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Ten Little Shoes review

Ten Little's perfectly fitting shoes means shopping success every time

A smiling child wearing brown high top sneakers. Credit: Reviewed / Janelle Randazza

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  1. Ten Little Kids' Shoes

    Pros

    • Great sizing model

    • Comfortable sturdy shoes

    • Kid-friendly colors

    Cons

    • Could be more durable

Times have changed. Main Street mom-and-pop shoe stores are, sadly, getting fewer and fewer. Gone are the days of having kids’ feet sized by an owner with decades of expertise and knowledge, and prancing out with a pair of perfectly-fitting shoes to get through to the next growth spurt.

While it's easy to appreciate the convenience of online shopping, it hasn’t exactly made shopping for kids’ shoes any easier. There are hundreds of options for children’s shoes that may or may not be good for their growing feet—and forget about finding the right size. Since there is no standardization for kids' shoe sizes, every brand seems to size their shoes just a little bit differently, making online ordering a total crapshoot.

Thankfully two smart moms who were similarly confused did something with their frustrations to help us all out. They created the online shoe and toy boutique, Ten Little, with the goal of taking the frustration out of finding age- and size-appropriate shoes for kids.

About Ten Little Shoes

A smiling child wearing Ten Little shoes in grey high tops.
Credit: Reviewed / Janelle Randazza

This is the look of a happy kid who is wearing perfectly sized shoes.

Rather than just taking an adult shoe and shrinking it down, Ten Little makes kid-specific shoes that are specifically designed for the proper development of kids’ feet. The site also takes the guesswork out of finding the right-sized shoe for your child with its personalized Fit Finder, which allows you to perfectly size your child's feet prior to placing your order.

It's a fast and simple-to-follow process that we found to be error-proof. It felt great to not only know that I was going to finally receive perfectly sized shoes, but that they were going to be kids' shoes designed to encourage healthy foot development.

Price: $18 to $46
Sizes: Infant booties to size Little Kid 13
Types of shoes: Sneakers, high tops, Mary Janes, toddler shoes, infant booties

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What we like about Ten Little Shoes

A pair of grey high tops with stickers on them.
Credit: Reviewed / Janelle Randazza

As promised, these shoes are a perfect fit.

Finally! I figured out my kid’s shoe size

In the past, I felt like I never actually got my kid’s shoe size right. According to the Ten Little site, two out of three kids are wearing the wrong sized shoe, a claim that seems about right when I consider the struggle we’ve always had with buying shoes for our son.

No matter what the size, every shoe we bought seemed to fit differently depending on the brand and the particular design. Everything from sandals to school shoes to winter boots caused us trouble and, often, I would find myself buying two to three different sizes of the same shoe to try to find the right fit. Then I'd have to schlep them all back to the store for returns.

Ten Little has changed all that, with a simple yet fool-proof sizing model. They give three different options for figuring out your child’s shoe size, but the most reliable is to download and print their Fit Finder. You simply place your child’s feet on the printouts to determine which size is correct and, voila, you’ve got a perfect fit. The printouts also show how much toe-room each shoe should provide (something I never felt like I got right), so you get a little bit of podiatric education there as well.

We figured out my son is a size 13. We went online to the Ten Little store, and picked out a cool pair of high tops. Ten days later, my son’s shoes arrived and they were, as promised, a perfect fit. He immediately loved them and we were instantly sold.

They are well-designed

A child putting on grey high top sneakers.
Credit: Reviewed / Janelle Randazza

For six months these shoes have gotten non-stop wear.

When it came to designing Ten Little’s selection of shoes, it sought out the expertise of some heavy hitters. The shoes were conceived of and developed by Dr. Farah Alani, DPM, an award-winning podiatrist, and Dr. Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP, a nationally recognized pediatrician.

What we end up with are some pretty great shoes. Our 7-year-old says they are the most comfortable shoes he’s ever worn. His love for these shoes has held true for the past six months since these are the only shoes that he’ll wear.

The shoes are supportive, yet flexible and even though they are made with vegan leather our son never complains of sweaty feet or feet that are “too hot.”

They also had no breaking-in period. Our son was able to wear them from the first day without having to endure any blisters or discomfort. While our child is old enough to communicate why something may be uncomfortable, this would have been particularly handy when he was a toddler and couldn’t articulate well if a shoe fit or why it felt uncomfortable.

The fit

A child stands on a printed out Fit Finder sheet
Credit: Ten Little

Their Fit Finder is an ingenious way to ensure a perfect fit.

Since our son is a bit older, he was able to well-articulate what made these kids' shoes an instant favorite. He explained that the soles always felt soft “but not too soft”, that his toes never felt “squished”, and the sides of his feet never felt "cramped." He also loved that "they never felt stiff", since expecting a child to break in a pair of shoes really is just torture for little ones. He also said that he always felt agile when he wore them, which I attribute to him finally having a pair of shoes that weren’t slightly too big.

Since Ten Little actually specializes in toddler shoes for boys and girls from size 4 to size 13, this brand and their Fit Finder will be a perfect tool for parents looking for shoes for young children who can’t give as much info as our son did, but whose parents want to find good shoes that are comfortable, look cute, and support proper foot development.

The shoes are made with high-quality materials

Each Ten Little shoe is made with natural rubber outsoles, 100% cotton lining, and high-quality phthalate-free vegan leather. We love that they are made with vegan leather, which is durable against drizzle and spills, and cleans up easily when scuffed.

The components have made these a really versatile shoe that has worn well on playgrounds, to school, and even—in a pinch—in the rain and through a small dusting of snow.

All of their shoes are made from these components except for Ten Little’s First Walkers, which have canvas uppers, and their Baby Booties, which are made from cotton with vegan leather soles.

They are fun

A child decorates their shoes with fun stickers.
Credit: Reviewed / Janelle Randazza

We love that they come with a fun set of stickers to make them more personalized.

These shoes come in a dizzying array of colors, so you will be sure to find a pair that your kids like. We also appreciated that each pair of shoes comes with a free sheet of decorative stickers to adorn them with, making for a more personalized and playful experience. Our stickers didn’t last long, but our son really enjoyed the initial experience and thought it was cool that he could make his shoes stand out with a bit of individuality.

What we don’t like

They could be more durable

After six months of constant wear, these shoes are definitely showing their age. There is a minor separation where the shoes have been glued and, at this point, their vegan leather is tough to clean up. If you want to purchase these as everyday shoes for school and play, they are just fine and I anticipate they will last our son until he grows out of them, but maybe buy a second set as your dress-up shoes.

While these shoes aren’t falling apart, these shoes will never make it to hand-me-downs. That may not be a bad thing, however, since the American Podiatric Medical Association doesn’t recommend children wear second-hand shoes at all.

Should you buy Ten Little shoes?

Three sets of grey Ten Little shoes
Credit: Ten Little

These shoes fit infants through little kids.

Yes, they are a Godsend

If you enjoy buying two to three pairs of shoes to see which will fit your child then, by all means, keep shopping at Zappos for your kids’ shoes. If you want to take the guesswork out of shoe-buying and finally get a pair of kids’ shoes that not only fit, but that will nurture the healthy development of your child’s feet, then give Ten Little shoes a try.

We absolutely love these shoes. These are the only shoes my son will wear and he admits that he’s sad at the prospect of outgrowing them. These shoes are great and the fact that they truly fit and were made specifically with a child's foot in mind makes them priceless.

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

  1. Ten Little Kids' Shoes

    Pros

    • Great sizing model

    • Comfortable sturdy shoes

    • Kid-friendly colors

    Cons

    • Could be more durable

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