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These are more than just a pretty pair of hiking boots

May 12th, 2011

Though my love of shoes leans heavily on stilettos, I am a fan of any pair that combines comfort, durability and style. If it combines all those things with a charitable cause, even better.

Ahnu

Ahnu offers footwear for men and women who enjoy an active lifestyle—and, of course, some serious style too:

Whether designed for hiking on trails through the Big Sur Mountains or taking a run through Golden Gate Park, we infuse technology that keeps us centered, balanced, and ultimately comfortable for miles on end. And while our passions drive us to create great performance products, our values guide us to be responsible throughout all of our environmental and social encounters.

So if we can inspire a more balanced life that begins with getting outside, then we’re making the connections that influenced us to start this brand.


Back to that charitable cause. Ahnu footwear recently announced their breast cancer prevention initiative: For each pair of women’s Numentum™ performance shoes sold in April and May 2011, the brand will donate $5 to the Breast Cancer Fund. The initiative is taking place in more than 150 doors nationwide, and online at www.onlineshoes.com.

I was lucky enough to test out a pair of Ahnu Montara hiking shoes for Boutique Cafe’s Daily Dish.

Ahnu


Ahnu

Once I had the correct size (definitely order a half size up), I found they fit perfectly the moment I put them on…and by perfectly, I mean no break-in time needed (i.e., no blisters). Though I didn’t get to take them hiking in the mountains due to our super long winter and super late spring (I’m talking frigid temps earlier this week), I did wear them as actively as possible at the park and around town. No blisters, no hot spots and super lightweight on the feet. Honestly, I couldn’t believe how light these hiking shoes were—and comfy to boot (pun intended).

Ahnu
Me taking the Montaras for a test drive. Super cute AND super comfy! I even took a quick run to the car and they felt great!

I’m thinking the comfiness is due to that Numentum™ Technology, “a neutral positioning system engineered to encourage the foot’s natural biomechanics.” It sounds all techie but it sure feels good! Though I have the Montara in Coffee Bean, I adore the Ruby Wine, a delicious red. I also love the Rockridge II and Nicasio styles.

Ahnu has already contributed more than $20,000 to the Breast Cancer Fund and expects to donate a total of $30,000 before the end of 2011. How awesome is that?

Check out Ahnu’s entire collection of Numentum™ Technology women’s footwear here. And remember, for every pair purchased, the company will donate $5 to the Breast Cancer Fund.—Emily

P.S. You can find Ahnu on Facebook and Twitter!

pediped shoes help your little ones get a grip {giveaway}

October 14th, 2010

I love pediped shoes. Don’t believe me? Check out this review or this one or even this one. I’m a fan. A really, really big fan. Oh, and now Katie is a fan too. You can read her post to learn more about pediped Originals or my review from a while back on the Flex line.

Today I get to introduce you to pediped’s new Grip ‘n’ Go™ line of children’s shoes. Perfect for active toddlers, these shoes make transitioning from early walking to walking an easier one. Grip ‘n’ Go shoes are made with all the benefits of pediped Originals but with thin, flexible rubber soles. The rounded edges mimic the natural shape of a child’s foot and the heel stability and soft toe box allow toddlers to feel and grip the floor. How cool is that? With my lack of coordination I could use a pair of adult Grip ‘n’ Gos!

pediped Grip n Go

Grip ‘n’ Go is ideal for both indoor and outdoor wear. The Fall/Winter line has classic styles like Alyssa, Giselle, Isabella and Jake and also includes new styles like Ellie and Jamie. The Grip ‘n’ G collection is available for children 9 months to 3 years.

pediped PennyUnfortunately Livi refuses to stop growing and was too big to test out a pair of Grip ‘n’ Go shoes, but she is the right size for pediped’s Flex line. And of course we’re always more than willing to review a pair for Daily Dish readers. Livi received the Penny in all it’s golden goodness. Hidden under that sparkly exterior (it’s a no-brainer these shoes will be Olivia’s favorites this winter) you’ll find:

  • Memory Foam Technology that provide a cushioned insole that perfectly shapes to the foot and improves fit.

