Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I *pink puffy heart* baby shoes

When Puppy was getting ready to walk, we lived in Southern California. So, like lots of babies in sunshine-y places, he went barefoot or wore soft leather-soled shoes. Just what the experts ordered!

But now we're in a much colder, rainier part of the country. I'm looking at Firefly learning to stand and thinking that those thin leather soles just aren't going to cut it on our wet sidewalks, wet park grass, wet get the picture.

Stride Rite was nice enough to send Firefly a pair of shoes from their new Early Walker collection to try to solve our dilemma. They are designed to bridge the gap between the baby booties and big kid shoes, when babes are starting to walk but not yet steady on their feet.
I admit I was skeptical that a rubber-soled shoe would meet my infant shoe standards. I'm incredibly a tad picky when it comes to my kids' shoes. But they totally did. The entire shoe is flexible enough that I can not just bend it, but crumple it easily with one hand. The bottom has enough cushioning to make walking outside comfortable, but is sufficiently thin that she will be able to feel the ground--important for babies learning to walk. Firefly has narrow feet and it's been difficult to find shoes don't slip right off, so I appreciated that I could cinch the hook and loop tab tight around her ankle. They're cute (a very important factor). And in a nod to the green movement, the outsole is made of 30% recycled rubber.

They are pricey, running about $45. Kids' shoes are one area where I think it's good to splurge for quality; I'd rather buy one or two pairs of well-constructed shoes than several lesser-quality ones. If the overwhelming pinkness of the "girl" line is not your style, check out the "boy" shoes, where there are a couple of cute gender-neutral options.

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