Back then, I worked there and they didn't charge employees the fee. I don't remember actually using the layaway, but I have a few receipts from back then that say layaway on there and showed my payment history with 30% off and no fees.
My input on it tho, if you can't pay it out right you probably should be working on a savings account rather than living paycheck to paycheck and buying top dollar sneakers. I certainly shouldn't have back then, but air forces were under $50 with discount and foot locker paid dirt lol. Paying all your own bills at 16 wasn't much fun, but I've grown to be very responsible because of it.
Actually saving money in a savings account too me makes layaway more attractive if I had to use it. That way you can save what you normally do and still get the shoes over time.