Friday, March 12, 2010

Twinkle Toes: New shoes for cruising feet

Pooka is a cruising fool these days. She only crawls to travel in between the places where she can hang on and cruise. She has even taken her first tentative steps when passed back and forth between mama and dada. I think the cutest part is that she will take a few steps before she realizes she isn't holding on to anything and then immediately sit down! So now we are in a transitional phase with footwear. She is outgrowing her soft soled shoes but not quite ready for walkers yet. I headed to the fabulous Harry's Shoes for Kids on the UWS to find out about our options. I learned some great things from a wonderful salesman named Neil. Before your wee one is walking they should remain in soft soled shoes with some grip so they don't slip when crawling and cruising. They need plenty of room in the toe box because their little toes fan out and press down to help them to stand, and barefoot is best when you are at home. So even if you can still squeeze your wee one's feet into that super cute pair of shoes, you may be making it more difficult for them to cruise. Once they have moved past the cruising stage and are genuinely walking your wee one should be outfitted with a pair of hard-soled, but flexible shoes to give them a stable platform and provide cushioning and support for their fragile ankles. Neil predicted that Pooka would need the hard-soled style of shoe in about a month and discouraged me from purchasing a new larger pair of soft soled shoes (amzing to meet a salesman who discouraged me from buying!). He tested Pooka's current shoe and said it had some wiggle room and should be fine until she is really walking, barring a major growth spurt.

So what shoe is my little darling wearing? Currently Pooka is wearing a delicious pair of Naya shoes in black from Smaller by See Kai Run. They have a very Parisian flair to them and people are constantly complementing them. We love Smaller by See Kai Run because they have plenty of width, are made of a soft buttery leather, and have great rubber gripper circles on the sole. We also like that they are sized in three month increments, (3-6, 6-9, 9-12, 12-18 month...) rather than six month increments like most other brands. I think they work much better than our Pedipeds that have a harder plastic-like bottom and only come in 0-6 or 6-12 month sizes. Pooka outgrew her 0-6 month Pedipeds by Christmas and is only now starting to wear her 6-12 month size. I am also in love with the soft soled shoes by Umi. We tried some on today and I wish I had known about them sooner! Like the Smaller shoes, they are constructed of supple leather with rubber gripper circles on the bottom. They are less traditional looking than the Smaller shoes, but I love how the toe is rounded up and the color combos are charming!

Before too long though, we will be moving on to the hard-soled variety of shoe. Right now I have my eyes on Livie and Luca's Petal shoe in Red, or maybe the Pio Pio's in Pink. And I will definitely be getting Pooka a pair of Salt Water Sandals for the summer. I love the original sandal, and there are so many colors to choose from! And for a pair of true keepsake shoes, have a look at Rachel Riley's classic styled Double-Buckle Shoes in Red. This timeless style of shoe has been around since the 1930's! I know I have focused entirely on shoes for little ladies, but each of these companies also feature some nifty choices for boys too! Favorites include Smaller by See Kai Run's Seamus and Alec shoes, See Kai Run's Agustin shoe, Umi Dimples, Livie and Luca's Emilios in Red, Salt Water Sandals are unisex, and you can get Rachel Riley's in a Classic Lace-Up. If only I could buy every pair!

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