  • Exceptionally soft, flexible soles and uppers that help provide healthy foot development. Ultra flexible FLEX ZONES provide maximum flexibility and support natural foot motion (like chasing after her big brother when he steals her Groovy Girl doll).

  • Shock absorbing cushions on each heel to protect against impact and distribute pressure through-out the foot.

  • pediped’s Flex Fit System (my favorite) for the perfect fit. Each pair comes with an additional 2-mm insole to customize the fit so it just right for each child.

Is it a bad sign it took me a minute to remember which shoes were the ones pediped sent Olivia due to the sheer number of pediped boxes in their closet? That Make-A-Wish sale gets me every time!

I will be the first to admit pediped shoes come with a higher price tag, but they are one of the few things I’ll invest in partly because they last so long and partly because my children’s feet love these shoes. They last through multiple children and still look great even with a little wear and tear. Plus, how can you NOT buy a pair of these for your little girl this winter:

pediped_boots

Yeah, good luck choosing just one pair!—Emily

***Giveaway! pediped is giving away one pair of Originals shoes to one lucky winner!***

Here’s how to enter. You can do as many of these as you’d like. Each one is worth one entry into our giveaway; please leave a separate comment for each one you do:

•  Visit pediped.com and leave a comment telling us your favorite shoe.
•  “Like” pediped on Facebook and leave a comment telling us you joined.
•  Follow pediped on Twitter and leave a comment telling is you’re their newest follower.
•  Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment with the URL of your tweet.
•  Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment with the URL to your blog post.

Include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: October 21, 2010 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

  • Congratulations to Leah O., the winner of the pediped giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

These booties were made for warming…

October 2nd, 2009

IMG_1849...and that’s just what they’ll do come wintertime! George is now the proud owner and soon-to-be wearer of a pair of Satch & Sol slippers. I am in love with these new slippers not just because they don’t have a Nick Jr. or Disney character on them but because they are stylishly simple, well made and as green as children’s slippers can be.

moc with flower yellow 200Satch & Sol, a company started by Susan Bell who has children of her own, is all about supporting fair trade artisan cooperatives worldwide—and by worldwide we’re talking Mongolia for one. Satch & Sol is also all about being eco-friendly by sticking to green practices in business and product materials. I love it when a company embraces fair trade and the environment and turns out a collection brimming with high-quality products that are super chic, super sweet and yes, super unique. Because each of Satch & Sol’s children’s slippers are handmade they are definitely one of a kind.

I would’ve loved to have included a picture of George wearing his new slippers but up until yesterday the weather was still in the 70’s and 80’s. We have a couple weeks before the chilly weather sets in, but once it does these will be our go-to shoes for carpool, quick trips to the grocery store and car rides to Grandma’s house. One comment George made was that these wool slippers were a bit “scratchy” (nothing a pair of socks won’t fix!). He’s not used to wool touching his skin so it may take some getting used to, but I should also include a disclaimer: George hates tags in clothes and is super picky about shoes.

knit spring green 200Satch & Sol also has a collection of hand-knit sweaters, mittens, hair bands and purses and like the slippers, everything is handmade by Mongolian artisans. If you’re as tired as I am of character clothing and accessories and want something stylish and warm for those little tootsies, check out the slippers from Satch & Sol. Good luck choosing just one pair! (And no, they don’t come in adult sizes; I already checked!)—Emily

I love Simple Shoes’ “Entire” collection!

April 8th, 2009

Simple ShoesI think we’ve only done one other eco-friendly shoe review on the Daily Dish, and that was TOMS back in June of ‘07. It’s about freakin’ time we had another one, especially with how stylish eco-friendly apparel and accessories are these days.

Take today’s review on Simple Shoes. There isn’t one shoe in this line I don’t love. (Okay, maybe the Teetoe isn’t my favorite but I’m having a hard time getting into the whole gladiator look anyway.) With styles for men, women and children, this line of sustainable shoes is fashion friendly, wardrobe friendly and definitely environmentally friendly.

