Stride Rite is reinventing a classic.
This June, the Boston-based children’s brand will unveil a modern update of its iconic white baby bootie — a heritage style that has remained a staple of the collection since it was first introduced back in 1931.
Marc Loverin, the brand’s creative director, said the decision to redesign the shoe was driven by growing consumer interest in classic product. “The white baby bootie has always been an evergreen item in the Stride Rite line, and we felt it was the perfect time to redesign this beloved shoe to better suit the tastes of today’s parents,” he explained. “The design is certainly a nod to the classic Stride Rite silhouette, but it includes improved features and benefits.”
The 2017 bootie — named the Bailey — maintains the original shoe’s retro, lace-up silhouette, but it is designed with new and improved tech features including: a memory-foam footbed for all-day comfort; a lightweight, rounded bottom with an athletic tread design for better balance, flex, agility and grip; a reinforced midsole for stability; and sensory pods on the sole for natural movement and extra support on new walking surfaces. “The sensory-pod design pays special attention to the heel strike and forefoot pressure points, so early walkers can better feel the ground beneath their feet,” Loverin noted. The bootie has also been updated with wider openings and secure Velcro closures so that the shoes go on quick and easily, and stay on the feet.
Loverin believes the shoe, which many moms and dads wore as babies themselves, will evoke a sense of nostalgia among consumers. “Young parents are busier than ever, and there is often a longing for what seems like a simpler time – their childhood. There is something comforting about reminiscing about your childhood, and for parents there is a real desire to share that with their children,” he said. “We wanted to help parents embrace the nostalgia around their childhood by giving them a chance to have their little one take those all-important first steps in the iconic Stride Rite baby bootie, too.”
Available in infant sizes 3 to 7, the Bailey bootie will be priced at $50. In addition to the classic white version (offered in medium, wide and extra-wide widths), the shoe will be available in a shimmery pink shade (in medium and wide widths). It is slated to land in Stride Rite retail stores and online on June 25.