SM Chats to… Nicola Williamson, Senior Product Designer at Bobux #MMHA17

#MMHA17 nominated footwear brand Bobux took time out to share their thoughts on Winter Boot choices. 

Nicola Williamson, Bobux

Help! My child needs Winter Boots. What do I need to think about?

NW: Winter boots can be quite a hefty investment so there’s a lot you should consider before committing to a pair. For starters: where you live. Climate should be the first thing you consider so if you live somewhere particularly wet, you might want to opt for water-resistant boots. If you live somewhere with a very cold climate, then wool-lined boots should be on your radar.

You also need to think about what the boots are for. Are they going to be worn everyday? Are they going to be worn as dress shoes? Or is your little one a keen adventurer? For everyday boots, you might want to opt for something versatile and uber comfortable like Bobux Ranch boots. For dressier occasions, something classy like the Bobux Shimmer boot could be a good option. For explorers, you want something easy to clean, and easy to get on and off (but not slip off) like Bobux Pioneer boots.

The shape of your little one’s feet also matters. If your child has particularly chubby or thin feet, adjustability should be a priority. Look for boots with straps that can be fitted a bit looser or a bit more snug according to your child’s foot shape.

Are boots a better investment than just putting them in wellies all Winter?

Kids + Ranch boots in Army

NW: Definitely! Wellies are a Winter essential but they can’t be used as a substitute for footwear. As well as being notoriously ill-fitting, wellies don’t support healthy foot development, don’t allow feet to breathe and kids’ feet tend to roll around in them. A good boot will keep your child’s feet warm, support their feet, and help them to balance and improve coordination by giving feet the freedom to move more naturally. There’s nothing like wellies for jumping in those Winter puddles, but for everyday wear, opt for shoes that’ll do your kids’ feet some good.

What winter shoe buying mistakes do parents make?

NW: We’ve picked up on a few mistakes parents make when buying Winter shoes for their kids. One thing people might not think is that big of a deal is buying your child just one pair of shoes. Shoes get wet in Winter, and to get the most out of your shoes they need to be dried naturally. If you don’t have a second pair while the wet pair is drying, parents tend to speed-dry their shoes. Putting them in the dryer, leaving them in the sun (if you get much sun in Winter) and even using a hair dryer will damage shoes and shorten their lifespan. The best way to look after your kid’s feet is to keep them in dry, healthy shoes – so make sure you have a spare pair!

Parents also tend to buy Winter shoes before the cold weather has kicked in. When trying on boots, children might be wearing their Summer clothes, not realising the shoes will fit differently when they’re wearing thick, warm socks and trousers. Definitely, something to keep in mind when you’re shopping for shoes this season!

My child is super picky, do you have shoes with unicorns on them?

Blaze + Unicorn Fuschia

NW: Oh, yes we do! We have a whole bunch of characters on our Blaze trainers and the Unicorn is one of our favourites. Blaze trainers are perfect for playtime with a flexible, lightweight sole and ultra-durable micro-armoured toe cap. But the best feature of Blaze sneakers is that they help kids learn to put their shoes on the correct feet. On each shoe, you have a dazzling unicorn. When the shoes are on their feet your child can look at the characters and know that if the unicorns are touching, they’ve got their lefts and rights spot on!

My preschooler struggles to put shoes on at nursery, what considerations go into the fastenings?

NW: Fastenings play a major part in how our shoes are designed. We want to encourage kids to put their shoes on themselves – so it must be enjoyable, quick and easy. It’s best to avoid lace-up shoes as there’s a risk of making shoes overly tight which will restrict toe movement. Laces are also notoriously difficult to tie up and dangerous when they come undone. Shoes with strap fastenings are best as they’re easy for kids to get on and they stay on!

What else is unique about Bobux boots?

NW: The truly unique thing about Bobux boots is that they’re built around the equally unique shape of kids’ feet. ‘Lasts’ are used when designing shoes: Molds of feet that designers use to get the shape and fit of shoes right. The trouble with many children’s shoes is that they’re built around the last of a shrunken adult’s foot. Bobux invested in developing custom lasts for kids’ feet for each stage in their foot development. So instead of designing shoes for fully-developed yet tiny feet, we design shoes specifically for those chubby, round, still-developing tootsies.

Will they last all Winter?

NW: A lot of elements come into play when it comes to a boot’s lifespan. Extreme climates with very low temperatures or high rainfall can damage boots so it’s important to keep them polished and let them dry naturally. Generally, though, your boots should last until their wearer grows out of them. With Autumn and Winter spanning six months, this could mean your child will have to go up a size before the season’s over!

What was on the mood board for the AW collection?

NW: The AW collection was designed as a homage to nature and natural materials – but with an unexpected twist. We took earthy tones and textures, and finished the shoes with gorgeous details and embellishments. For the girls’ collection, we wanted the shoes to inspire fantasy and enchantment. Precious silver and gold, and jewels were behind the mood of these styles.

Shop online at bobux.co.uk or check the store locator for your nearest stockist.