Over the summer something strange happened. We had a wild and crazy growth spurt that hit all four kids. Our grocery bill skyrocketed and they grew without precedent. As much as they gained in height however, the most startling growing occurred at ground level. I’m talking about my children’s feet. 2-3 sizes each from June’s measurements. When faced with back to school shopping – shoes were #1 on my list. Can’t start kindergarten bare footed after all!


My first virtual stop to shop for back to schools shoes was at the Vincent site. I always love to use their printable childrens Shoe Fitter that helps you choose the perfect size. Their selection is vast and their service top notch. The shoes I ordered came almost immediately. And my kids were thrilled. When was the last time your kids put on a new pair of shoes and started dancing? This was the case when my boys saw their new fall/school shoes from Vincent. They were so excited about the styles and so thrilled with the comfort that my five year old son announced these were his dancing shoes, turned on the music and proceeded to boogie on down. His 18m old little brother, not to be outdone, broke out his own moves. He was so in love with his red high tops that he wanted to sleep in them that night. My 5 year old was thrilled with the breathability of his sandal/shoes, and I was thrilled that they met school “closed toe” requirements. They are perfect season spanner shoes, which we will use through October here in California.

Falling in love with shoes is so simple when you are a child. The right color and comfy fit are all that’s really needed. As a mom I am a little pickier though. I love how reliable Vincent shoes are. They always offer a great fit and their shoes are beautifully crafted out of quality materials. Leather linings are standard. I cannot recommend Vincent highly enough!

img_5866 Next stop on our tour de school shoes had us clicking on Umi’s back to School Shoes. I love this Euro styled line of shoes that comes in sizes that fit my baby on up to my 4th grade daughter.  Umi manages to tread the line between comfort and high fashion. Their styles are always spot on for trends and complement boutique and designer clothing perfectly. But they don’t just look good, they fit well as well. I reviewed Umi shoes last fall and am happy to report that the shoes I reviewed last year held up to so much abuse and constant wear from my kids that I put them top of my list for this year as well. These shoes are designed to support your child’s feet. My kids attend a school where active outdoor play is stressed and I felt great knowing that even when my daughter had on a cute pair of patent boots, she wasn’t going to miss a beat skipping around on the playground.

This year we are loving the Opera boot for my fashion concious daughter. It has a rubber sole and easy fit that will work for dinner out and double dutching. My sons are in love with the Dingo and Major styles of shoes that they got.  The dingo is flexible and perfect for my rough and tumble toddler to kick around the playground in. I really appreciate that the Dingo style works with more formal/dressy clothing for my 5yo son but fits & feels more like a sneaker.

img_5909 Our last, but never least, stop for shoes, to complete our shoe wardrobe, was at Stride Rite. How can you go wrong at Stride Rite? These people have something for everyone. I’m particularly excited about their new SRT Sensory Response Technology that has taken their baby shoes to the very next level. It’s tricky as a parent dealing with a new walker. On the one hand you want a shoe that provides stability and protection. On the other, you know that the sense of touch is a big part of their balance. Babies walk best barefoot. The new SRT shoes are designed to preserve that sense of touch, while supporting and protecting your baby’s feet. The result is a shoe that makes them more sure-footed, comfortable and less likely to fall over.

img_5884 No trip to Stride Rite would be complete for my 5 yr old son, without a new pair of Superball Sneakers. As far as he is concerned these are the only sneakers worth wearing. He will offer you scads of anecdotal evidence about their ability to make you jump higher and run faster than any other sneaker in the world. Who am I to argue? I love the concept of putting Superballs in the soles of the shoes, and I love the confidence and comfort it gives my son to wear them.

Stride Rite has so many styles to offer and for my daughter, there was also a “must have” pair of boots that fall in the fashion category. They are made by Jessica Simpson (yes, the same Jessica Simpson! She does kids shoes too!) and are so hip looking that I kind of wish I had a pair of my own. Sadly Stride Rite does not sell them in my size!

I’m thrilled with my kids back to school & fall shoe wardrobes. I feel so good sending them back this yr, knowing they all will be putting their best foot forward. Now no more growing, kids! At least not till spring!

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