Simple Shoescompany uses a variety of materials in their shoes, from bamboo to hemp to wool. It’s amazing how chic their styles are considering they also use recycled carpet padding, plastics and recycled inner tubes! Just look at the Entire, which I received in the yummy chocolate brown. First thing I noticed? They are super cute. The second thing? They are super comfy. Though I only wore them around my home (keep in mind it was still snowing as of last week!), I could tell they’d be my go-to shoes this summer.

These little peep-toe sandals are from Simple Shoes’ ecoSNEAKS line and boast a silk upper with certified organic cotton knit linings. Now that’s the sort of normal stuff. What’s not so normal and rather cool is what else makes up this shoe: an outsole that used to be a car tire, a vulcanized rubber sidewall and heelcap and 100% post consumer paper pulp foot form. Wow! All that in super sweet peep-toe!

Simple ShoesAnd not forgetting sustainable when it comes to the packaging, Simple Shoes are shipped in a “totally state-of-the-art/back-to-the-future post-consumer recycled box.” Some other nifty things about Simple Shoes:

  • Glue-free assembly: By using sewing machines instead of extra glue to assemble the shoe components, their new Glue-Free Assembly reduces the amount of glue used to less than 5mL (think about the size of a thimble compared to the two shot glasses of glue that are usually required).

  • Silk: It keeps your feet cool when it’s warm and warm when it’s cool. Silk is featured on styles ranging from slides to sporty sneakers.

  • Kids: They have great prints for infants and kids this spring but they company is even more excited about the new toddler collection being introduced in Fall 09. (I am really excited to since we’ll be reviewing a pair from the new collection this August!)

Eco-friendly and sustainable can be very fashionable words, especially when applied to footwear from Simple Shoes. Pick up a pair or two and do something good for your closet and the environment!—Emily

Put a little spring in their step!

April 1st, 2009

Eleven CollectionLike my kids need any more spring in their step—they’re already bouncing off the walls, down the hallway and on the furniture. Fortunately by “spring” I mean Eleven Collection’s latest spring styles. How fitting that today’s review follows right on the heels (again, pun totally intended) of my See Kai Run review from Tuesday. Eleven Collection and See Kai Run are sister companies; fortunately these sisters have the same stylish taste in children’s shoes!

My first review of Eleven Collection was in November when George received his Luc boots. Those sleek black boots have officially made him the coolest kid at church, and I’m not just saying that because I’m his mom and think all my kids are super cool. Those boots are stylin’, sturdy, comfy and easy to get on and off. Plus their unisex style means our little Livi will get to follow in George’s footsteps in about two years. With Eleven Collection shoes you can bet your 529 plan they’ll last through two if not three kids and still look great. Here are the basics behind Eleven (from my previous post):

Eleven shoes feature soft leather uppers, and flexible, durable rubber soles for traction. With a cushioned insole and easy on-and-off Velcro or zipper closures, the shoes are just as child friendly as they are style friendly. Plus they are low maintenance (wish my kids were too) because the high-quality leather makes them naturally water resistant. You only need to use a mild detergent or leather cleaner to and damp rag to keep them looking their Sunday best.

(And yes, I still wish my kids were low maintenance!)

Eleven CollectionGeorge received the Joaquin from Eleven’s new spring line. The Joaquin is a simple yet classy brown leather sandal with a solid Velcro closure that’s sure to keep his feet in his shoes even when running at breakneck speed down a grassy hill. Plus the style is perfect for church, so he’ll still be the coolest three year old in his class. That’s all that really matters, right? He’s anxious to wear them but I have a feeling he won’t enjoy the feeling of snow between his toes. I’m thinking it should be at least 60 degrees outside before slipping on the Joaquins.

