From clever product concepts to highly anticipated drops, the kids’ footwear market has certainly meant business this year. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the biggest shoe highlights for tots of 2018 so far and where to shop them.
Talk about multitasking. Montreal-based Butler’s clever new three-in-one waterproof boot, the Macaroni, is designed to take kids through every season. The boot starts as an insulated snow boot and, when its liner is removed, it converts to a sturdy overshoe that’s ideal for rainy days. Featuring an accordion-pleated design, the boot stretches to fit any style of footwear. The liner then becomes a slipper for cozy days at home.
After winning over the women’s market with its easy-to-wear knit flats, Silicon Valley startup Rothy’s rolled out a line of mini-me looks for girls. Offered in a rainbow of colors and patterns, the loafer-style shoes, which launched in July, feature durable rubber bottoms and machine-washable convenience, making them perfect for everyday play. And they not only look good but do good, too: Rothy’s signature knits are manufactured from recycled plastic water bottles. So far, the 2-year-old brand has kept more than 10 million of them from ending up in landfills.
Balenciaga Kids Speed Trainer
Fueled by a bevy of celebrity fans including the Kardashian-Jenner clan, Balenciaga’s Speed Trainers became one of the hottest-selling sneakers of 2017 — in spite of their steep $750 price tag. This year, the French fashion label debuted mini versions of the socklike kicks for kids, available for a slightly more down-to-earth cost of $300. For those looking to nab the look for less, the Speed has not surprisingly spawned scores of lookalike designs from brands across the kids’ market.
High IntenCity Charm It! Shoelace Charm Party Sets
High IntenCity is putting a little kick in kids’ steps. The New York accessories brand has expanded its Charm It! jewelry offering with the addition of shoelace charms. The colorful enamel designs are sold in four-piece sets featuring trendy motifs such as emojis, rainbows and unicorns. The charms slide on and off easily, letting kids jazz up any pair of lace-up sneakers or boots in their closet.
Ugg Fluff Squad
Ugg’s spring ’18 collection came packed with personality. Tuning into kids’ love of emojis, the California brand created Fluff Squad, an adorably quirky capsule of shoes inspired by an original cast of characters — from free spirit Willow to music lover Punki. The fashionable characters are brought to life with appliquéd facial features (think eyes, lips, mustaches, sunglasses), as well as fringe and fluff accents. A followup offering is now available for fall, this time inspired by mythical forest creatures and detailed with 3-D ears, spikes and other fun flourishes.
Aruna Seth Kids
Famous for outfitting bridesmaid Pippa Middleton at her sister Kate Middleton’s 2011 wedding to Prince William, London-based shoe designer Aruna Seth stepped into the children’s category this spring with a gorgeous collection for girls. Naturally, the designs, which include dressy ballet flats and sneakers, are centered around Seth’s signature detail: Swarovski crystal butterflies. Produced in Italy, the shoes showcase such premium materials as French Chantilly lace and satin for a truly luxe touch.
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