Remember when your child took their first steps…? Erm – maybe you do, maybe you don’t – because let’s face it, once they are up on their feet and climbing on the coffee table it is essentially the beginning of the end. Or – the end of the beginning. And you’re so busy chasing them ’round and fitting locks onto cupboards and moving everything on shelves up one shelf higher that you completely forget to look at the date.
But Bobux have come to the rescue with a lovely keepsake dustbag, into which you can pop your child’s first walking/climbing/scrambling shoes once they have outgrown them and keep them for posterity, scribbling the date on the handy leather tag.
The bag comes with all shoes in the Bobux ‘Step Up’ range, including the award-winning Xplorer, which is lightweight and flexible; designed to help little ones progress up from a crawl.
#MMHA17 nominated footwear brand Bobux took time out to share their thoughts on Winter Boot choices.
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?
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?
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.
The Bobux Rove is a closed toe, leather and suede combination sandal. Perfect for the warmer summer months, they come in navy or black in sizes 27-33. RRP £49. We tested…
Editor writes:“Here are two types of kids’ sandals. On the left, a pair of Crocs. On the right a beautifully designed suede and leather pair of Bobux shoes, built in-line with best foot health practice and podiatrist endorsed.
Only one pair is currently permitted at my son’s nursery. Can you guess which it is? Yep… The Crocs.
There is obviously so much wrong with that rule – don’t even get me started. Especially when my son (a middle child who lives for running, jumping, climbing trees and climbing the wrong way up slides) won’t keep shoes on his feet if they’re not comfy.
Apparently – and maybe you have the same logic at your nursery – the reason Crocs are permitted is because they have solid/closed toes. The reasoning being that if a health and safety fail meant that a box of LEGO fell on your child’s foot, the toe of a Croc would protect them from a trip to the nurse’s office. Hmmm…
Bobux do have a selection of open toed sandals too (I’ll point out here). I’m personally a fan of kids’ feet having as much fresh air as possible in the Summer – and bar an excursion that involved pebbles, mud or gravel – I would happily have them go open toed from March til October. But I opted for the Rove as they give the option of kicking a ball around (or alternatively kicking one’s heels up in a two-year-old tantrum.)
Now, my son knows what a box from Bobux looks like. He knows that inside there will be tissue wrapped shoes that fit his feet like gloves (except obviously, not like gloves!) and furthermore he knows that when a box comes from Bobux, it is for him. He doesn’t need to be told about the fact that they keep his feet healthy and aid correct posture and growth. To him they look and feel fantastic and he can’t wait to put them on. This occasion was no different and in seconds the new sandals were on his feet (surprisingly, on the correct feet too) and he was off into the garden…
Because these shoes are so light, they don’t need to be removed to bounce on a trampoline and the vents around the toes mean that sandpit sand just falls out – with a bit of dinosaur stomping. The sandals are leather, but the odd puddle doesn’t really matter and you can just give them a wipe with a damp cloth in the case of paint, glitter or marmalade spillages.
On the first night of owning these sandals, my son wore them to bed. Of course, once he was snoring away, clutching his beloved bunny, we wiggled them off him. However, if we had left them on, I honestly think he would have slept just as soundly.
The way these shoes fasten is really clever as it looks like a popper, but is actually an adjustable velcro strap. Really easy to make sure the shoes are on firmly; not too tight but, you know, so one can’t be hurled in a strop or come loose in the supermarket whilst you’re distracted.
I can’t fault these sandals and neither can my son. Which is why I shall be flying the controversy flag and sending him to nursery wearing them.
French born, Dalston dwelling designer Soléne Roure has worked with the likes of Nike, Puma, Louis Vuitton, Alexander McQueen and Lululemon, but this week announces her debut collaboration with children’s footwear brand Bobux.
We caught up with her to find out more…
SM: Can you tell us how the collaboration with Bobux came about?
Soléne Roure:The innovation & design manager at Bobux had seen some of my work and contacted me through my website. We had a number of Skype conversations and I met other members of the team in London. The enthusiasm of the Bobux team was instantly infectious and I was very excited to be working with them. They gave me a lot of creative freedom, too. They truly care about kids’ feet from an ergonomic point of view, which is very important to me.
SM: What was on your mood board when designing the collection?
Soléne Roure: Whilst I have a lot of experience designing footwear, it’s my first time working on kid’s product. It felt like a new world full of possibilities! Bobux wanted me to use my influences from working in the sports and fashion industry, and inject them into a unique product.
