Product: Newport H2 Shoe
Best Price: £25 (http://www.keenfootwear.com/en-gb/product/shoes/little-kids/newport-h2)
If you’re an outdoor family like us, you have probably experienced the pain and frustration of trying to find good quality outdoor specific footwear for your toddler. It seems that most brands don’t think that 2 and 3 year olds are capable of going along on a hike, or enjoying some river or stream play.
Furthermore, the problem isn’t solely a UK one. After sending out a plea on Twitter some months ago, I soon found that families with young children in the USA and Canada had similar problems. It was, however, this Twitter plea that led me to checking out Keen’s range of toddler and young children’s footwear, after a tip off from a fellow parent. And boy, I’m glad they got in touch. The Keen Newport H2 shoes are great!
With warm weather on the horizon, we opted for the Keen Newport H2 shoes. When they first arrived, the most noticeable things about them was the quality of the sole. It’s a proper outdoor sole designed to take a lot of punishment. It even has a toe bumper that encloses the end of little feet to protect them from knocks and abrasions. I was immediately impressed. Up until this point, all I’d seen available were brands playing at making outdoor shoes for little critters; now I actually had a pair that would far outlast Jesse’s foot growth, no matter where we went and what we got up to.
Another great feature is the shock/bungee cord lacing system. The shoes, when they first arrived, were a touch too big but, by utilising the elastic cord and stopper, you’d never know. The fit was totally secure, which is mega important for outdoor adventures over stones, roots and uneven ground if you’re to avoid twists to the ankle. This is further supported by the more traditional Velcro hook and loop strap at the top of the shoe.
The uppers on the Keen Newport sandals are made of quick-drying webbing, so taking them for a splash in the local river is not a problem, nor is chucking them in the washing machine to freshen them up before your next adventure. The foot-bed is a high quality EVA foam which, again, won’t grumble at the thought of getting wet, or leave your critter’s foot wet for ages after they’ve finally finished paddling or racing stick boats.
As far as outdoor-specific footwear goes to use on family adventures hiking, in rivers, at the beach, or simply climbing your favourite tree in the local park, other brands have a lot to learn from Keen. It may have taken me a while to track some down in a size small enough but, when I did, they were great. I’m happy to say that Keen even offer these specific shoes down to a size 3 (baby sizes) for first time walkers taking on their first outdoor adventures. They also offer a great range of children’s trail shoes and boots that we’ll certainly be looking into further as the weather changes.
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