(I was gifted two pairs of Bobux Shoes for this review. All opinions are my own).
Having a baby involves a lot of shopping, and almost a constant renewing of nappies, singlets and outfits. Bub quickly grows a dress size (which for them, is a good thing!) and the whole wardrobe needs to be updated. It can be an expensive exercise, but one that is important – and exciting – nevertheless.
Now that Starfish is becoming a more proficient crawler, he is also starting to practice standing against furniture (with the help of mum). Most mums know the natural progression of baby movement – crawling, to standing, to toddling around furniture, and then (ONE DAY) walking. As our babies work through these natural stages, of course numerous questions fill our heads (yet again): At what age should they be walking? How can I support their development through these stages? Or, if you’re like me: When and what type of shoes should I buy? (Okay, I’m a bit obsessed about dressing up my son in cute outfits!)
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing a Podiatrist and asking her when babies should be start wearing shoes (amongst other questions, all of which you can read in the full interview HERE). This chat was a great insight into common feet-related problems for babies, and when us mums should look into investing in some shoes. I say investing, because Reche (the lovely podiatrist), really emphasises the importance of choosing quality shoes for your children (regardless of the expense), to support the development of their feet and avoid long-term issues. It can be quite easy for parents to buy cheap shoes because babies go through them so quickly, however it is important that we consider shoes that are going to help our children’s feet develop appropriately and not cause issues for them (and us) later down the track.
So now that Starfish is “on the go” (so to speak), I’ve started looking into baby shoes for him – if nothing else, as a way to protect his feet when we go out, or dress him up for special occasions. And while there is a vast range of shoes for babies out there (spanning from the extremely cheap to the quite expensive), I couldn’t go past the Bobux brand.
Introducing Bobux Shoes
Bobux is a New Zealand-based brand that has cleverly produced a variety of baby/children’s shoes based on a great amount of research and Podiatrist feedback. The Bobux range is engineered across the “stages” of walking development, meaning that they have created different shoes for newborns, pre-walkers/walkers, toddlers, pre-schoolers and primary-aged children, all based on their level of walking and the development of their feet.
For example, Starfish is currently at the pre-walker stage, where he can take a few (VERY) assisted steps, and can hold himself up on furniture, however he is not at cruising or walking stage yet. The development of his foot and his needs for walking are very different to younger babies who are not yet crawling, or for toddlers who are racing here, there and everywhere. Bobux understand these changes and have carefully designed shoes to match the needs of each of these children – cool, right?!
Step Up – First Walker
One of the things that I love about Bobux is that they understand that all babies are different in their development. Their shoes match the “stages, not ages” of babies, and this is something that I firmly believe as well (especially since Starfish likes to take his sweet time with everything!). Now that Starfish has started to hold himself up on furniture and practice standing while mummy or daddy holds his hands, I knew it was time to look into some shoes for him. I loved the ease of which I could find shoes that would suit him developmentally on the Bobux site, rather than choosing shoes that were appropriate for his age (but perhaps not appropriate for his development of walking).
The Bobux website includes helpful illustrations and information for each stage of development to help new parents understand where their child is at, and what they are currently learning/practising (which was also further emphasised in my chat with Reche). For example, the “Step Up (First Walker)” range supports babies who are being assisted with their walking, cruising around furniture, or starting to walk unassisted. These babies have chubbier feet (no arches) and need more space around their feet to allow for movement and flexibility of the foot. The Bobux Step Up shoes have been designed to allow the feet to move within the shoes as babies pull themselves up, toddle around the house and begin taking their first steps. They have also been created with a flexible sole to allow the feet to bend and stretch which is key for their development.
Starfish “Stepping Up”
Of course, besides being a very trendy shoe (all his friends are jealous!), the most notable thing I have found using the Step Up Bobux shoes with Starfish is that he is standing better against furniture with minimal assistance from me. With bare feet, Starfish stands on his tip-toes, which we believe is due to extended time using a walker. However with the shoe, he is able to stand with flat feet and better balance, for a longer period of time (whether it is because the sole closes some of the gap between his heel and the ground, I don’t know).
The Step Up shoe also bends easily (despite feeling like a hard-soled shoe) when Starfish is crawling and pushing his toes into the ground. This has given me confidence in the brand, particularly with what Reche was saying about babies’ feet needing more room to move to help their feet develop. Ultimately, the Bobux Step Up shoes are helping Starfish’s exploration of standing and walking (assisted), which has been a personal sore spot of mine (as I fall into the comparison trap very easily!). Starfish is a very cautious little boy, so doesn’t take big risks for fear of falling or bumping his head. With his new shoes, however, Starfish is eager to explore his surroundings as he seems to feel more balanced and confident. This alone makes them the perfect shoe for Starfish.
Stamp of Approval
I couldn’t have asked for a better shoe to start off with for Starfish. They are high-quality, very stylish, durable, and flexible around the feet for his development. Despite the cost being on the higher end (around $70), their quality means they will last a lot longer than most other shoes and they will support his feet in the long run, which is of high importance to me. The Bobux Step Up shoe range definitely get my Stamp of Approval.