It’s that time of year again… time to buy fall shoes for those ever-growing kids’ feet! I was truly excited to get an opportunity for my 20-month-old daughter to test drive a pair of Stride Rite SRTs. This was our first experience with a pair of Stride Rites, though I had heard a lot about their solid reputation.
Once my order was placed, I began reading about the new Sensory Response Technology (SRT). In response to extensive research, Stride Rite developed their SRT line of shoes with sensory pads so toddlers can feel the variations in the surfaces on which they are walking, and their structure and flexibility were designed to allow feet to move naturally while supporting growing bones and muscles. The claim that truly interested me was that the SRT line was supposed to “reduce the number of stumbles and falls while promoting a healthy lifelong walking pattern”. These shoes were going to help my daughter fall less? Bring them on!
Our size five MADDYs arrived and my daughter was ecstatic to try them on. They were truly adorable with their shimmery two-toned leather upper and clever double Velcro strap with pretty pink flowers. The shape reminded me of the traditional walking shoes I wore as a toddler, though these were super-cute, incredibly flexible and extremely light-weight. My daughter slipped them on, secured the Velcro all by herself, and was soon off and running.
Even though my daughter has been walking for 10 months, she is still fairly clumsy and falls often. I couldn’t wait to see if there was any difference with the Stride Rites. I observed over a period of four days while she wore her Stride Rites to run across the hardwoods, play in the backyard and climb over the rocks and dirt piles in our neighbourhood. The biggest difference I noticed was when she was running on flat surfaces both inside and out. Her steps were markedly more confident and she didn’t trip like she normally did in other shoes. Though she was still a klutz when she was all-terraining it, I believe her steps really were more accurate in these shoes!
Two of my favourite features of the SRT MADDY were the sensory pods and the removable insole. I stuck my hand in the shoe to see how the sensory pods worked. When I pushed down on surfaces, I could actually feel the little pink pods passing the surface information to my hand. What a smart idea to help toddlers’ feet learn to react to their environments while wearing shoes! I also really loved the insole’s Check Fit system to measure your child’s feet and see if “it’s time to see your fit specialist” (it actually says that in the toe area of the insole!). Sadly, my daughter’s insoles told us that we should have ordered a larger size. However, we were certainly pleased with our Stride Rite experience and are definitely interested in trying out some of the other cute SRT styles Stride Rite has to offer.
Suggestion: take the time to use the measuring tool on their website when ordering your Stride Rites to make sure you get the perfect size for your toddler!