Eleven CollectionMy other favorites from Eleven Collection’s latest styles are the Caper, Kasota and Laura—that pink and red Mary Jane is to die for! Similar to See Kai Run, the price tag on these shoes is a bit higher than what you might pay at a big box retailer but they will last a lot longer (multiple children for sure) and are a lot healthier for your little one’s feet. Check out their sale page where you can pick up a pair of Elevens for as little as $20. That kind of price puts a little spring in my step!—Emily

** Giveaway! Eleven Collection is giving away one pair of their super sweet shoes, winner’s choice! Please visit Eleven Collection’s website and leave a comment here telling us your favorite style. Include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: April 9, 2009 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

I just can’t get enough!

March 30th, 2009

See Kai RunThat phrase is from one of my favorite 80’s tunes (I shouldn’t have to tell you but it’s “Just Can’t Get Enough” by Depeche Mode…can you believe it’s a Wikipedia entry?!) and it runs through my head whenever I catch site of a pair of See Kai Run shoes (even the ones my kids have worn umpteen times).

No matter how many times we feature See Kai Run on the Daily Dish, I can’t get enough! Hopefully you’re not satiated either or we’ll have to stop reviewing their latest and greatest and simply-the-cutest styles and you’ll miss out on one of our favorite giveaways—and some fabulous shoes to boot (pun totally intended)!

See Kai RunToday’s featured shoe is from See Kai Run’s new Spring Collection, and it is to die for! The Jennae takes the peep-toe style and turns it into a shoe fit for your mini me! It comes complete with butter-soft sheepskin leather in a delicious raspberry color accented with cream piping and the sweetest little flower on the strap. Like other See Kai Run shoes it features a flexible sole, which makes it perfect for growing feet but can hold up to all those outdoor garden parties. Unfortunately, we live in Utah and you won’t find garden parties until mid June. Peep toe and snow don’t mix well!

In true See Kai Run style, the Jennae has a generous width with a wider toe box. This means even the chubbiest of feet can wear See Kai Run shoes. Honestly, we have not had a pair that hasn’t fit perfectly, and I’ve tried out many pairs and two sets of chunky feet! The shoes also have a breathable inner sole and lining, so no juicy feet even in warmer weather. (Maybe I should see about getting some custom-made SKR’s for myself!)

See Kai RunFor some the price tag that comes with a pair of See Kai Run shoes is a bit high, but I’m telling you, they are more than worth it. These shoes last forever, and once your little one has grown out of them you can hand them down to the next—often in near perfect condition. And if you don’t have a “next,” See Kai Run shoes have great resale value. Plus right now See Kai Run has a few of their styles on sale in both their main collection and their newer Smaller line. Just try to control yourself when looking at the new Spring Collection. Like myself (and Depeche Mode), you won’t be able to get enough either!—Emily

** Giveaway! See Kai Run is giving away one pair of shoes, winner’s choice! Please visit the See Kai Run website and leave a comment telling us your favorite SKR style. Include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: April 7, 2009 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

  • Congratulations to Sky S., the winner of the See Kai Run giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

ENDfootwear is the end to all running shoes

March 24th, 2009

ENDfootwearAnyone that knows me knows I am a walker. I don’t run. I walk. But, anyone that has seen me this past week…has seen me RUN.

Reason being is I received a pair of ENDfootwear PBnJ running shoes and with the shoes on my feet I pretty much now like running, which is reason alone for me to love these shoes.

I am an avid walker. I walk 5 days a week, but, sometimes I wish I were a runner. I like the way running makes you feel. You lose your breath. You sweat. You get tired. All the things that indicate you are really working out. Running really conditions my heart. So, for all those reasons I try to do the walk/run thing occasionally, but, I always seem to end up walking.

Turns out my shoes may have been the problem (yeah I am sure it is ALL that…nothing to do with my lack of determination or anything;) But, really I do think the shoes were a bigger problem than I ever realized. I buy Nike’s-always have. I usually buy whatever is on sale. For the most part, I like what I buy. They fit me well and they look good. But, sometimes you don’t know what you are missing until you experience something different.

ENDfootwear sent me a pair of PBnJ running shoes and now I know what I have been missing! They really are onto something. Minimalist construction that streamlines mesh webbing and supportive lining make it a light-weight shoe that gives you a skip in your step. The shoes feel drastically different from my other running shoes. They support my arches but feel light in all the other areas of the shoe.

