Sunday, October 5, 2014

REVIEW: Splendid from Stride Rite

If your kids are like my kids they are constantly outgrowing their shoes. My daughter gets new ballet shoes four times a year and my son has a bad habit of growing out of his next season sneaks and sandals before next season even rolls around. So when Stride Rite got in touch and asked me if I wanted to give their new Splendid line, which has designs for boys and girls from infancy to the kid years, I said yes, yes, yes. More shoes please.

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First impressions. Because those are important, right? Out of the box the shoes they sent – Portia for my daughter and Zayden for my son – were super cute.

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Now my kids aren’t always dressed to the nines because I’m not going to turn my nose up at hand-me-downs. Sometimes what they’re wearing is what someone before me and possibly before them fell in love with. But these are definitely shoes I’d buy – hello ballet flats, stripes are totally my thing, and the blue and orange color combo is still on my love list.

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As for second impressions, I felt like it was my duty as a mom to give both pairs the bend test. You know, where you take the shoe and give it a good bend at the arch to see how flexible it’s going to be on small feet.

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Stride Rite shoes are known for their flexibility so I figured they’d pass with flying colors and they did. It’s super important for little walkers like my son to have shoes that can flex with the foot. It helps promote a comfortable and natural gait unless stiff soled shoes. If you’ve ever seen a toddler stomping around in an old school pair of stiff leather-bottom shoes you can probably see why.

As it was my son’s sneaks had plenty of bend and my daughter’s were like butter. Seriously, where is my pair?

Oh wait, I should probably mention that when I said Splendid I meant Splendid – yeah, that Splendid. Which is where the fun, relaxed, cutie patootie style comes from.

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And onto the third impressions, i.e., the impressions shared by my kids.

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My son, being not yet two didn’t have all that much to say about his new kicks, but when given the choice will pick them over any of his other shoes (and he has lots). I mean every time. I don’t know if he loves them because they’re comfy or he just loves the colors but the fact that a 23-month-old boy who has almost no opinions about his clothes reaches for these sneakers whenever he gets the chance. In any case, they were a perfect out of the box fit on her perfectly proportioned feet.

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And then there’s my daughter, whose feet are anything but perfectly proportioned. They are narrow. As in ridiculously narrow at the heels. Which meant that even though her shoes were just the right length and just right at the toe, her heels would. Not. Stop. Slipping. Out. And I’m thinking this is not Stride Rite’s fault but it is something for parents to consider if their little girls have ridiculously narrow heels. Luckily, I’m handy, so I took a cue from the preschooler sizes in the line and sewed in a little bit of elastic a la ballet slippers. Problem solved and my daughter loves them.

The verdict: The shoes we got a chance to try get two thumbs up from me and the whole line is pretty sweet, so I say check it out!

Splendid for Stride Rite shoes are available at Striderite.com and will be available on Splendid.com. I was sent free product to review but was not compensated for my opinions. And the fact that the shoes were freebies has not influenced those opinions.

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