take a pretty freaky set of circumstances.

  8. lollipoplover February 26, 2014 at 11:01 am #

    If they recall a kid’s sneaker because an adult cutting their finger and needing a bandaid (I guess no one kissed that boo-boo), the existence of Ice Skates might entirely blow their mind.

  9. Ann in L.A. February 26, 2014 at 11:24 am #

    WinterFun Inc. announces a recall on their entire line of “ice skates”. Turns out the metal blades are sharp!

  10. QuicoT February 26, 2014 at 11:26 am #


  11. Sarah in WA February 26, 2014 at 11:28 am #

    Some companies are so afraid of lawsuits that they’ll voluntarily recall anything for any reason. Other companies are so concerned about their bottom line that they won’t recall anything, at least not voluntarily. It’s all about how the company chooses to handle it.

    There have some genuinely dangerous products that companies refuse to recall. So how effective are recalls really? It just means that the consumer has to decide whether the item is worth returning or not. Parents have to decide if the product is actually a danger to their children. Relying on the recalls alone doesn’t really provide a solution that actually makes any sense. Use your brain, not the recall system! 😉

  12. SOA February 26, 2014 at 11:29 am #

    If it was just a little scratch then way overkill to recall it. I am surprised the person felt the need to even contact the company or the organization about a cut.

  13. SOA February 26, 2014 at 11:32 am #

    What SKL said. I can see being like “Hey check the shoes and if they look messed up, we will get you new ones”. But the whole Oh you must trash them and pull them off shelves and blah blah is overkill. This type of stuff is killing the children’s resale consignment sales and stores business. Because they are now in many states required to check every item sold for it on the recall list and no place has the time to do that for short week long or day long sales with thousands of merchandise coming in.

  14. SOA February 26, 2014 at 11:34 am #

    Nanci: With the car seat thing, you have to worry about if you happened to get pulled over because they will ticket you if you do not have your child properly restrained and call CPS. So not something I would want to risk just on that alone.

  15. Steve February 26, 2014 at 11:34 am #

    How to escape this kind of mess…

    The shoe company with great fanfare should launch a new line of “HIGH RISK ACTION SHOES”…for Those Who Dare to Wear Them.”

    The commercials should be over-the-top stupid, funny, and serious.

    But the disclaimer should in fact include harm and death as a possible consequence of having any kind of contact with these shoes. The commercial should swing back and forth from silly to serious — someone saying, “Will these shoes really harm or kill people, and other people laughing and talking about the idiocy of the wording of silly disclaimers every product has today. An official spokesman enters the picture to remind everyone that even though 99 percent of the people who come in contact with these shoes will have fun and enjoy them, “as we all know, there will be some people who will discover a way to harm or kill themselves or others by wearing these shoes. So be warned, because you might join the small number of people who harm or kill themselves by falling our to bed or getting hit by falling coconuts.”

  16. Sara February 26, 2014 at 11:37 am #

    Huh. And here I thought it would be the laces because somebody could potentially strangle themselves with them.

    But that would ‘ve made a bit of sense so it couldn’t be that.

  17. BL February 26, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    All shoes should be recalled. After all, the wearer could kick somebody using them.

    Much too dangerous.

  18. BL February 26, 2014 at 11:55 am #

    “If you want something really dangerous to recall. Get rid of cutlery. Knifes and forks are dangerous!”

    You know, recently at my place of employment we got an updated employee manual that forbids “knives with blades over 4 inches” (my pocket knife’s longest blade is 2.75 inches).

    Recently I looked in the silverware drawers of our break room and thought, “hmmmmmmm …..”

  19. Dan February 26, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

    As a rule, the (first/western) world needs to HTFU. I wish everything else in my life was going as well as this person’s, that the only thing I had to worry about was what to do about the scratch. /facepalm/

  20. Gina February 26, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

    RE: Car seats
    I respectfully but completely disagree. A child must be in a carseat. There is a HUGE difference between an adult seatbelt and a safety seat. You may be the safest driver on earth, but if somebody rear-ends you and your child is not properly restrained, s/he can be injured by the seatbelt itself, not to mention that s/he may be thrown from the seat and into you or another person in the car.

  21. Kristi February 26, 2014 at 12:29 pm #

    Anyone ever have a paper cut? Boy, those things hurt and sometimes even bleed and require a band-aid!

  22. Con February 26, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

    Wow, its amazing children are still allowed to even have lace up shoes anymore, laces seem dangerous

  23. SKL February 26, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

    Gina, so you would not drive anywhere under any circumstance unless your kid had a car seat? (PS, I am a single mom, so that would mean I don’t go anywhere either. Does that change your answer?)

    I’ve probably done it about a dozen times in the past 6 years. Usually it involved a cab ride or a free ride from someone taking us to the airport or whatever. And traveling in developing countries, where you are lucky to see a seat belt, let alone a car seat. Once it was because my sister had forgotten and driven away with our car seats – and she lives about 1.5 hours away. The kids still had to go to school the next day. It isn’t ideal, but the risk of harm is extremely low with or without a car seat.