I was looking at what mums were currently wearing, the shoes they were into, and I wanted to make a version for the kids. So I looked at slip on sneakers. They are practical, modern and stylish. I wanted to design a shoe that could act like a blank canvas, to hold lots of colour and graphic combinations. The sole however, is very curvy, and I thought it was an interesting hybrid look. I hadn’t seen that successfully done in a slip-on before.
We created graphics that almost look like a texture from far away, yet are quite intricate when you look up close, allowing kids to engage with the playful details. Meanwhile the adults can enjoy a tasteful graphic. You’ll see it more in our future collection.
I also wanted the graphics to look like they were created by a kid. Kid’s artwork can be very similar to modern art, in the best way possible! I am excited to explore this further, in the future.
SM: Bobux are obviously known for their ‘barefoot freedom’ in children’s shoes – did this pose any limitations on your designs?
Soléne Roure:Yes, it’s a difficult balance. It’s all about communication and my job ultimately is about problem solving.
Thankfully, the Bobux team held my hand. I’ve learnt a lot about kids’ feet! Thanks to their technical and ergonomic expertise combined with my creative efforts we were able to come up with the best design possible as a team, without compromising ‘barefoot freedom’.
SM: If you could shrink your own feet down to kids’ sizes, which shoe would you pick from the collection?
Soléne Roure:I think I would wear the Xplorer City white/black+ (with the yellow sole). I was always a bit of a tomboy growing up.
SM: And have you had any feedback from children on wearing your designs…?
Soléne Roure:Not yet, the collection only launched yesterday, we’ve had some great comments on Instagram and Facebook though so I hope people will enjoy them.
SM: Will this collaboration be the start of a beautiful relationship with Bobux..?
Soléne Roure:It’s looking pretty good, yes! I don’t know how much I’m allowed to say about this, actually. My first collection wasn’t supposed to come out for a few months yet. Bobux was so excited though that they arranged an early release of some of the styles! That means we have more shoes coming out very soon! I can hardly wait, as these are some of my favourites so far…
A good sheepskin rug is a multi-tasking hero for mums; use it as a buggy liner, playmat – or just for a cosy nap… Good ones are machine washable (on a cool cycle) and hung out to dry (then fluff them up with a hairbrush).
As Autumn creeps in, sheepskin is a lovely addition to our wardrobes too.
A gilet such as this one from Pure Collection is a forever piece; super versatile over jeans and a tee or give a long dress a Boho feel…
Or choose a little sheepskin trim to keep feet stylish and warm – we love these stack heel boots from Celtic and Co.
BaaBaby from NotontheHighSt make beautiful baby puddy mittens – on strings so they don’t get lost and made to fit up to 15 months.
At just £5 a pair, these sheepskin insoles from baby and toddler footwear brand Bobux are a chilly weather must-have. Keep toes snuggly and little ones playing outside for longer.
Bobux is a family run business based in New Zealand, supplying their range of soft sole shoes for children’s developing feet to parents and stores worldwide.
Editor review:If, like me, you have a child who is a higgledy piggledy wriggler then a couple of things are likely. One; they will normally be preceded by the sound of a ball bouncing in front of them, followed by a jump and a thump and a skip and a slide as they scamper afterwards… and two; they will almost never manage to keep a pair of shoes on their feet for longer than thirty seconds.
Like me, if this isn’t your first child, you might have simply let them run barefoot – ignoring the patronising words of do-gooders in the supermarket queue – hoping they’d figure it out by Winter time.
If you have a child like mine, Bobux shoes will change both yours and their lives. Designed to mimic barefoot movement, the shoes are beautifully crafted from supersoft leather and suede and built to stay put – even on the most higgledy wriggledy ball kicking, chair climbing, toe tapping little feet.
My son tested the Outback Boots from the iWalk collection in adorable cherry red. From the second he laid eyes on them, tissue wrapped in the box, he was in love. On they went to his teeny feet and on they stayed.
Not once did I need to hunt for a stray, scornfully tossed shoe, not once did I need to upturn the toy chest, ransack the car or rummage in the dog’s bed. And why – well, not only does the clever design mean that they stick like glue to running, jumping, climbing feet but they are also so lovely to wear that even the most difficult of customers will want to keep them on.
So bounce, bounce goes the ball… and jump, skip, tippy-tap goes my son. All the way until bedtime, when, having had his bath and in his cosy pjs I catch him – tongue stuck out with concentration – trying to put his new boots back on again…