Buying shoes for my children is one of my favorite things to do. Shoes make or break an outfit and if you have girls, watch out! Because you need tennis shoes, pink shoes, red shoes, ballet shoes, soccer shoes, school shoes, black patent shoes, sparkly shoes – I could go on forever!
For babies and toddlers, my favorite brands of first official shoes are PediPed, Robeez and Bobux.
What I like about all of these brands is that they are super soft and comfy, they have an extensive selection of funky styles for both boys and girls (not very common in any category of clothing or attire for children!), they are perfect for crawling and walking and they are flexible for indoor and outdoor use. Even though these brands probably target infants and very early walkers, I think they are great for older toddlers too for slippers in the winter, especially for boys. The pickin’s are slim for cute boy slippers!
Once your child is walking, you really need to go to a good shoe store and have them fitted properly. You will need to know for sure if they have narrow feet or xx wide feet – this will be a pattern that will continue for some time. We usually go to Stride Rite, Shoe-In or Nordstrom. Stride Rite has a great outlet in Concord Mills that is totally worth the drive if you are buying for more than one child. They feature styles from the previous season that are usually half price, with the exception of Keds. These are not half price but pretty darn cheap for Keds. Shoe-In is located in Stonecrest and Birkdale Village and they have a great selection of Stride Rite, Umi,AsterPrimigi,Nike, Merrell, etc. Nordstrom is actually my favorite shoe store for my kids at the moment because they have the most fabulous selection of cool styles and they throw some awesome sales twice a year BEFORE the season you are buying for. So say, in July, they have their anniversary sale so you preshop and prepurchase select fall styles (I bought Primigi, Puma and Eccolast time) at 30% off. We usually wait for these sales and stock up. Amazon has good prices and a broad selection if you know your childs shoe size, see all of our links above and below. And most of the Charlotte baby/kids boutiques have a great selection of these brands too. For instance, Milky Way carries PediPed.
I have to add a twin note here. My favorite early shoes that I bought for my boys were Squeaker Sneakers. I got mine at Shower Me With Love in Charlotte, you can see the website for a full selection. These shoes are WAY cool for twins because you can hear them wherever they are, very key in twinhood. If the squeak totally bugs you, the squeaky device is removable. But I kept mine in for the lifetime of this size just so I could keep track of them.
My favorite girls line of shoes are:
–L’Amour – these are such a good price point
-Sanita clogs or Hanna Andersson clogs
-And check out the website for The Pink Monogram this PRESH website for monogrammed clogs. These are possibly the cutest girls shoes I have EVER seen! So worth the splurge!
My favorite boys line of shoes are:
–Kid Express– must have these shoes!
–ECCO– these are way cooler than Stride Rite
–L’Amour – how cute are these?!
And according to my kids, their all-time fave shoes for the past two years are Crocs – (Their close second is Kidorable Rain Boots)
Make sure you check out SRI Shoe Warehouse on South Blvd/Tyvola – they often have Kid Express, Nina, Primigi, Puma, Kidorable and the best prices on Keds in town. I also find incredible deals on eBay – I only buy NIB (new in box). I’m a firm believer in no hand-me-downs on shoes for kids. Each child’s foot has a different imprint and I think this is important for walking. Although, I don’t abide by this rule with twins. We buy two of everything and just hope that they get shoes on their feet before we walk out the door.
Where do you get your kids shoes? What brands do you love? Please share!
I love tootsies too in Myers Park off of Providence Rd. Also, a great online store is http://www.iftheshoefitsetc.com This site regulary has great sales and carries the major european brands. Join the email list and be alerted of sales.
We love the pedipeds. They are tough to find in all sizes & styles, but http://www.bugsandblossoms.comhas a ton & they are $30, which is not too bad, but around every holiday they have 20% off sales, which is awesome!
Tootsies Too in Myers Park (near the little Harris Teeter) has a great selection and their staff is very helpful. They are located in the children’s store Fancy Pants – which also has wonderful things!