happy feet

01 June 2015

The Patton Children: A Shoe Story.

throat clear. 

Back when I was a spry mom of one, I let Julia go barefoot out in public for as long as possible because I could never find shoes that would stay ON HER FEET. I didn't think it really mattered until she started walking because the months leading up to her first steps were some blazing hot summer months so ... hopefully no strangers or friends were offended. Finally, I took her to Nordstrom Rack one evening that Simon was working, found a pair of brown (admittedly ugly, went with almost nothing) easy-put-on shoes eerily similar to these and that was that. She wore those for the next several months, socks or not, because anytime I'd grab a cuter and cheaper pair on clearance at Target - her delicate little feet would get cut up or blistered almost immediately. So! Over the years I learned to tow the line between, "not too ugly" but still relatively practical and affordable and hand-me-downable in the shoe department. I'm still learning and Phoebe is giving me a real run for my dinero because her feet are a whole new level of chubby that have proven somewhat difficult to outfit but .... I do like a good heady challenge.

Here are some tried and true current warmer weather favorites.

1. Target Sparkles - I guess four is the magical age at which my low maintenance children deign to wear Target kicks because Julia wears these all the time with no cuts, blisters, or complaints. The glitter hasn't shed all over my life which has shocked me and I've made a few fair weather mom friends at the playgrounds who are curious where to buy (or avoid, I might guess) them.

Julia's latest and greatest is to wear them with socks ... and shorts {not pictured here, thankfully}


and despite Sebastian's shoes being waterproof {see next shoe!} he felt the need to take off his shoes in public and tromp through some mud puddles veryveryclose to Theo's shorts {pictured}.

2. Natives- Glorified Crocs, I know. And Old Navy has a cheaper version but I've had great luck finding secondhand pairs on eBay that I haven't gone that route quite yet. What I love about them is that the kids can put them on themselves, they are completely waterproof and rinse off easily, and they are wide enough for Sebastian's little man feet.

3. See Kai Run Shauna Sandal - I guess I've been hiding under a Kai-less rock or Kai never ran around our block but these were a new and recent find for Phoebe. I found a secondhand yellow pair that she loves and totes around and would probably tuck them under her pillow at night for safe keeping if I let her. They wipe off easily (I wouldn't say they are fully waterproof) and the easy on/off velcro strap is kind of a selling point around here.

4. Avarca Pons - eye roll, eye roll, eye roll. trendy trendy, trendy. I'm aware. But after finding a total eBay diamond in the rough {have not found any since - boo} for Julia after Simon accidentally left her summer sandals on top of the van and zoooomed off (he had all the kids at Costco - it was more than understandable) ... I'm totally sucked into the trend. She can put them on herself (sensing a lazy Mother Patton trend in this post? good, you should!), and the bottoms are made out of recycled tire rubber so she can run around without fear of slipping or tripping. Don't tell Phoebe but I'm tempted to use some of her birthday money to get her a pair of these with a velcro strap because she can wear them virtually year round in Florida, right? Right.

5. Velcro New Balance - I've been a longtime devotee of this particular pair of New Balance ever since Sebastian could walk because they are nice and wide, stay put, stand the test of hand-me-down time, and of course ... velcro. I know laces look less lame but c'est la mom vie. (these are also similar)

6. these particular Salt Water Sandals - the top straps are adjustable which are ideal for chubbier baby feet as opposed to the traditional Salt Water Sandals (which I find cuter, for the record). I'm on a red shoe kick lately and there's generally a great selection on eBay and the occasional pair pops up over on thredUP. 

!!!honorable mentions!!!

Toms - I've never loved the aesthetics of adult Toms (don't hate me) but the kids version is pretty cute. Viola and Parker totally sold me. And I hear they are good for chubbier feet AND they have the magical velcro.

Birkenstocks - Not sure I'd ever pull the full retail trigger on these but maybe I'll be singing a different tune once we get down to warmer-weather-all-the-timer.

I'm sure I'm missing many ... fill a mom in. And if anyone has recommendations for finding smaller shoes (size 3ish) for walkers ... my bff+e's twins are in need of some good summer walking shoes but Natives and their Old Navy counterparts don't run small enough. Boo.

Thank you!!

