I'm amazed to see people in this thread describing $75-80 shoes as low priced. In the past couple of years, I have realized that one may have to buy more expensive *fill in the blank* (just about every product, including shoes) than you can find in Wal*Mart and Family Dollar to get any kind of quality or lifespan out of the product. (Yes, I'm that cheap.)
Thus, my most recent acquisition in the shoe department came in the form of a trip to Kohl's and the purchase of a $55 pair of Reeboks. I felt like I was putting the downpayment on a car or something. I am an incurable cheapskate, so I just had to keep repeating to myself that spending more money now would save me money in the long run.
So, as $55 shoes go, I can't compare, but they hold up a lot better than the $10 pair of sneakers I got at Wal*Mart the time before. They're even staying white a lot longer. I also found that Reeboks fit my feet so much better than anything I could find at Payless or the WM. See, I have high arches, resulting in high bones in the tops of my feet. Normally one could buy shoes in wide widths to compensate, but my feet are wide (they look like squares), so in order to get shoes both wide and tall enough, I had to go up a size, or two...or three. My 8.5D feet would often be clomping around in 10D shoes. (D is the same as W, regular width shoes are C and regular narrow shoes are B. A shoes are extra narrow, E are extra wide. Then you get into the whole AA, EE business.)
It had gotten to the point where I was so used to wearing giant clown shoes that when I tried on the shoes I ended up buying, I almost couldn't bring myself to buy them, because also they were a perfect fit they seemed awfully constricting. But I kept feeling the end of my big toe from the outside with my finger and marveling that I was able to slip an 8.5D on my foot and not have my high foot bone stop the shoe. I mean, I would normally try on a pair of shoes that would fit me in every other dimension of my foot but they were so short in height that I could only fit my toes into the shoe.
Now I'm trying to convince my husband to start wearing shoes that fit him. He already has to buy the $75 Reebok shoes just to get a 13W that is wide enough to accomodate his 12EEE feet. He tells me he could not get used to having his toes constricted in a 12EEE shoe. I'm thinking he would be amazed at the difference, but so far it's not even debatable with him.
Kimberlily, I really hope you find a shoe that works for you. I couldn't imagine having severe foot pain with young children in the house.