Children’s Buzz: Hi-Tec, See Kai Run, Monkey Toes

Room to Grow
To help kids extend the lives of their shoes, Portland, Ore.-based outdoor firm Hi-Tec Sports has developed a fitting system called Big-Fit, which uses a two-piece contoured insole and volume adjuster. As kids’ feet grow, the volume adjuster can be removed from one or both of the shoes to customize the fit and increase the shoe’s size by up to two-thirds. On average, the technology provides an additional three months of wear. Big-Fit will be featured in a handful of Hi-Tec’s fall ’11 kids’ models, including the TT Mid WP Jr. (at far left), a waterproof suede and mesh hiking shoe; and the TT EZ Jr., a double-strap trail sneaker. The shoes will retail for $55 and $50, respectively.


Older Crowd
See Kai Run continues to expand its brood. After introducing its Smaller line of soft-sole baby shoes in 2008, the Seattle-based kids’ brand is now adding a larger-sized line called Kai. Targeted to kids ages 2 to 6, Kai offers more sophisticated adaptations of See Kai Run’s toddler looks. Styles include ankle boots, Mary Jane shoes and athletic-inspired casuals, detailed with the brand’s usual vibrant color palette and distinctive appliques and other decorative touches. The shoes, which will deliver in August, are priced from $50 to $56.


Monkey Business
Centennial, Colo.-based Monkey Toes Shoes has inked a licensing agreement with Scene Weaver, a Columbia, S.C.-based gift and accessories firm, to take over all manufacturing and distribution for its wholesale footwear business. Monkey Toes founder Jenny Ford will continue to oversee design of the collection, as well as operation of the brand’s e-commerce site. “This partnership is going to be huge for Monkey Toes,” said Ford. “We’ve already built a nice, solid customer base, but Scene Weaver has a much wider reach, as well as the resources to help us break into even more stores.” Founded in 2002, Monkey Toes specializes in hand-painted kids’ footwear, featuring animal-inspired motifs. The shoes, which retail for $31, are sold mainly in boutiques and specialty stores.

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