  24. Katie February 26, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

    What’s amusing is that this little rivet causes a shoe to be recalled, but the very dangerous plastic packaging that most toys come in isn’t going anywhere. Seriously, how many people have cut themselves trying to get a product out of the sharp plastic packaging, thousands? And this one rivet gets the shoe taken off the shelves.

  25. J.T. Wenting February 26, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

    shoes are a major cause of fallen arches and other foot injuries.
    They’ve also been associated with lower and upper back problems.
    Best ban shoes altogether.
    Just about the only time you need them is to prevent frostbite or burning in extreme weather…

  26. kate February 26, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    How about if each of us call the companies that make the stupid plastic packaging call to complain about “lacerations” caused by trying to open the darn things. This packaging should be banned!

  27. Warren February 26, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

    We watched a movie last nite, that had an attempt on the President’s life. We laughed and thought that should a canadian ever want to do it, just send the President a Kinder Surpise.

  28. lollipoplover February 26, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

    Anyone who has ever lovingly groomed and adorably dressed an infant for a photography appointment, only to discover that her little Edward Scissorhands has sliced up her perfect little face with infant finger nails. Baby nails cause lacerations all over their precious little faces. (And yes, I bought the pictures.) Best we bound their fingers at birth or require mittens.

  29. Donna February 26, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

    “There is a HUGE difference between an adult seatbelt and a safety seat.”

    No there isn’t. Read Super Freakonomics. They actually did the testing and found, that for children over the age of 2, there was ZERO difference in “injury or death” in dummy crash tests between children (well dummy children) in a regular seat belt and children in a car seat.

    It was a very controversial test. They couldn’t even get test dummy places to let them do it at first. The places were so sure that their million dollar dummies would be completely destroyed. They finally convinced one to let them do it but only once the signed a contract agreeing to replace the test dummy when it was destroyed. Even the owner of the crash test site was astounded by the results.

  30. Earth.W February 26, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

    That’s nuth’n. You should see the harm the soles can do to them little kiddy ants.

  31. Papilio February 26, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

    “And here I thought it would be the laces because somebody could potentially strangle themselves with them.”
    Yes, I thought all the imaginary younger siblings of the shoewearers would string themselves up with the shoelaces. But no….

    Are there no metal files in the USA?

  32. SOA February 26, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    OMG Kate yes! I actually would support banning that packaging. I have had a bad enough laceration from blister packs that if it was a little over it would have slit my wrists. Those things are LETHAL!

  33. SKL February 26, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

    Once my daughter put on a new garment and realized it still had a tag on it. I got a scissor and cut off the tag. I accidentally nicked my daughter’s skin with the scissors. Ban tags! Ban scissors!

    FTR, my daughter remains alive and well. Still deciding whether she needs counseling for the trauma, though.

  34. Hels February 26, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

    Don’t you know all shoes are inherently dangerous? After all, vast majority of people who have died in the last 20 years in the United States habitually wore shoes!

  35. Stephanie February 26, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

    Eep! My son has those shoes! I’d better haul him home from school to protect him from a possible laceration. He doesn’t have any other school appropriate shoes, so I guess he’ll have to stay home until we find him a new pair. /sarcasm

    Seriously, he loves those shoes. He’s pretty hard on his shoes, and his previous pair of them lasted well. I’m sure not dumping this pair until they’re ready for the trash because he has worn through the soles or has completely outgrown them. I’m not completely sure it’s the exact pair we have, but it sure looks like them, and I know his say Coleman on them.

  36. anonymous this time February 26, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

    I guess we’re all done with ice skates, then. Hell, those things have KNIVES affixed to the bottom of them! Trust me, I know. My son is a goalie and we sharpen those buggers every two weeks.

    Seriously. Laceration? I thought maybe it was something inside the shoe that hurt the wearer. But someone cut their finger putting a shoe on a kid’s foot, perhaps, and the whole damned production has to be scrapped?

    We are SO far out of line with the values of sustainability and efficiency. I weep for the world.

  37. Lola February 26, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

    What about equipping some band-aids with the shoes, in a package labeled “for beginners’ use”?

  38. hineata February 26, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

    @Skl – Been there too, usually in developing countries. My favourite currently regarding carseats is the way sometimes kids are strapped into the carseat and then the carseat is cuddled by Grandma or someone, it being unnatural in some places for a baby not to be cuddled….Aren’t your girls now six-plus though? NZ has just put the carseat law up to 7, but I thought we were being a little OTT – does the US do that too?

    Back on topic, I keep banging my little toe on one of our kitchen stools. Can’t we please recall stools….. or maybe it would be cheaper to get someone to amputate my toe 🙂

  39. Chris M February 26, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

    This one is even better

    Ocurances of failure, none.