34 comments:

  1. Thank you!! I have the same debate all the time with my little ones! I will give some of these a try!

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  2. It's not lazy mothering - it's encouraging independence in your children if they can put on their own shoes! And velcro is great (unless you have a toddler who likes to chew it). I've rarely put my kids in shoes until they're really good walkers. Bare feet and slipper moccasins are my usual route before 18 months. For older kids
    I tend to buy Payless stuff if I'm paying full price - most of their shoes can go through the wash with impunity.

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  3. I don't have kids so I can't really relate to/use this post (at least not yet?). But just needed to chime in because I totally agree the aesthetics of adult Toms are lacking...

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  4. I found knock-off Osh Kosh birks for Joony and they have been AWESOME. He STILL has newborn fat chub pads on top of his feet (thank goodness! What will I do when they go away?!) but often his feet don't fit into baby shoes. He gets tons of compliments on these and they look like the real thing. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00N2VWH46?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00 I think they'd be cute on little lady feet, too! But I'm a unisex dresser, so. You know.

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  5. Toms didn't work on my chubby/wide foot kid. But we love see Kai run sandals and I'm loving those new balance sneakers! I also like the second pair of waterproof shoes... I'll have to look into those! Wide feet can be super hard!

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  6. My 20-month old is loving her Keens sandals this summer. I love that they have a covered back and covered toe, good tread and are still breathable...and that they work for wide feet (read: chubby). They've also got a number of designs that are pretty gender-neutral - perfect for hand-me-down-ing!

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    1. Love Keene here, too. You can even toss some of them in the wash#!

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  7. Keens are great. I am allll over converse. I buy them for my son who is super rough on clothes and toss them in my washer/dryer to clean them up. They're gender neutral and last long enough that I throw them in my daughter as she grows into his discarded pairs.

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  8. Also yes! I bought those osh kosh Birkenstocks for my son and love em!

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  9. shoes are something I splurge on for my kids. See Kai run are my absolute favorite baby and toddler shoes. My girls have all had cubby, hard to fit feet so I feel you. I like the smaller see Kai run crib shoes as well. My middle girl wore hers for 9 months straight before she wore a hole in them. My favorite boy sandal is by saltwater but it's the shark. My son wore the heck out of those last summer and they still looked brand new.

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  10. Wal-Mart has some Keens-esque closed toe sandals (that are good for water too) by Carter for under $10 that I just bought my 14 mo old. They have an adjustable velcro strap which makes for easy "installation" for little ones. Old Navy also had some great ked-looking shoes for babies that had velcro under the ring (?) parts, which was great for my little one, especially when he wasn't really walking, but needed shoes. I definitely balance the hand-me-down worthy vs the cheap/tear-em-up pairs, depending on use and age!

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  11. Soft Star Shoes! I love creating my own color combinations (my kids get to help as long as their choices aren't TOO horrible. Cute and good for their feet...can't beat them.

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  12. Check out Pedipeds for good, cute shoes for walkers with freakishly small feet. That was our go-to brand!

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    1. That was Julia's first ugly pair - ha! But they have so many cute styles! Of course I found the worst one

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  13. Important question: do the sparkly shoes come in adult sizes? (; I need them. Your children are style icons, whether they know it or not.

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  14. I like Jumping Beans (Kohl's store brand maybe? )Mary Janes and sport sandals in wide for my fat footed newer walkers. My kids don't trip on the soft, rounded soles.

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  15. I've really liked jemos shoes for tiny footed walkers (size 2, 3, 4 but the jemos sizes are different). Some have rubber soles, some don't. I like them so much I think we have ~5 pairs that have gotten us from almost walking at 10 months to "unning" (running) at 2+.

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  16. I am alll over Keens. Washable, sturdy, and we've been buying non-gender specific pairs for the future littles (smallest size is a toddler 4). They're very PNW stylish. :) We've also had great success with Toms- the velcro magically makes them great for those with skinny feet too! I think they go down quite small- definitely a three. And both brands can be found on Zulily and on sale in various places when you hunt.

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  17. Keens are awesome! Try Kidizen for secondhand. Toms are cute for kids, but the soles are super slippery. I was thrilled when my daughter lost one at the mall so I could toss the other lol
    Try livie and Luca? My LO had chubby, wide feet and they were the best.

