Ten Little Shoes review
Ten Little promises perfectly-fitting kids’ shoes every time
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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. 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 well-fitting shoes that help support proper foot development—and look adorable doing it.
About Ten Little 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
What we like about Ten Little Shoes
Ten Little demystifies kids’ shoe sizes
Ten Little has created 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 sizing tool.
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 explain how much room each shoe’s toe box 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 then went online to the Ten Little store and picked out a cool pair of high tops. Ten days later, his shoes arrived and they were, as promised, a perfect fit. He immediately loved them and we were instantly sold.
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They are are well-designed kids’ shoes
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.”
Ten Little Shoes are instantly wearable
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.
These shoes fit great
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.
Ten Little 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
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?
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.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.