While I know many people have already spent the big bucks on getting their kids set up for school, I couldn’t resist sharing some of our favorites from this spring/summer/fall. While all our reviews are done on boys (sorry, that’s what we have here!), most of these shoes also come in “girl” colors.
Disclaimer: I am a very strong believer in the fact that it is worth it to spend a little more money on shoes that kids will wear every day (or nearly every day.) The cheap versions need to be replaced much more often and rarely last long enough to pass down (the others can often go through 3 kids or more), which means you are actually spending more in the long run. Plus, shoes are important for healthy and happy kids.
KEEN Coronado Print $45
When KEEN offered us a chance to try out one of their new shoes for this fall, we took a bit of a leap and choose a pair that was very unlike any other KEEN shoe we have tried. They aren’t the typical “trail shoe”, are definitely way less beefy that most shoes we buy for our kids, and are not waterproof. However, they have a “cool” design (ask J, he’ll tell you all about it), are perfect for being comfortable in school and he can put them on all by himself.
While they were intended to be primarily school shoes, he has worn them all over the place and they are holding up great. KEEN, you never disappoint!
Hi-Tec Omaha Low Jr. Shoes $49.99
These shoes are the ones we have been testing the longest and have up-held the best over the past few months (ok, since March.) They are comfortable, include Hi-Tec’s Big Fit System (which means you get some growth out of them) and are backed by their 1 year warranty. J wears them biking, hiking and on every day running adventures (because this four year old rarely walks anywhere…) They also keep him dry and the mud out. Yes, they are $50, but the return on investment is totally worth it. Even for a growing kid, you can easily wear these a year or more.
My only gripe? The laces. He can’t put them on by himself, and they definitely require a double knot (or two) to keep them laced. I have definitely become one of “those moms” that is a big fan of velcro and kids being able to put their own shoes on.
Merrell Mix Master JAM Kids $50
- They are not waterproof (though not intended to be) and dirt finds its way through the ventilation holes (like any running shoes)
- They have laces and, again, are not kid-put-his-own-shoes-on friendly
- They wore out quicker than any of the others. While we will pass them on to one more kid, they won’t hold up much past that. Surprising for Merrell, honestly, but he DID wear them like crazy and put them to good use.
Merrell Barefoot Flux Glove Kids $65
“I love the shoes. At times it feels like I don’t even have shoes on! The color rocks because it is green and light. The soles are thin and when I jump off a pole a yard or so (high) I feel the shock. I even can feel rocks a bit when I walk on them and it feels awesome!”
My input: They have held up well (much better than the JAM ones) and keep kids walking natural and comfortable. Two thumbs up (yep, even for $65).
KEEN, Hi-Tec and Merrell generously provided us this gear in order to facilitate this review. However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own. Additionally, a few of these links are affiliates. Thank you so much for clicking through them to make your purchases – it helps offset the cost of this blog in a (VERY VERY) small way! You can find my full disclosure here.
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