Another one of our 6 Parent Testers recently sent us her first impressions on the new-for-fall products she received to test out (shown to the left). Okay, so if your paying attention then you caught us out with BabyLegs, they might not be new for fall but they are a classic staple and matched the Umi Cuddles so well we couldn't resist. (BTW, our new fall BabyLeg styles, socks AND tights should be arriving very soon!)
Boy, 4 years old, size 11
Boy, 2 1/2 years old, size 8
Girl, 7 months, size 6-9 months
Keen Austin Shitake size 11
See Kai Run Carl size 8
Umi Cuddle Chocolate/Pink size 18
"Hello Tinysoles. Thank you for the wonderful new fall products; my boys were almost as excited as I was to see what you sent us! Here are my first impressions. I'll keep you updated about anything we discover as the shoes are broken in, and I'll try to get some pictures of them in action as well. Thanks again!"
Keen Austin -My boys both wore Keen sandals this summer, which I really liked despite their fairly stiff soles, but this is the first pair of regular shoes we've had from Keen. Right out of the box, the Austin is definitely not as flexible as my son's Eleven sneakers, but they seem like they're going to be very durable. My 4 year old son was able to put them on himself, which is always a big plus. After a couple of days of wear, I think the sole is actually becoming more flexible, which I also noticed with the boys' Keen sandals after a little while. It's tough to tell whether the fit is exactly right since it's hard to feel where his toe is underneath the rubberized toe cap, but they seem to be true to size compared with his Elevens, which run a little bit big. The padded collar is nice and soft, and the way the velcro strap closes back on itself makes for a good snug fit. I'm excited about the upcoming colder snowy weather since these seem like they're going to hold up really well. Style wise, they're not as flashy as the Eleven trainers, but my son really likes them; he says they're especially good for riding his bike.
See Kai Run Carl - I love the wingtip inspired design, the white stitching and the great fall colors of the Carl. It goes with just about anything, too! Since it's SKR, of course it's super flexible and the leather is supple with no need to break it in. My almost 3 year old son did a little dance when we put them on his feet. The collar on this shoe is more padded than any other SKR I've had, which is great for comfort. Unfortunately, my son can't get these on by himself. I'm not sure if it's that the collar is a little higher than a regular loafer or that the tongue doesn't open up very far, but he just can't get his narrow little foot all the way in without help. I'm hoping that as the leather stretches a little he'll be able to wriggle into it on his own. I'm also not yet sure how this color green will hold up to scuffing, but I'll let you know once it happens!
Umi Cuddle Chocolate Pink Pram -These little Umi's are just adorable; I love pink and brown together and the scalloped overlay is super cute. They did smell a bit funny coming out of the box, but after airing out for a day they've lost that really strong new shoe smell. My daughter, who is just about 8 months, isn't yet crawling, so it's hard to say whether the little rubber circles are going to help her grip, but she is fascinated with them! Just as with the Robeez that my sons wore, the elasticized part of the opening leaves marks on her little ankles, and her ankles are far from being chubby. I ended up switching to another brand of soft soled shoes for my boys because I didn't like how the Robeez elastic dug into them. We'll see what I decide once she's mobile, but I think I'm going to prefer the SKR Smaller brand for my daughter since they don't have elastic on the crease of the ankle. The Umi's also seem a bit stiffer than other soft soled shoes; I think the rubber actually lines most of the sole, rather than just being in the places where the circles are. I'm definitely going to keep these in the rotation as she starts to crawl and cruise, just to give them a fair shake and see if the soles soften up with use.
BabyLegs Pink/Heather/White - BabyLegs are so cute and practical, what's not to love? I did find a fun new use for BabyLegs recently. They make a great sock puppet to distract and entertain a crying baby on a long car trip (provided that you're not the driver, of course!)
Before we had a chance to post this, Caitlin sent us some more feed back on the Austin's:"Hi again. We recently visited my friend's horse farm in RI so I had a chance to put those Austins to the test. He rode, ran, jumped in dirt and wood shavings, and washed a horse in them. He never complained about his feet being too hot or uncomfortable, and his socks stayed dry and clean, even after standing in a puddle. I've attached a couple of photos of him riding with me and finishing up a horse's bath. Thanks again for the chance to test out something new!"