Healthy foot shoes... for kids?
July 11, 2018 8:56 AM   Subscribe

I'm seeking foot-friendly shoes for girls-- that is, normal street styling, but with light and flexible soles and relatively wide toe boxes. Basically, See Kai Run for the gradeschool set. Where should I be looking?

Everyone seems to agree that toddler shoes should be light, flexible and roomy. The instant you pass Size 2, though, mainstream retail stock lapses back to the stiff, heavy, pointy-toed bunion-making styles of old. On the other hand, there are a zillion obscure brands of shoes out there these days, which is why I'm turning to Metafilter.

I've found some athletic/ crunchy/ outdoor-type shoes that are a bit better, but ideally would love skirt-friendly ballet flats, mocs and Mary Janes. Wide sizes would be ideal, but not a hard requirement. Ideas?
posted by Bardolph to Shopping (13 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried stride rite?
posted by gudrun at 9:14 AM on July 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Plae for Mary Janes, they are wonderful. We bought our four year old keen flats when she insisted on wearing shoes like mine and they’ve been really really comfortable for her.
posted by lydhre at 9:18 AM on July 11, 2018

You could try "minimalist kids shoes" or "barefoot kids shoes" as search terms (assuming that's what you mean - these are shoes with intentionally minimal padding and support, on the theory that it's good for your feet/stride. They tend to be very light and flexible with wide toe boxes.) Vivobarefoot is a decent company.
posted by trig at 9:24 AM on July 11, 2018

BulaJeansBoutique has great little shoes with some really cute fabrics. They're expensive for kids' shoes but way cheaper than other minimalist ones I've seen.
posted by teremala at 9:40 AM on July 11, 2018

The other thing to note is that, for a lot of brands with US sizing, a big girl's size 4 = women's 6 (Keen sizing guide for example) so you could be looking at small adult shoes.
posted by adiabatic at 9:43 AM on July 11, 2018

Target's Cat & Jack line generally has some okay options too, if you're not looking for true zero-drop.
posted by teremala at 9:50 AM on July 11, 2018

I just looked at the toddler shoes from Keen, very cute. I wear big kids' sized Keens because they are cheaper, the same quality, and usually wider.
posted by theora55 at 10:17 AM on July 11, 2018

My daughter has wide, tall, hard to fit feet, and I really like Chooze brand shoes. I got her a pair of the sparkly mary janes, and they are light, flexible, adorable, and good quality. She's been wearing them for almost a year, and some of the sparkles are a little worse for the wear, but they've held up really well.
And they're having a 40% off sale on their website right now.
posted by Adridne at 10:30 AM on July 11, 2018 [2 favorites]

Although they don't cater to kids' sizes specifically on their website, The Walking Company is worth a look, especially given that the kid might fit into smaller adult-size shoes.

Generally, they know what they're doing in the stores, and can offer advice.
posted by SaharaRose at 10:43 AM on July 11, 2018

I highly recommend Softstar brand shoes. We've gotten shoes there for our toddler up to kindergartner and plan on continuing. (I got some adult ones as well) They are customizable if you want for colors or fabric (including vegan fabric) and wide soles. They have some very cute options like "Merry Janes" and are also made in the USA and pay their workers fairly.
posted by jillithd at 12:00 PM on July 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Pediped goes up to size 6. My daughter would wear her Pediped mary janes every day if I didn't insist on sneakers for some activities.
posted by Kriesa at 1:26 PM on July 11, 2018

Seconding Softstar shoes.
posted by Goblin Barbarian at 2:43 PM on July 11, 2018

« Older Vasectomy reversal specialist recommendations?   |   Design my tattoo? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.