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  18. We have used mostly Robeez...the soft soles for pre/early-walking (indoors) - SUPER easy to get on and they stay on! really cute patterns too - http://www.myrobeez.com/robeez-robo-bros-soft-soles/
    My 18 month old now has soft soled mini shoez and sandals by Robeez and they're great for his wider, chubby feet. Again, easy to get on (velcro) and stay on. (http://www.myrobeez.com/robeez-beach-break-mini-shoez-navy-improved-sole/?page_context=category&faceted_search=0 and http://www.myrobeez.com/robeez-maverick-mini-shoez-grey/)

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  19. We had some hand me down pedipeds and stride rite for the early walking days..they were great! We love saltwater, toms, nikes (the outlet is 5 minutes away from me), and some target shoes. Last year we got a pair of natives at rei at the end of the summer for less than $15! I'm gonna have to hunt for them again this year!

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  20. I love having a boy, but shoes always make me have some daughter longings... their options are just so much better! We do lots of TOMS around here, but I'm completely stumped on reasonably cute sandals for toddler boys... Is the Saltwater option too girly?? We've tried the Native shoes and they're cute and at least have some breathability for his hot little feet, but they're kinda hard to get on, I've found.

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    1. I bought the Saltwaters for my two year old boy this year in dark brown. He has super chubby feet and these fit really well. I wasn't sure if they were too girly but pulled the trigger and soooo happy with them. They are neutral on, his feet don't sweat, they stay on and he pretty tough on shoes and they look great so far.

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  21. For my son's first birthday, we splurged on a pair of Freshly Picked mocs and ended up ultra happy to be on that bandwagon! He loved wearing them, they went with everything, and they stayed on. We got a good eight months of wear out of them, and now we're alternating between Natives and a pair of Saltwaters. When I taught preschool, TOMS were always a hit--they didn't seem to wear out like other shoes, and the kids could easily put them on/take them off. And no kid in TOMS ever complained about discomfort :)

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  22. Sophie is getting the ones you're getting for Phoebe! I'll let you know how they are - her bday is Tuesday :)

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  23. You know I take tons of kid shoe advice from you! Love this post...but no Hunters/Wellies? ;)

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  24. I loved Toms last year when my son was one and learning to walk, although we did keep him barefoot as much as possible. He has thick/chubby/high instep feet so a lot of shoes will not fit. This year with a running two year old we have tried a couple of different things. He had Keens, which I hated the look but thought they were practical, but his feet reeked! Not worth it, plus he runs warm so the last thing I wanted was to make his feet sweat. I ended up buying the Saltwaters pictured above in dark brown. I was a little worried about them being gender neutral enough, but they are more so on, we get complemented a lot on them. And they work well for Mass as well as for daily wear, they buckle around his chubby feet, and his feet don't smell. Totally worth the price, and I figure they will totally work for his little sister too. Finally, maybe because he is my first, but I much prefer the buckle over velcro with a two year old. I put them on once and he can't take them off, which was another problem with the velcro, he was always unfastening them.

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  25. I bought my hobbit footed child (you like that??!) a pair of Hunter boots last fall. Mostly because I was living vicariously through him. What I did not expect was that he would become so attached to them, and I've become so attached to 1) how easy they are to put on, and 2) how easy they are to clean off!! Match made in mama heaven!! I know it's summer, but come fall you need to ebay or Kidizen (how we got ours) yourself a pair of those bad boys!

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  26. I live and die by crocs around here until everyone can tie their own shoes. Warm most of the year in Atlanta, and my children are warm ALLLL the time, so it's a fight anytime I mention the horrible words "socks" and "tennis shoes". So we have crocs and flip flips most of the year. I love me some velcro tennis shoes, until my giant-footed children grow into a man size at the ripe old age of 8 (seriously) and then I can't. I would, but nobody makes a man-sized shoe with velcro. Sadly.

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  27. I just bought a pair of Keens for my one year old for the summer and I really like them so far!

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  28. Another vote for Livie & Luca for littles with chubby feet - nothing is wider! Super cute too

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  29. Giiiiirl, you and JDel gotsta keep me in the loop if anyone comes up with tiny lady feet options. We're still living in China and it's killing my soul to have so few non-knockoff or pretty options Without a squeaker built into the sole (I crap you not- it's like baby cowbells) for my girl. But! My husband is in NY for a conference in 3 weeks, and Amazon calls my name...

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  30. There are various companies which manufacture different kinds of footwear. You always need to choose footwear which is comfortable and suits you the best.I find this website for Best Breathable Work Boots.

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