Cheshire Mums - AW 2011.
Mission: To verify claims that a cute soft leather boot, which recently arrived from Australia into the UK, is notjust a pretty-looking Junior fashion accessory worn by A-list mini celebs.
Consumer: 5 Year-old Madeleine, non-impressionable, highly critical schoolgirl, who is not a regular follower offashion and known to her family as a budding style icon, who creatively and innovatively re-invents the wheelwhen it comes to dress code.
Day 1:4pm: Madeleine is presented with a pair of baby pink SKEANIEwinter boots and is immediately taken by the soft leather and cosyfluffy lining. Unaware of their origin, and fashion ranking in theirnative Australia, she slips them on, still sporting her school uniform.The colour clash of red cardigan versus baby pink boots withstandsthis infants’ critical judgement, as she focuses on comfort andflexibility. The boots get put to the test by being worn duringvarious strenuous activities, the ‘letting-steam-off-after-school’type of things.7.30pm: After dancing, and skipping around, all afternoon bedtime approaches, and this poses a real problem!You are supposed to take your shoes off when you go to sleep!“Mummy, can I leave my new boots on please? They are really clean, because I haven’t worn them outside yet!”“No!” “ I won’t get hot feet, I’ll be fine honestly, please, just this once?” “No, sorry Madeleine, you have to takethem off. So you like your new boots? Oh, you looove them! I thought so!”Madeleine positions her new SKEANIE boots at the bottom of her high sleeper, right by the steps, and goes off tosleep, safe in the knowledge that her boots will be there waiting for her in the morning. “ Good night fluffy boots!”( thankfully she is unaware of the brand name, aprecautionary measure on Mum’s behalf, just incase the boots don’t live up to their reputationafter the rigorous testing. Even little test person’sjudgements can be somewhat clouded if you labelsomething and peer pressure comes into it.
Day 2: In true fireman Sam style, she slides downher bed ready to continue her consumer testing,and slips into her fluffy new boots, ready to facethe weekend. Who cares about hot feet? If you canwear something for breakfast, you can wear it allmorning, surely you can wear it to stroll into townand keep it on for lunch, can’t you. Ooops, did theyget dirty?“Mummy can I keep them on in the house, theyonly got a little dirty, please?”“Ok then, don’t you want to get changed, we’regoing out this afternoon?”“Please, please can I keep them on? They are so comfy!"
Day 3: Sunday. The boots don’t come off all day. They are too comfy!
Day 4: “Please can I wear them for school?! Please?”“No darling, you will have to wear your school shoes, but you can wear the boots when you come home.”Consumer Verdict: They are the best and most comfortable, most fluffy and soft boots ever and I really, reallylove them!
Mum’s verdict: Admittedly, it is very tempting not to see past the cute exterior of these fashionable boots,especially when they come in pink and you have a child that loves anything pink. But I have always been verykeen on getting good footwear for the children and I do my research before following just any trend. Madefrom quality, soft eco-leather the boot is very durable and easy to clean. More importantly one of my friends, aphysiotherapist, always used to tell me how good it is for children to walk bare feet on the lawn. Some furtherresearch confirmed this to me: There are many health benefits attributed to walking in bare feet and manyexperts think our children‘s footwear is all wrong! With heels far too high, tipping toddlers off balance andrestrictive uppers causing damage to children’s feet.
According to research published in podiatry journal TheFoot in 2007, structural and functional changes can result from the foot having to conform to the shape andconstriction of a shoe, rather than being allowed to develop naturally. And the younger the foot, the greater thepotential for damage. The thin, but durable rubber soles of the SKEANIE boots are very flexible and the boots arenot restricting the child’s foot at all. Flexible soles can re-create that natural feeling when your child is walking,whilst at the same time protecting the feet from the cold and wet. So it did not really come as much of a surpriseto me that Madeleine loved the boot and said it was so comfortable! I am so glad I have found a boot for myfive-year old that can offer her the almost barefoot experience and I only wish they made school shoes and bigger sizes for my older child!
Sandra Haris, Cheshire Mums - Click here to read article