Walk This Way: Tootsies, Columbia’s Only Locally-Owned Children’s Shoe Store

Posted on |

Tootsies Children’s Shoes has been Columbia-community staple for over 30 years. First opening its doors in 1987, Tootsies has been specializing in fitting children for their first pair of shoes for generations.

Tootsies Children's Shoe Shop in Columbia, SC

They Have it All: Tootsies Columbia SC

If you’re looking for a place to get your toddler’s first “walkers,” or dress shoes for your school-aged child, Tootsies has you covered. In fact, they have an exceptionally large inventory, ranging from infants all the way up to youth sizes 6-7.

Tootsies, known for their wide range of sizes and a vast selection of brands, rivals any competitor. Carrying brands such as Stride Rite, Native, Footmates, L’Amour, Sperry, Birkenstock, and Hunter, there’s something for everyone!

A Shoe for Every Season

Tootsies isn’t just a shop for special occasions, however. Autumn Harper, Tootsies’ owner, insists, “You want kids playing in their shoes. They’re meant to be worn.”

Tootsies is a shoe store for every day and for every season…and every occasion in between. Whether it’s for a daily-wear sneaker, formal loafer, rain boot, cowboy boot, or a cozy pair of Uggs, their shoes are intended to be lived-in.

In a League of Their Own

Tootsies has its own special little niche, unlike other children’s stores, explains Harper. Exclusively dealing in shoes only (*with the exception of accessories like socks and hair ribbons) is what really sets it apart from every other children’s store. In fact, Tootsies is the only locally-owned children’s shoe store in Columbia!

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Located in the Shoppes of Forest Village, in the heart of Forest Acres, Tootsies is the neighbor everybody knows by name. 

“Everyone knows Tootsies…it’s always been around,” says Harper. 

Full-Circle: 30 Years of Tootsies

Being a part of the Columbia business community for over three decades, many of Tootsies’ customers are not only repeat customers but multi-generational, repeat customers. Mothers that once brought their children to Tootsies to be fitted for their first pair of Stride-Rites are now shopping for their grandchildren to be fitted for their first pair as well. 

“Our customers grow up with us,” says Harper. 

“The fun side of being in this business is the relationships and friendships you build. You see these little people grow up,” she muses. 


And some customers’ relationships are so strong that they continue despite a move across state, or even cross-country!

Harper says, “People move away, but they still call us about shoes!”

“We still have customers that call us from Seattle, Washington; California, and Texas just to name a few,” says Harper. 

On the Record

Tootsies keeps meticulous records of all your child’s shoe sizes, as well as all of your purchases. They keep track of your children’s foot growth, so you don’t have to! 

Buy More, Save More

A perk of purchasing shoes from Tootsies is earning points. Because ultimately, the more you spend, the more you save. 

Speaking of savings, Harper adds, “We have a 50% off section sale that’s ongoing.”

Harper also mentions that periodically, they do special occasion sales throughout the year. Check out Tootsies’ social media pages on Facebook and Instagram for the latest up-to-date information on the store’s most recent inventory, events, and sales!

The Future

Harper explains that “getting Tootsies’ online shop up and running, and utilizing that platform to gain more of a presence,” is their largest goal in expansion. She confirmed that the “online space,” (online stores) is, by far, their biggest competitor. 

And speaking of expansion, Tootsies notably opened their second location in Greenville over two years ago. Should you find yourself in the Greenville area, be sure to pay a visit to Tootsies at 1803 Augusta St. Greenville, SC 29605! 

That Legendary Slide

In close, Harper describes Tootsies as a “special place.”  

And if you’ve been to Tootsies and witnessed your child go down that “legendary” in-store slide while you’ve shopped, then, you too, know Tootsies is a special place indeed. Run, don’t walk to check out Tootsies!

4517 Forest Drive, Columbia

Shop for kids in Columbia, SC: Locally-owned children's shops

Looking for more locally-owned children’s shops?

Check out this list of 6 Fabulous Locally-Owned Shops for Children.

About the Author
Kelly is a native of Hartsville, SC and lives in West Columbia with her husband, two-year-old daughter, and pets George and Gigi. She is now a stay-at-home mom after a long career in beverage sales at Republic National Distributing Company and Sazerac Company. Kelly is a graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications, and has a degree in print journalism. She’s passionate about her family, writing, shopping, and any and all crime dramas.

Sign up for our email newsletter.

Comments are closed.