I don’t know who was more excited about these shoes – my daughter, GWA’s Ed’s glamorous assistant, or me – for these are exceptionally cute looking shoes.
Now, if you’re a fan of the adult version of Keen’s Newport H2 shoes you’ll know most of what there is to know about these shoes already, but the clever people at Keen have toddler-ified these stalwart favourites to make them a truly excellent choice for any parent with an outdoors loving child.
The first thing to note about the Keen Newport H2 Toddler shoes is that they are very well made. I would be hugely surprised if any child could wear their shoes out before they outgrew them. Even after repeated wears in extreme conditions – we’re talking toddler extremes here – so climbing trees, riding a balance bike, kicking stones, tripping, falling, crawling, skidding, skating and sliding – Isabella’s shoes could pass for very nearly new.
The thickness and height of the rubber toe rand means that your child will never be able to kick enough stones or crawl around sufficient quantities of rough ground to penetrate the shoe or even damage it sufficiently to make it look tatty. In fact, I think I am setting a challenge right here and right now to toddlers the length and breadth of the land to try and prove me wrong!
The second thing to note is the toddler-ifying of these shoes – well, Keen have thought about it carefully, probably consulted a few small people too, and determined that they need to make a range of Newport H2’s that’s colourful, bright and beautiful so that no matter what your personal style preference, you’re likely to find a colour or a pattern to suit.
We were lucky enough to be in receipt of a pair in Camellia Rose with Swedish Blue Whales – what can I say? My daughter loves pink. So naturally she loves these shoes. Her love for them has little to do with anything more than the colour – so, let’s ignore her for a while and talk about why I like these shoes: –
- They are very cute looking – it matters!
- They are hugely practical for spring, summer and autumn wear
- They are waterproof (as in they don’t soak up water), breathable and they dry out quicker than you can get them wet
- There are styles to suit any child
- They have sufficient stretch to get them on and off a wriggling child’s foot, whilst at the same time they are robust enough to support their feet well
- They have elastic and Velcro to tighten and secure the shoe in place
- They are pretty much bomb-proof
- The rubber smell doesn’t do anything for me… it is very subtle and probably wouldn’t offend anyone, but it’s there!
- When you first get the wearer into them you’re unsure of how tight to pull the elastic and stick the Velcro. With ‘normal’ Clarks or Start-rite type shoes you have a width and length fitting done before buying shoes to fit your child’s feet. With Keen’s Newport H2s there’s a bit of trial and error of pulling and loosening before you get a feel of how much adjustment you need to make for your own child’s foot. After the first wear when I clearly got it so very wrong, Isabella had elastic marks on her feet for about 24 hours!
- They are quite heavy. Most premium brand children’s shoes are light whilst providing maximum support etc., but Keen’s Newport H2 Toddler shoes are noticeably heavier than all of my daughter’s other shoes.This is because of the materials used to make them I suppose, and the rigidity and robustness of them, and it may not be a concern for most people. However, from her initial dedicated love for these shoes my daughter became reluctant to wear them as, and I quote: “they make my legs heavy…”
I probably love these shoes more than my daughter does because of their practicality and good looks. If you’re a parent of an active toddler the Keen Newport H2 shoes are a very sound choice. Your child will grow out of them before they fall apart – I’m almost certain of that!