I always like the fashion-sneaker hybrid for kids, because they are super versatile. In other words, I know that if a slightly dressy birthday party turns into a giant game of Chase Everyone Around the House Like Crazy People And Scream Your Heads Off, that my daughters can keep up with the boys. So I’m really happy to see that Umi, one of my longtime favorite shoe brands for kids, is totally rocking the stylish sneakers this year.
The colorful, mary jane style Halina Shoes are also pretty awesome–and those grommets across the strap are a sweet touch.
The Terri Shoes are an oxford style sneaker (think Chuck low-top) only the outside is a faux croc pattern in a metallic pink, purple, or my favorite, a silver with a subtle pink accent. The soles are really sturdy, and you can send your kiddo out on the playground in them with total confidence.
But my very favorite is easily the Tala espadrilles for girls which have a sturdy rubber sole in lime green with a fun floral pattern, a canvas top and a velcro strap that makes them the perfect easy-on-easy-off shoes when the weather gets a bit warmer. Although, my older daughter tried a pair (thanks Umi!) and if it’s up to her, she’ll be wearing them with the mercury still in the 30s.
[*Editor's note 7/13: Regretfully we have to rescind our recommendation of the espadrilles, as the knit rope aroundthe sole frays quite easily and renders the shoes nearly unwearable. This is unusual; we've always been very happy with the wear of Umi shoes.]
Unfortunately they don’t make them in my size. But there’s enough on the site for kids from babies to big kids, maybe you can get fashionable vicariously through your kids. -Liz