Baby Steps

This is a goodbye story…

One of our favorite things is finding a really simple solution to what looks like a complicated problem. Like wiping char off a pan with tin foil or ironing your collar with a hair straightener. Life hacks are a thing of beauty.

Our oldest daughter’s hiking shoes are a life hack.

Happy as it makes us to spend money we don’t have on outdoorsy things we don’t need, everyone has to draw the line somewhere. Seeing as how kids are perpetually stuck between sizes, I think their hiking shoes are an appropriate place to draw that line.  

“Oh, I get it guys. All the best gear for you, but your kids are left to walk up hill to school both ways in the snow with newspapers wrapped around their little feet.”

Though that thought has crossed our minds…it’s shouted down every time we try in vain to squeeze our kid’s feet in shoes that just yesterday fit like Cinderella’s glass slipper.

I don’t know who, or even if they knew what they were doing at the time; but someone at Stride-Rite managed to bridge the gap between a toddler’s intention to explore the entire universe and a shoe that is actually up to the task. So many times Jen and I would talk about needing to get the girls proper hiking shoes only to see them effortlessly bouncing from rock to rock without a trace of slip in their step. 

What’s old is new again…and just like your mom and dad had Stride-Rite to lean on for a reasonably priced shoe, it turns out so do you.

We bought the late model of what is now the Stride Rite Shea Bungie Shoe. In the last few years, word has clearly caught on. Parents who were tired of chubby toddler feet not fitting in at stores like REI and Jax Mercantile clearly made their voices heard. Visit Stride Rite’s homepage and you’ll find a collection of everything from proper hiking kicks to amphibious water shoes – for boys and girls alike. Also, more than a few options from outdoor juggernauts like Merrell. The soles are perfectly suited to your toddler’s “crawk” – that classic toddler combination of crawling and walking. The soles are of a flexible but sturdy rubber. Feet just figuring out how to walk in a straight line will look like Rocky Mountain Goats clinging to the rocky face.

Buying Stride Rite’s Shea Bungies has been one of our few accidentally perfect purchases. But as with all things, their time has come. Raise a glass to Shea Bungie. A shoe among shoes! From first steps, through California hills, around Spanish streets, and over Rocky Mountains; we bid you the fondest farewell…and thank you for your service.  

Up next…Shoe shopping!

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