I remember the conundrum well: my little one was just starting to crawl and then taking her first few steps. She was too young for proper walking shoes, but her little feet needed to stay warm and dry during a rainy Vancouver winter. What was the solution? It turns out that Vancouver mamas have faced this question before, and created innovative kids shoes to meet the need.
Kids Shoes for Little Feet
Padraig CottageVancouver mama Helen made her first pair of slippers for her young son almost 40 years ago, way back in 1977. She made the sole from sheepskin and crocheted the rest of the slipper from hand spun raw wool. Soon Helen started selling her slippers – which became known as the Original Padraig Slipper – at craft markets and they caught on. Now generations of Vancouver children have had toasty little toes thanks to these slippers.
The company is still owned and operated in North Vancouver, and the slippers are still crocheted by hand from hand dyed wool. You can find them at stores across Metro Vancouver, or you can shop on line. And these are more than kids shoes – they carry slippers for the whole family, although their baby slippers remain popular after more than three decades for a reason.
Lisa Will was an outdoor-loving Vancouver mama back in 2003, and she was on the hunt for warm kids shoes for her two little ones. She tried lots of things but nothing work. Then in early 2004, together with a friend, she created Stonz and based the design on adult slippers. By November they had launched a business, attended a trade show and started production. Their booties were a hit with moms of babies and toddlers, keeping little feet warm and dry during West Coast winters.
Stonz can now be found online and at retailers across the city and around the world. The company is still headquartered right here in Vancouver, though. And in addition to their original kids shoes they also carry rain boots, winter boots and more.