Junior Design Awards 2017 for Best Kids’ Footwear Collection
Kitting your children out in shoes that are comfortable, robust and stylish to boot is half the battle when getting them dressed.
Once you’ve found the right pair of shoes not only can you rest easy that their feet are developing healthily, they can run and jump with ease, there’s no pinching and rubbing, and you can take pleasure from the fact that their footwear really complements your (sorry, their) sense of style.
With an extremely high level of entries this year it was tough going trying to narrow down our shortlist to just Gold, Silver and Bronze so we added a Platinum award to this category to recognise some outstanding contributions to the children’s shoe business…
Pearl Lowe (designer and founder of Petite Pearl Lowe) mused:
“There are so many [shoes] I like in this category – I’m literally blown away by the quality and the designs.
“The whole family has Saltwaters – they are genius. And, Young Soles – I would have put my boys in these when they were young – definitely.”
THE PLATINUM AWARD FOR BEST KIDS’ FOOTWEAR COLLECTION… YOUNG SOLES
There was a huge amount of love for the Young Soles entries this year, with several judges awarding them top marks.
Their traditional silhouettes hark back to the classic shoes of yesteryear albeit with a modern twist of a rose gold finish or chunky Liberty print laces and take their inspiration from founder Louise Shill’s youth, spanning the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.
Their gorgeous t-bars, double strap sandals and classic Mary Janes feature pleasingly round-shaped toes that keep feet happy and the shoes all have a reassuringly hand-tooled feel in common.
As well as these nostalgic styles the brand also offer Derby boots and 1990s style Monk Shoes that would keep any tween happy.
Our judges Pearl Lowe and The Bonnie Mob founder and designer Tracey Samuel agreed that these are great shoes of fantastic quality.
THE GOLD AWARD FOR BEST KIDS’ FOOTWEAR COLLECTION… SALT-WATER SANDALS
Salt-Water sandals are now officially a cult footwear brand with whole families including our judge Pearl Lowe‘s kitting themselves out in a pair for the summer months.
A heritage American brand that really has stood the test of time, these waterproof sandals have been around since 1943.
With new colours and prints being added every year and their ever popular matching mother and children styles that mean you can twin with your kids in the best possible way, it is little wonder that they have become so hugely popular over the past few years?
These sandals are designed for comfort and practicality and are incredibly versatile, working just as well with a vintage style sun dress or romper as they do with super contemporary kids clothes.
Our judges loved the simple and distinctive branding and the practical pared-back designs that make them a winner in every sense.
THE SILVER AWARD FOR BEST KIDS’ FOOTWEAR COLLECTION… BOBUX
If you’re looking for shoes that put healthy foot development and active kids to the fore then Bobux is the brand for you.
All Bobux shoes are podiatrist-endorsed and designed to resist the wear and tear of the most intrepid adventurers without compromising on style.
We were all so impressed with their attention to comfort without losing a sense of fun and were particularly excited by innovative designs this season and the launch of Kid+ which sees an extended size range.
The Blaze trainers featuring cool animal graphics and the minimal Soul sandals featuring supersize buckles and comfy foot beds were a big hit.
Is it any surprise they have scooped an award in both children’s and the baby footwear categories?
THE BRONZE AWARD FOR BEST KIDS’ FOOTWEAR COLLECTION… STEP2WO
Any dedicated followers of fashion will love Step2wo who noticed a gap in the market for trend-led shoes that feature plenty of detail and lots of personality.
Mirroring catwalk trends but with a childlike approach these shoes are definitely conversation starters!
Made in specialist factories in Italy, Spain and Portugal, which are known for their quality production, every shoe is as as comfortable as they are stylish.
We are huge fans of their monster shoes which typify the brand’s sense of fun married with style.
Junior Editor Bonita said: “I am so glad this fantastic brand as won a Bronze award.
“They are one of our favourite shoe labels here at Junior and I can’t wait to see what they do every season.”