Cool Shoes!

Although I buy myself high quality, comfortable shoes most of the time, I have tried to avoid spending a lot of money on shoes for the kids. Knowing that they may only get 6-9 months of wear from them, it seems silly to spend a lot.

However, it’s been hard to find good middle-of-the-road priced shoes…the ones I’ve bought at less expensive places that I expect to have decent quality (such as Target and Land’s End), have literally fallen apart and had to be returned. I refuse to buy shoes from those stores anymore. Most of the time I try to go for the Stride Rites or can get some good Merrells on sale. It kills me to spend as much as $50 on a pair of shoes for the boys but once in a while I end up doing it in a pinch. It’s a really good thing I don’t have girls, because it would be very hard to resist those pricey girls’ shoes, though!

It’s not easy, however, to get cool shoes for boys in a decent price range. So when Umi offered me a free pair of ultra-hip leather shoes for each of my boys, I (eventually) agreed to review them.

When I ordered the shoes over the summer, Umi’s website was brand new and there were very few choices (especially in Baxter’s big kid size) but I liked the styles I picked out. It doesn’t appear that more shoes have been added to their site yet. Lyle has the Sierra ($60) and Baxter has the Zazu ($65). (Remember, on Zappos (where it appears there are many more Umi styles) they’ll beat the price of an online competitor – looks like maybe the Umi.com site has them at a higher price so you might get a really good deal by ordering them from Zappos.com!)

Now that the boys have worn them for about a month and a half, I’m happy to say that these are great shoes. (Okay, so I’m mostly happy to say this because they look REALLY cool!) Baxter absolutely loves his, which has really surprised me, given his usual preference for sneakers. I think he secretly likes all the compliments he gets on them. They are sturdy and appear to be well made; he says they are very comfortable. Lyle wears his less because I’d rather he not spill paint all over them in nursery school, but they are adorable with a pair of jeans when we go out. He also loves wearing them. My kids each only have two pairs of shoes – a pair of sneakers and the Umi leather shoes (beyond beach sandals) – so their shoes need to hold up well.

I recommend Umi if you are looking for high quality, comfortable, and fashionable kids’ shoes. I’d buy them again in a heartbeat, but will look for them on sale.

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8 responses to “Cool Shoes!

  1. Hey, Jordan, how flexible are the soles?

  2. I can’t say I pay attention to the soles so I just checked that out – they are actually very flexible.

  3. PS: Have fun with my man this weekend, Alex!! Make him take lots of pictures of Iris.

  4. Hey! Those shoes are totally hip! Love them!

    I feel compelled to mention, in case anyone out there might find it useful, that we buy all Julia’s shoes at Target (esp. since that is pretty much the only shopping choice in our small college town), and we’ve never had any problem at all with quality. She wears her sandals and canvas “slip-on” casuals all summer long, to playgrounds and playgroups and to the Arboretum, and they always last long enough to pack them away for the next daughter to wear when she gets bigger (although they get pretty dirty!) We’re also on our third pair of Target-sold Cherokee brown leather “nicer” shoes–they remind me of old-fashioned “school shoes”, nicer than canvas or athletic shoes but not as fancy as, say, dress-up Mary Janes–and they’ve worn like iron (hence us being on our third pair….we love them so much we keep buying the next size up.)

    So, we’ve had different experience than you have from Target as far as quality goes…if anyone out there is wondering about where they should buy their kids’ shoes…

    But clearly, getting free expensive cool shoes for blogging about them is the best scenario. 🙂

  5. Wow, I have the worst luck buying inexpensive shoes. Our Target shoes have all fallen apart too (as have the ones I’ve bought for myself!). Perhaps I’m just not choosing well?

  6. Always nice to hear about good shoes for those of us who love them (probably in an abnormal way). 🙂

    I personally have found that the shoes I buy for myself at Target, while often cute, are quite uncomfortable and don’t offer much in the way of support. I buy lots of other things at Target boutique, of course, but not shoes. It is the one thing I splurge on for myself and my boys. And lattes. Have I mentioned shoes and lattes in another comment before???

  7. Shoes and lattes…gee, why does that sound familiar, Cara? Perhaps because those are the top two items on our agenda when we manage to get a few hours together?!

  8. Nice information…..i agree with your comments….i too don’t spend much money on my children shoes…..I often buy nike shoes for them and they stay in good condition for long days….so that i can save my money….

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