Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hip Shoes, and They're Not Pink!

Normally, I hate buying baby shoes. Half of the time I find shoes that are too tight (manufacturers take note: chubby babies have chubby feet by nature).

And if I do find shoes that fit, they're nearly always pink. While girls get the lion's share of clothing choices and, later in life, there are more shoe styles available than the population of Hong Kong, baby girl shoes tend to fall into two categories: pink, and more shades of pink.

I'm not completely against pink. It has its place along all of the other colors in the spectrum. I just want more choices in my daughters' footwear, and I want their shoes to fit well.

So when I was invited by the Parent Bloggers Network to pick out two new pairs of shoes from Vincent shoes, I was excited. Have you seen these shoes? No? Then promise me you'll go check them out after you read this review. Promise? OK, let's continue.

I received two pairs of the Vincent line of pre-walker shoes for Mira: the Mini Bjorn and the Mini Angela, and after trying them out I can say these are some of the best looking shoes out there. I am impressed with the high quality construction. The leather is smooth and comfortable, and the velcro is strong enough that a baby isn't likely to pull it open. The sole is flexible and soft - a must for pre-walkers and early walkers to encourage proper foot development - but it also has some cushioning for protection.

An important factor for me is fit. Both pairs fit Mira's feet without any difficulty. Like her sister, she has chubby feet, and the hard part is always finding shoes that are tall enough in the arch. These fastened without any squeezing of her foot, and there is still some room for growth, too. No matter how much she kicks, she can't get them off, either. I appreciate that, since I hate retracing my steps to find missing shoes.

The online shoe sizer was very easy to use. You can either go by age (less reliable) or print off their size chart and hold your child's foot up to it to measure. I'm glad I used the chart - while Mira may have fit into a size 2 based on her age, the size chart showed that she was better off going with a size 3 to have a little room for growth. The size 3's are great - slightly big, but not so big they fall off her foot.

The two styles I picked are perfect for us. The Mini Angela is a dressier-style shoe, perfect for all of the holiday gatherings coming up. And the Mini Bjorn is cut higher and lined in fake fur - an ideal warm shoe for the colder days ahead. But really, buth styles can be worn with nearly anything. Not only are they practical, but they're stylish, too. In the past two weeks, we've received so many compliments on her shoes.

My only complaint with these shoes is the way they identify the brand. The shoes have "Vincent" written across the bottom of the soles - I didn't think anything of it at first, but you wouldn't believe the number of times people saw that and thought my daughter was a boy named Vincent! It was funny at first, but I did get tired of explaining why her shoes were like that.

Finally, these aren't your standard pink shoes for girls. Sure, pink is available, but Vincent shoes come in a lot of vibrant colors. I specifically chose the red Mini Bjorn shoes because I wanted something that would stand out and get noticed. Red seemed to be a "take notice" color, and I was right. With the hip and unique design of Vincent shoes, these styles are guaranteed to stand out from the crowd of boring slip on elastic moccasin shoes and baby high-tops.

There are even more styles available for your older child, too. I'm seriously eying a pair of Julia boots for Cordy next. If you want shoes that are of solid construction, but also unique and fashionable (and not pink!), give Vincent shoes a try! I plan on buying more - after all, if I'm going to spend the money on well-fitting shoes for my girls, I want them to look good, too. Bye-bye pink high-tops!

What's better than hip shoes? Free hip shoes! Vincent is giving away two $50 gift certificates through Parent Bloggers. To enter, visit Vincent's site, look through the shoes, and leave a comment on the Vincent post at Parent Bloggers telling them what shoe style you like the most and why. Two winners will be chosen at random on November 1.

Can't wait for the contest to end? You can also get 20% off your first order at Vincent by using the coupon code "OCT-20-OFF" through November 11.

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