The construction of the shoe is made with natural materials like bamboo-infused linings and non-toxic glues eliminating all unnecessary plastics and components to make it a very light running shoe.

And let’s not forget to talk about the looks of the shoe…
It is a simple design with rich colors. Ranging in 3 colors in the PBnJ women style: sapphire and white, celery and white or white and grapefruit. I like the simplicity of having one main color along with an accent color. Nothing too loud or obnoxious down below. Just a simple running shoe that is very streamlined in the color and design. Environmental Neutral Design shoes might be just the thing to get you running.

Available at R.E.I or online at ENDfootwear.com.

pediped Footwear: a dream come true!

December 18th, 2008

pedipedThis will be my third time featuring pediped on the Daily Dish. I just can’t get enough of these shoes! Our first review was April of 2007, and then we featured their new Flex line 10 months later in February of 2008. Here we are again, 10 months later, and I haven’t run out of good things to say. My kids are still loving their shoes and I am still one of their biggest fans.

pedipedThis time I wanted to showcase what I call pediped’s party shoes. No, they don’t specifically have a party line, but they totally could. I was sent the original Naomi in silver for our little Livi. Though the Isabella is my most favorite of their dress shoes, the Naomi runs a close second (and goes with more outfits). Livi was too young to have an opinion about her red patent Isabellas but when she saaw the Naomis through the window of their gift box, she immediately went over, opened the box and took one out. If that weren’t cute enough she then turned to me and handed me the shoe so I could put it on her. Livi didn’t care that they were still a little too big. She was off and running (well, toddling…she is only 16 months) in her Naomis and protested much when she had to take them off for naptime. She might be their next biggest fan!

pedipedLooking at the Naomi and the Isabella, you can tell pediped shoes are big on style but did you know they are also big on comfort? pediped Footwear promotes quality foot health and development and the company has been awarded both the American Podiatric Medical Association’s Seal of Acceptance and recommended as a top footwear choice in the 2007 Consumer Reports Best Baby Products Guide.

So why is pediped a dream come true? Because they have partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to helping grant the wishes of terminally ill children. pediped is making dreams come true by offering a very rare promotion on its website. (Rare because this is only the second time the company has made such an offer.) From December 17th through the 31st, pediped is reducing the price of select footwear and will donate 50% of the sales from these shoes to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

pedipedThis is the first time pediped has partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and through its fundraising efforts the company has already raised over $87,000, enough to grant the wishes of 12 children with life-threatening medical conditions. You can view some of the granted wishes and keep up to date on pediped’s goal by visiting the Make-A-Wish page on their website.

This special online fundraising event is good only through the end of December. You can learn more about this fundraiser and view the select footwear at pediped.com.—Emily

Bearpaw Shoes: chic, cool and oh, so comfy!

December 11th, 2008

Bearpaw ShoesToday’s post will possibly dispel a myth most of our readers believe, and no, it’s not about Santa Claus—everyone knows he’s totally real! It’s about those super comfy, super hot sheepskin-lined suede boots “everyone” is wearing. If you want to continue to believe UGG is the only company who makes these fabulous boots, then stop reading right now. If you’d like to be among the truly enlightened shoe buyers and wearers, then keep reading.

Once you get a glimpse—and a feel—of Bearpaw Shoes you won’t even remember the name of that “other” boot company. Bearpaw is all about keeping warm while looking hot. Good enough for me! I actually met the owner of Bearpaw Shoes in the airport on my way home from MAGIC in Las Vegas. He is the nicest person you could sit next to at an airport restaurant. I could tell he had passion for his company and his positive Bearpaw Shoesattitude was extremely contagious. I believe you can tell a lot about a company from its CEO, and this one was sending out a very good vibe.

But back to the shoes…Bearpaw has an amazing collection of shoes, from your standard comfy suede boot and your not-so-standard exotic boot to clogs, slippers, sandals and even a few fab pairs for kids. (I love the Hazel!) Did you know sheepskin, “nature’s technical fabric,” regulates body temperature (i.e. keeps feet cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold) and its hollow fibers wick moisture, keeping feet dry. The suede upper naturally resists dirt and water, and the extra thickness allows boots to keep their shape longer.

