Cute AND Comfy

You know me. When it comes to fashion, I’m all about the marriage of form and function. But let’s be honest; if it ain’t cute, I won’t wear it. This is why I don’t run around town in sneakers, and when we go to Disney World, I refuse to join the ranks of the fanny pack brigade.

And then my 4-year-old daughter came along.  This child has the strongest fashion opinions in a 4-year-old I’ve ever seen.   My first two would just wear what I told them to (although my middle one is VERY picky about how things FEEL, which did cause some drama until I figured out her patterns.)

But my third.  Oh she’s a doozie.   She is very concerned with looking “pretty” and usually that criteria includes wearing something just like mommy.  Which I suppose I should take as a compliment, but I don’t always want my 4-year-old dressing like a 37-y/o house frau.

Her favorite summertime ensemble involves a tank top and a skirt or shorts, and perhaps a sweater on top if it’s chilly. And when it comes to shoes, she’s the flip flop queen, which stands to reason. I would wear nothing but flip flops, if given a choice.

But sometimes flip flops just aren’t practical — like when I’m chasing the kids around the neighborhood on their bikes or hiking in Maine and wading in the lake. Okay, so I don’t usually wade in the lake unless there’s a mug of hot coffee beckoning me from the dock (or a child floundering in the deep water), but you know, there’s always the possibility.

Speaking of hiking in the mountains and wading in the lake, I got my first pair of KEEN shoes when we were vacationing in Maine two years ago. I forgot to pack sneakers (see paragraph #1) and we wanted to go hiking.

Yes, I hike. See, here’s proof.


So we were going hiking and I had no appropriate footwear, so we stopped into an outdoor recreation store. The last thing I wanted to spend money on was a second pair of sneakers; I had a perfectly good pair at home that I wore only for exercising (in other words, rarely.) I hate tying shoes, and I hate how hot my feet get in sneakers so when I spotted the KEEN shoes, I was sold instantly.

They were everything they claimed to be and more.  As promised, they are supportive enough to wear hiking and other outdoor activities, you can slip them on and off without messing with laces, and you don’t need socks. They are open so your feet don’t sweat. AND you can get them wet.

I wore them hiking a few times on that trip, and I keep them in my closet for those days that I want to throw something on with yoga pants or shorts and it’s not really flip-flop weather. They’re perfect for running around after the kids. The foot bed feels like it was molded to my foot, and none of the straps rub any raw areas on my feet because they are padded. But, they are kind of clunky. So I admit, they don’t get the airtime that they should.

Fast forward two years, and I was offered a pair of KEEN shoes for kids. My son has a pair, and my middle daughter already has a pair of nice sandals, so I chose to accept the review pair for my 4-year-old. Remember, she has very strong opinions about her wardrobe. That doesn’t mean that I always cater to those strong opinions, but neither do I care to waste a pair of KEEN shoes on her if she’s going to fight me every time I ask her to wear them. So I asked her to look at the selection on the website and see if there was anything she liked.

She immediately honed in on this adorable lavender pair.

KEEN Shoes for Kids

This child spends the majority of the warm weather months outdoors, and she has the bruised knees and the stubbed toes to prove it.  These shoes are perfect for her active nature, and I was thrilled that she deemed them pretty enough to grace her royal piggy toes.


Then a few days later I got another email from my contact at KEEN Shoes, and they wanted to know my shoe size as well.  They sent me this cute red pair.

KEEN Shoes

I love these shoes.  I’ve worn them almost every day since I got them.  They aren’t as clunky as the other pair I own, and I love how the straps are like grosgrain ribbon.  They’re rugged and practical with a feminine touch.  I find myself wearing them with everything from cargo skirts to jean shorts.  They give me the support of a sneaker with the practicality of a sandal.


I was wondering why my shirt looked so odd in this photo, and later in the day I realized I had in on backwards.  Guess who didn’t have enough coffee this morning?

My daughter loves hers too.  She wears them every chance she gets.


I love how they protect her foot and support her when she runs and plays.


I also love how they’re waterproof so if she ends up running through a sprinkler or getting into a water balloon fight in the neighborhood, I don’t have to wait 2 days for her sneakers to dry out.  They can double as water shoes when we’re in Maine next month and if we take a day at the beach.  In fact, my other daughter wants a pair now too.  You can read all about their innovative technologies here.

They’re much more comfortable than wearing sneakers in the summertime, and if you have little girls, they look better with skirts and dresses too.  These shoes are really worth the investment, especially if you have a child in summer camps that require supportive, practical shoes.  I highly recommend them.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by KEEN shoes.