Somewhere on my very long list of "things I've been meaning to do" has been lurking the entry: Buy Michael some shoes.
We managed to procrastinate so long on this for Abby that she was 16 months old, and three months into walking, before she got her first "real" pair. Like Michael, she'd owned some decorative footwear over the months since her birth, but nothing that was truly appropriate for a new walker to walk in outdoors.
I didn't want to put it off for so long with Michael. Though it will be many weeks before the weather is nice enough, and he is steady enough, to actually walk along the ground outside, at the very least it would be good to have something easy to "install" to slip on his feet and keep them warm on cold days.
However, since Michael is so brand-new at walking, I've been much more discerning about the type of shoe to get him. Abby, who was becoming a pro at her newly-gained skill by this time, went straight to regular rubber-soled Stride Rides. Even she could have benefited from a slightly more flexible style, though, and she tended to trip a lot at first, but she managed in them okay.
With Michael, I wanted to be sure that he got shoes that were soft-soled and allowed him to feel the floor beneath him as he continues to learn. However, all of the soft-soled shoes that I saw looked so thin on the bottom. I was a little concerned that they wouldn't provide quite enough of a barrier between his feet and the hard ground for good protection. I also couldn't seem to find a style that I really liked.
So, for many days, I went back and forth between the offerings of Robeez and various other companies that showed up under a Google search of soft-soled shoes. Finally, I repeated the search on Amazon, hoping that I could settle on something there and avoid a shipping charge by using Prime. It was on Amazon that I came across a company called See Kai Run. I know nothing about them, and though the reviews on Amazon were favorable, there have not been many written yet. I haven't even gotten a chance to try their product myself, as the shoes were only just delivered at 8:00 this evening, after my little guy had gone to bed.
However, "on paper," I was intrigued by their design. Instead of having strictly leather soles or strictly rubber, they are a combination of both, seemingly providing both the flexibility and extra coverage that I was seeking (and extra friction, I'd imagine, as well).
I'm a little worried about the sizing, as it's based on age rather than actual measurements. I got the 12-18 month size, since Michael is just over twelve months and is only slightly above-average height and weight. I only hope that his feet are about average-sized, too. I guess we'll find out tomorrow.
Here are some shots of the shoes.
I got the focus wrong on that second one- it should be on the front shoe rather than the rear- but, oh well. You get the idea, anyway.
The design wasn't my favorite- I was more partial to some other styles that didn't come in Michael's size. However, I preferred the Garret Trainer over some of the other shoes available, so I went with it.
The price also wasn't my favorite. It wasn't unreasonable; just more than I really wanted to pay, and more than most of the true soft-soles were selling for. To be fair, though, Abby's first pair probably cost about the same. Stride Ride is not exactly inexpensive.
But then I saw the box that these adorable little shoes came in. Is it sad that the cuteness of the box makes me feel just a bit better about how much I paid for what came inside of it?
Certainly, any misgivings I may have now will melt away when I see my precious little gem strutting about in these babies. But that shall have to wait for another day.