Bearpaw ShoesI’m currently—and by currently I mean right now as I write this review—wearing Bearpaw’s Eva in Sand (similar to the black one pictured). This suede boot with its sheepskin lining has kept my toes toasty in even the chilliest weather. The corner of the dining room where my computer sits has a slight draft, and though my fingers are still a bit frostbitten, my toes haven’t been in weeks! These shoes are so comfy I’ve worn them all day, only taking them off at night because I generally don’t wear shoes to bed. My feet have never gotten too hot, even when worn with fuzzy socks, and never been cold even when worn without any socks at all. Next to my slippers, which I just can’t get myself to wear to the grocery store, my Evas are my favorite pair of all-weather shoes (and I can wear them to any grocery store I please!).

Now that I’ve dispelled the myth of the sole suede and sheepskin shoemaker, aren’t you glad? Bearpaw Shoes has so much more to offer us shoe buyers and it’s all wrapped up in super comfy, super cozy, super “hot” style.—Emily

Eleven is my new favorite number!

November 30th, 2008

Eleven CollectionA couple good things happened as a result of my attending MAGIC Kids back in the fall. One, I quickly discovered it was not the right tradeshow for us; and two, I met Nancy Coronado, Co-Founder of Eleven Collection. Before meeting Nancy I met the shoes and it was love at first sight. Then I met Nancy and found out Eleven Collection is a sister company of See Kai Run. (If you’ve been a longtime reader of the Daily Dish you know I am one of See Kai Run’s biggest fans.) That fact combined with Eleven’s super stylish designs made the whole trip worth it—I knew we had to feature Eleven on Boutique Cafe!

Eleven Collection is right in step with See Kai Run’s tradition of flexibility and great style, but Eleven is solely for older children from age 3 to 8 years. Eleven shoes feature soft leather uppers, and flexible, durable rubber soles for traction. With a cushioned insole and easy on-and-off Velcro or zipper closures, the shoes are just as child friendly as they are style friendly. Plus they are low maintenance (wish my kids were too) because the high-quality leather makes them naturally water resistant. You only need to use a mild detergent or leather cleaner to and damp rag to keep them looking their Sunday best.

Eleven CollectionMy little George received the new Luc boot in black, and although I love the super soft leather and how easy it is for him to put on and take off the shoes (one less thing I have to do), my favorite thing about the Luc is that it’s gender neutral. You can’t find too many gender-neutral shoes that are also fashion friendly, and those of us with multiple kids and a mix of genders love having a shoe that can be passed down through the family. The minute George saw his new boots he had them on for a test drive around the house!

Eleven CollectionWe also received the Sofia but because the shoe sizes start at a 9, our little Livi has a little while before she can wear them. I’m practically counting the days! I have a feeling she’ll want to eat, sleep and play in these super cute metallic Mary Janes, and I’ll be okay with that. At least she’ll be eating, sleeping and playing in super chic style. The color goes with everything, and like my favorite pair of shimmery heels they can be dressed up or down. The Sofia is a popular seller—like that’s a surprise! What little girl wouldn’t want to wear her own pair of magical golden shoes?

Comfortable, durable, stylish children’s shoes are hard to find, especially for those hard-on-their-shoes ages between 3 and 8 years. After checking out Eleven Collection’s line of chic, high-quality shoes, Eleven will become your new favorite number too!—Emily

See Kai Run: When “smaller” is better

October 30th, 2008

See Kai RunHere on the Daily Dish I do have favorites. You’ll know them by the fact that they’ve been featured more than once, a few featured more than twice. See Kai Run is one of those favorites. I am one of their biggest fans (and a new fan of their sister company, eleven, but you’ll have to wait until December for their first-ever review on the Daily Dish).

