I'm hard on a pair of shoes. Part of this is down to farm living, and the mud that covers the walkway, my car, etc. but if you look at the heels on a pair of boots, you can see how I drag my right heel along in a way that probably looks like something a chimp would do-whilst knucklewalking. So yeah, I'm not graceful, and I live on a farm which is murder on shoes.
Danny isn't much better, though he tends to outgrow the shoes before they get too terribly disgusting.
Last weekend, I wandered into K-Mart looking for toothpaste, and came home with shoes and boots the most expensive of which were four bucks a pair. Honest. Danny has boots for next winter (yes, I bought them large) that cost $1.50 They aren't strange looking, damaged, or in any way awful-just past season. He likes them, I like them, and I bought my kid boots with the money I could scrape out of the bottom of my purse. The toothpaste cost more than the boots, for heaven's sake.
I don't know what your local K-Mart is like, but it might be worth swinging by to have a look. I came home with some really nice looking shoes for myself, that I'll feel less awful about ruining the first time I step outside my door.
I'm not being compensated in any way by K-Mart, but I do shop there (often!) and any store where I can purchase new boots for $1.50 is my kind of store. You couldn't do that at a thrift store.