I’m actually pretty practical when it comes to my girls’ dressier shoes. I am willing to spend more than average, but I demand great design and excellent construction, and I don’t want shoes that will either fall apart or feel out of season come January 1. To get the most for my money, I want a holiday shoe my kids can wear Christmas Eve, that will also allow them to jump into an impromptu game of “kick the basketball around the school gym.”
I’ve always had great experiences with Umi Shoes (as I say over and over) and their holiday selection this year does not disappoint. They sent over a sample of the new Serenade Boot in raspberry which is a colorful update of their popular brown boot. (I think three girls in my daughter’s preschool class own them.) The photo on the website doesn’t do justice to the sophisticated hue which looks great with red or pink, and the nice pebbled texture of the leather upper. It will get a lot of play through the holidays, and also looks suh-weet tucked into jeans.
I also really dig the smart patent leather Locket Boot in black, with just enough pink detailing to make girlie girls smile. Also check out the patent Cherish Shoe, a ballet-style shoe although more structure and support. I’m less crazy about this kind of style in general because really, the kick the basketball thing is important to me. But for a dressier, more traditional but still contemporary style, this one screams Christmas shoe to me.
Do Umi shoes all come with crazy celebrity baby style pricetags? Not exactly. But even so, be prepared for sticker shock if you’re used to shopping at Payless. –Liz
Updated to add: Looking for some pretty-yet-practical holiday dresses to match those kicky shoes? Don’t miss the section on cool holiday clothes for kids in our just-launched 2009 Holiday Gift Guide!