See Kai RunSee Kai Run is known for their chic styles, superb fit and most importantly for me, their durability. I have a pair of black boots George wore as a walker and they are in perfect condition for Livi to use. Unfortunately her feet are a lot chunkier than Geroge and she outgrew them before she could wear them! Right now I’m anxiously waiting for George’s feet to get big enough to fit into his new Kian boots. Well, I’m not anxiously waiting since that means he’s growing up, but they are really cool.

See Kai RunBut today’s review is not about See Kai Run’s new fall styles, as cool as they are (check out the Melody—to die for!). Today’s review is about See Kai Run’s new Smaller line, soft-soled booties designed specifically for infants age 0 to 18 months. Smaller soft-soled booties are made from the same butter-soft sheepskin leather uppers as the original and combine a suede sole with non-slip rubber pads for extra protection and traction. That means these babies are perfect for crawling and cruising. A breathable leather lining and Velcro closures—and their Velcro actually sticks—make them easy to put on and take off and comfy to wear.

See Kai RunLivi received the Tine, a sweet little black ballet flat with white piping. They’re the perfect shoe, easily going from daytime to nighttime like my favorite pair of grownup ballet flats. I don’t break a sweat trying to put them on her chunky little feet and the softer sole has been perfect for her wobbly walking. Smaller booties are available in 15 new styles and are packaged in a snazzy metallic silver box with a see-through window; no gift wrapping necessary!

** Giveaway! See Kai Run is giving away a pair of shoes to two lucky Daily Dish readers! (We have one pair of Jakes, size 12-18m, and one pair of Monicas, size 6-9m.) Please leave a comment telling us your favorite new Smaller style; include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winners from the comments and contact them via email. Deadline: November 7, 2008 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

  • Congratulations to Amy P. and Tricia H., the winners of our See Kai Run giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

Söfft’s fall line is as chic as it is comfortable

September 9th, 2008

Sofft ShoeWhen I caught a peek of Söfft Shoe’s Fall 2008 look Book I knew I would be doing our readers a serious disfavor by not bringing them back for a second review. If you drooled over Söfft’s summer styles when we first featured them on the Daily Dish, get ready to do so again over the new fall collection. I’m talking patent leather, peep toe and pump…and that’s just one style!

If you aren’t familiar with Söfftt Shoe the company makes beautiful, handmade European-inspired shoes with sexy silhouettes and comfort to boot (pun definitely intended). Once again I was able to test two styles from the new fall collection, the Simone and the Fiorentino.

Sofft ShoeThe Simone is a peep-toe style shoe with about a 1 1/2” heel, but even with its heel height it still comes off as a sleek little flat. The design is a little on the funkier side with its square toe, shimmering patent leather (go for the red) and chrome accents. To be honest it wasn’t love at first sight (except for the color). I worried a bit about the square toe style on a flat, but once it was on it was love at second sight. I saw the genius in the design—this shoe makes anyone’s foot look fabulous! No surprise it’s comfortable on the first wear since it has Söfft’s leather-lined footbed and a stacked heel (covered in red leather, no less) that gives great support.

Sofft ShoeThe Fiorentino is a 3 1/4-inch, who-knew- Mary-Janes-could-be-that-sexy heel that had me hyperventilating as I pulled the pair out of the box. I love a Mary Jane, I love leather and I love 3-inch+ heels and the combination is to die for in this shoe. I’ve already drooled over their shiny pewter-colored patent leather and sweet button wrap detailing, not to mention the totally unique curved stacked heel. My first thought was, “Yay! Finally a heel that won’t get stuck in those dang grooves in the sidewalk!” The baby doll toe was dainty yet a little sexy and they have that same leather-lined footbed as all Söfft Shoes. I wonder how they look with pj’s? I’m almost tempted to find out…

Even though this review is a little on the lengthy side (can you blame me? It’s all about great shoes!) I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my other favorites like the Fara boot and the Venessa heel. Okay, okay, I have lots of favorites when it comes to Söfft Shoes, but can you blame me? Didn’t think so!—Emily

DLL Rainwear lets you ‘puddle stomp in style’

August 20th, 2008

DLL RainwearIt’s been almost two years since we reviewed a pair of fashionable rain boots (Plueys back in October 2006) and it’s about time we did another one especially with fall weather around the corner—the same corner around which school projects are hiding. The wait has been worth it when you see the downpour of designs from DLL Rainwear.

