Shoe-shopping sparks tantrums. Let us count the ways: there’s the wait to be measured, the forced stillness of being measured, the cruelty of having to take off (and not keep) the new shoes being tried on, the frustration of having to put the old shoes back on, and of course the fury over being put back in the stroller when it’s all over.

Plan B? Get yourself a Brannock Device (that thingy they use in the store to measure feet), and buy your kids’ shoes online. The Brannock device is easy to use ( offers simple instructions), and stores like and carry every imaginable brand.

So then, what to buy for spring? At Zappos (where shipping and returns are free), spring footwear is being stocked as we write. “The trends this year are purple, green, yellow and rainbow colors,” says Andy Hseih, Director of Children’s Merchandising. “Lots of plaid and canvas, too.” And while Hseih says Zappos’ newest kids’ lines are Pampili and Jessica Simpson, we’re hoarding Dr. Martens Mary Janes, Vans and Supergas sneakers, Chooka and Tretorn wellies, and sneaker-sandal combo shoes by Morgan&Milo and Umi.