When looking for luxury children’s shoes, foot health, good quality and good fit are top of my list of priorities. Back in my day as a child, stuck with Start Rite, buckles only, it was miserable. Now, thanks to an increase in demand for somthing inspiring, we are lucky to have some brilliant brands to choose from. Kids don’t need to hate their sensible shoes; on the contrary there is too much to love.
I have one little boy who is hypermobile and another who intoes quite significantly – I am told by the podiatrist that this almost always rights itself – he is only just 20 months old. For both boys, support is key. Put a little one who intoes in a boot and you can immediately notice the difference. The same for hypermobility. So, for me, I really do have to shop smart and look for the best of the best.
Three brands that stand out to me this season are BobuxEcco and Step2wo. Step2wo is a high end luxury shoe brand and comes from a pedigree of shoe royalty in the UK. Launched in 2007 by Nick and Lulu Rayne of the iconic shoe brand Rayne; synonymous with stars of the silver screen and British royalty (the Queen wore Rayne to wed Prince Philip). Step2wo has changed the face of retail too. Not only do they design and manufacture in the UK then Italy, high-end, luxurious, beautiful shoes of their own, they also offer a huge selection of designer brands through their own outlets in places like Harvey Nichols and Selfridges.
This season I went for a seletion of styles. From Step2wo; sandals. Both open and closed toe. Sandals can be tricky for support, as can summer in general but a good fit makes all the difference. The Peyton Gladiator Sandal kept my almost 2 year old running me ragged in Sardinia last week. Durable, flexible rubber soles, not too heavy, which can lead to dragging and beautful soft leather meant many, happy hours of sockless wear. As for my 5 year old, we chose the Frate sandal. A traditional open-toe sandal, made from buttery soft leather but with a more supportive, reinforced back than you would usually find in a similar syle. Airy and very comfortable, these too just have that added je ne sais quoi; stylish and luxurious, yet super-wearable.
Within Step2wo’s retail outlets, apart from their own gorgeous brand, they also stock other high-end goodies, Bobux and Ecco being two of my absolute favourites. Bobux are made specifically for young feet, a brand started in 1991 with the world’s first all-leather Soft Sole for kids. They concentrate on brilliant, stylish designs that mums adore and continue to innovate as they grow, keeping foot development at the forefront of their offering. Bobux stands for youthful creativity and all their shoes are podiatrist approved. This is a serious business for them – foot health- it relies upon room to grow and move around freely, with an element of protection from the outside elements and whatever life throws at our active little ones. My 5 year old’s favourite shoe-boot has won awards. Not surprising really that this sold out design – Blaze, represents no end of innovation. A micro armour toe to withstand lots of playground activity and kickabouts, custom tread and a super-lightweight tetraform sole , inspired by Formula 1 no less, to keep feet, both heel and toe firmly on the ground. Lastly, the animal print cleverly teaches kids their left and right feet.
Bobux has a range of footwear for each age group; from pre-wakers through to bigger kids. In their Dress shoe range, I found the most gorgeous pair of school shoes. Almost too good to wear, they so are luxuriously soft with full leather upper and lining. Again, built in line with best foot health practices, Bobux’s take on a desert boot, the Pioneer, provide the ankle support along with a supercomfortable shoe that my son loves wearing everyday. They are however a shoe that can be worn on a special occassion too. They are the sort of shoe that you just look at and know that it’s expensive! Believe you me, they are worth every penny. I defy you to find a shoe in the Bobux range that you dont like! Find them online at Step2wo and in store.
Ecco is a Danish brand. Super durable and perfect for little feet, light and comfortable, the first walkers were a huge hit with Gabriel, my second child. He intoes quite significantly and the Ecco boots give really great ankle support without weighing his feet down. You can find that children who intoe tend to trip over heavier, high-top boots. They need the height but definitely not the weight that often comes alongside.
Ecco also has a huge range. I love their velcro offering. My two year old is already insisting on putting his own shoes on. First walking, now dressing himself, my children are growing up too fast!