DLL RainwearDLL Rainwear offers more stylish puddle stompers than the weatherman has cold fronts, From the cutest styles for women (check out the Jeffrey Campbell Rainbow Gray ballet flat) to dashing pairs for men (Chooka’s Dueling Skulls could take on any size puddle) to a seemingly endless selection for children. We received DLL’s own Raining Cats and Dogs pair for kids and though my littlest is too young to give them an official test drive—or jump—I did give them a thorough going-over. Besides loving the playful unisex design, I found the 100% waterproof natural rubber boots to be super sturdy. The non-slip sole was a big plus (when you’re jumping in water this is an important feature!) and the pull handles are perfect for little hands. With boots as cute as these you know your little one is going to wear them 24/7 so they better be easy to take on and off!

DLL RainwearDLL Rainwear even has a few “Mommy & Me” sets, my favorite being the Orange Squiggle set. Of course you’ll want to protect more than your feet when it rains and DLL has you covered with their line of rain coats for both adults and children. And their prices are just as “sunny” as their designs with boots and coats starting around $30. DLL Rainwear lets you puddle jump in style—and on a budget!—Emily

* Promotion! DLL Rainwear is offering Daily Dish readers 15% off their purchase. Enter code BCAFE15 at checkout. Offer expires October 31, 2008.

Söfft takes beautiful European designs and makes them comfortable

May 26th, 2008

Söfft ShoesDaily Dish shoe reviews are few and far between so I am super excited to finally do another one, and I’m not just saying that because Söfft Shoe Company makes some of the most beautiful styles of flats, wedges and heels I’ve ever seen. I say that because they have beautiful, handmade European-inspired shoes that are surprisingly comfortable.

For this review I was able to try two styles of Söfft shoes, so I carefully browsed the site for both a flat and a heel so I could get a well rounded “feel” of both Söfft’s style and comfort. (Sigh…this job definitely has its perks!) It was a very hard decision (you try just choosing two!) but I finally went with the Pilar flat in pewter and the Vivian high heel in black patent…and then I anxiously waited for the UPS man to knock on my door.

Söfft ShoesThe Pilar got its test run at a family birthday party and were the perfect complement to skinny-leg jeans. The insole was super cushy and I loved the added touches like the corset lace and bow on the back of the heel. They did take a little breaking in (a warm day where you’re on your feet the whole time is not the best first-run for any new patent leather shoe) but that was related more to the stiff patent leather rather than the nicely padded insole. And I absolutely love it when a company adds a finishing touch by putting something decorative on the sole of the shoe, which Söfft does with a beautiful floral pattern. (Note: this shoe runs about a half size small.) I’ve worn these shoes quite a few times already and they are definitely one of my favorite pairs of shoes!

Söfft ShoesThe Vivian is all sass, and what woman doesn’t love a sassy pair of shoes! These peep-toe slings have a 3 1/2” heel (great for showing off the legs this summer) and look perfect whether you’re wearing a skirt, jeans, or dressy bermuda shorts. And again, Söfft adds a great little touch with French piping and stacked heel (and that fun floral print on the sole). I have very few pairs of heels I can wear all day and so I’m more than happy the Vivian is one of them. I may have to get another color, especially that yummy red. Talk about sassy!

Söfft ShoesAnd I know this review covers Söfft’s Spring 2008 collection, but you’ve got to check out Fall 2007. They have some to die for boots and heels. I’m hoping these are still available because I think I’m going to have to buy the Calypso, the Modena III, and maybe even the Regina. It’s not too early for Christmas shopping, is it?—Emily

** Giveaway! Söfft Shoe Company is giving away one pair of shoes, winner’s choice Please leave a comment telling us your favorite Sofft shoe; include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: June 3, 2008 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

** Congratulations to Julie R., the winner of the Sofft Shoe giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

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