    Just the title, inline skate and falling hazard isn’t that the definition of inline skates

  40. hineata February 26, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

    Maybe I should buy a couple of pairs of these shoes. If I attached them to the stool, I might scratch my toe on one, and then it would get infected, and then amputated, and then I could sue and the family and I could retire to the Bahamas (or at least Hoboken, N.J.).

    But then, dammit, we can’t sue here!

  41. Really Bad Mum February 26, 2014 at 5:40 pm #

    This may have some pros –
    * oven – hot( burning hazard), electricity or gas (shock or asphyxion hazard), food( germs and poisoning hazard) = I don’t have to cook dinner 🙂
    * washing machine – water and electricity( not a good mix) = oh damn can’t do the washing 😉
    * vacuum – electricity ( shock hazard), load noise( noise pollution, could cause fear in children) = the risks are too high I couldn’t possibly vacuum now…
    * mopping – wet floors( slipping hazard) = it’s much too dangerous.
    * cleaning- chemicals ( asphyxia, poisoning, bad for the environment ) = no cleaning today…

    The only safe thing I can do is veg out on the lounge, it will be hard but I think I can handle it…

  42. SOA February 26, 2014 at 6:03 pm #

    In my state kids have to use booster seats until they are 4’9 and like 80 pounds. Many middle schoolers don’t even meet that. I will have them ride in booster seats till they are big enough not to need them or till they start middle school. No way am I making them sit in booster seats in middle school though.

  43. Gina February 26, 2014 at 6:42 pm #

    @SKL–I have not allowed that to happen, but I guess in an extreme emergency, I would have to weigh the pros/cons in a moment and decide. Missing school the next day is not an extreme emergency.

  44. Nobody February 27, 2014 at 12:20 am #

    Wouldn’t it just be safer to just let the kids go barefoot?

  45. J.T. Wenting February 27, 2014 at 12:31 am #

    “ren’t your girls now six-plus though? NZ has just put the carseat law up to 7, but I thought we were being a little OTT – does the US do that too?”

    7? EU few years ago raised it to 12!

    Child seats can indeed help, for very small children. Mainly they help because they restrain the child to the point it can’t move at all and end up causing an accident crawling into the driver’s lap, causing distractions there.

  46. Ralf February 27, 2014 at 2:21 am #

    I’ve got knives at home.
    I cut myself once.
    I think I’ll tell Consumer Product Safety Commission to get all knives out of every household and every shop selling them.

    They ARE F*king SHARP, those knives, you could hurt yourselves!!

  47. Ralf February 27, 2014 at 2:28 am #

    BTW: Has anyone of you every heard of an AR-15 carbine being recalled because of some sort of hazard I momentarilly can’t remember?

  48. SKL February 27, 2014 at 11:55 am #

    Gina, how old are your kids? For my kids, missing a day of school because I’m afraid to drive 5 miles with just a seat belt would be ridiculous. Even if it didn’t also mean missing a day of work.

    In my state, the current law requires kids to be in booster seats until they are 8yo *or* 4’9″. It does vary by state. I think 8yo is the max in USA, though. These changes are fairly recent; not long ago, the max age was 4. When they changed it to 8, a lot of people had a fit, but now I think kids are just used to the idea. In fact, Miss E just complained to me yesterday because the nanny illegally made her ride without a seat, LOL. (My kids are 7.)

    To keep things in perspective, 10 years ago, there were NO children of school age who were expected to sit in car seats. Now how did we go from there to people saying they would NEVER allow this unless it was a dire emergency – they’d make their kids skip school and miss travel opportunities over this. That is scary to me.

  49. SKL February 27, 2014 at 11:57 am #

    I would note that kids old enough for public school (4 or 5) are not required to wear seat belts of any kind on school buses. There are zero booster seats on school buses.

  50. SKL February 27, 2014 at 11:58 am #

    And another thing. Most of the kids in my girls’ class have aged out of the requirement to sit in a booster seat. Is there really that big of a difference between them and my kids? I think not.

  51. BL February 27, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

    @J. T. Wenting
    “EU few years ago raised it to 12!”

    I have no words. Un-freaking-believeable.

    RIP Europe.

  52. Papilio February 27, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

    ““ren’t your girls now six-plus though? NZ has just put the carseat law up to 7, but I thought we were being a little OTT – does the US do that too?”

    7? EU few years ago raised it to 12!”

    That is 1) not about age but about height: 1,5 meter, and 2) not a law but more like a suggestion (every country can still have less strict rules, for instance under Dutch law it’s only 1,35 meter).
    Alarmism anyone?

  53. Donna February 27, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

    SKL – My kid has aged out of her booster seat and she is still smaller than most 1st graders and a chunk of kindergartners. I fail to see how my tiny child is safe in a seat belt while the larger 1st grader is not.

    M does still sit in her booster, but that is by her own choice. I wouldn’t care if she threw it away, but she says that she sees better so it stays.

  54. Silver Fang March 1, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

    WTH? Those are cool shoes. I wish adult shoes could look so cool.