Baby, toddler, and kids footwear – one parenting struggling none of us were prepared for. Kids outgrow shoes *so* fast, yet it is highly important they have shoes that fit correctly for proper foot development.
Wearing poorly fitting shoes has been shown to impact gait, posture, and the biomechanics of the human body over the course of a person’s lifetime. So needless to say, it’s pretty important to keep your little ones in properly fitting shoes.
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Did you know 2 out of 3 kids is wearing the wrong size shoe?
That means only about 33% of kids wear the right size shoes. It’s important that kids wear pairs of shoes that don’t impede their natural development. You want them to be a good fit, but where do you start?
If you find it difficult to keep up with your child’s clothing and toys as they continue to grow, you are not alone.
Ten Little is a company that solves this need by personalizing your online experience to your child. It all starts with a quiz to find out what stage your child is at.
I am a huge fan of Ten Little. My oldest son began wearing them when I discovered the company when he was about 18 months old (he still wears them now at age 3.5). My second son wore them starting at 8 months old. He started with the booties, moved to the first walkers, and is now in the sneakers.
The Ten Little Story – How They Got Started
Ten Little was founded by two mothers who were frustrated and burnt out trying to research and shop for their growing babies. Fatma Collins and Julie Rogers met while they were working for the same company. Both were moms-to-be, so naturally they were in all the researching, shopping, and preparing together.
They realized that keeping up with their daughters’ growth in terms of shopping for great quality clothes and toys proved to be difficult and overwhelming.
“The current kids’ shopping options lack expert curation and testing and do not provide personalized guidance around a child’s own developmental patterns, when in reality, each child is unique and ever-evolving,” the now co-founders admits.
The two moms decided to do something about that by creating their own company, and Ten Little was born.
At Ten Little, they collaborate with two medical advisors – Dr. Farah Alani DPM (an award-winning podiatrist and Dr. Tanya Altmann MD, FAAP (a nationally recognized pediatrician, author and editor of the American Academy of Pediatrics books) to ensure that their shoes offer the proper fit for young developing feet.
What Makes Them Great
There are many great qualities to love about this company. Their mission is to to create and curate healthy products for both our children and the planet. They do this and then some by creating a personalized way to shop for your child, because every child is unique.
Personalization Like No Other
Like I said before, the process starts with a quiz about your child’s foot size. You can start by taking the quiz right here. This sets up your profile, and based on your answers the site will suggest products for your child’s growth stage.
That’s not all, though. As your child prepares to enter the next growth stage your personalized shop updates to reflect that. You’ll even receive a text to remind you to check your child’s sizing to see if they need a new size.
Backed By The Experts
Ten Little has a board of two medical advisors to make sure their products are trusted by the professionals.
Dr. Farah Alani DPM is an award-winning podiatrist and Dr. Tanya Altmann MD, FAAP is a nationally recognized pediatrician. Their combined expertise ensures that the products you choose for your child are products you can trust.
Great For Kids And The Environment
The products that are curated by Ten Little are vetted to make sure that they are both safe and sustainable. Their shoes are made out of vegan leather and are both cruelty- and PVC-free.
The outer part of the shoe is made from unprocessed rubber milk from the Hevea tree. The insoles are made with hemp and recycled materials. They’re natural rubber soles are flexible but also offer traction for stability and support. The vegan leather upper is soft and flexible.
They go a step further with their Give A Little program. This is a directory of organizations where you can donate the gently used items that your child has outgrown. With this database you have a lot of filter options so that you can find the best place near you to donate your items.
Over 300 billion pounds of waste each year is from the textile and toy industry. Ten Little is doing its part to reduce this number through their Give A Little database.
Get The Right Fit Every Time
One thing I really love about Ten Little is their commitment to making sure your child is wearing the right size shoe.
The shoes are designed very intentionally for this. There is a line along the top of each removable insole (see below) that shows where your child’s foot should stop within the shoe. Once their toes are past this line (you can see the imprint of my son’s foot on the left side and how it extended beyond the line), that means the shoe is too small and you need to size up.
We sized him up from size 6 to size 6.5 and now his toes do not extend past the line.
Additionally, every shoe box comes with an included sizer to find your child’s size. Keep this box around to make sure you order the right size shoe and get the perfect fit! Ten Little offers a free printable fit finder (you can print it after you take the quiz) to do the same thing before you order. It’s really as simple as that.
Exchanges are also easy in case you ordered the wrong size. If you need to return them, they send you a free prepaid shipping label.
The box is also neat because it slides out as a drawer which you can repurpose for storage. How cool is that!
They really make it as straightforward as possible to order the right size and make sure your child’s foot development isn’t impeded by improperly fitting shoes.
Now that you are familiar with faces behind the company and the company’s vision, let’s talk a little more about the shoes that offer and their designs. Their line is expanding all the time. When I first purchased, only the Everyday Originals were available. Now they have 10 different styles available.
The Everyday Original sneakers are perfect for kids sizes 4-13. They are great for any occasion and come in a multitude of different colors. From bright and vibrant to more muted, there are color choices for everyone. We’ve owned 5 of the colors so far and have loved all of them.
This sneaker features enforced toe caps, no-slip tongue, and non-skid soles. You’ll even get a free pack of stickers so that your child can customize their shoes to their liking with these Everyday Sneakers. How fun is that?! The Everyday Originals cost $39.
They also come in a Recycled Canvas version. Same shoe, different fabric as the saying should go. We’ve owned pairs of both and I think it’s really just about you personal preference for colors and texture! The Recycled Canvas style comes in 4 colors. They also cost $39.
My experience: These are my sons’ everyday shoes. Whenever we leave our house, 99% of the time these are what he is wearing. In my opinion, they are great shoes and we will keep buying them. They hold up well, have barefoot qualities, and are the perfect size.
You can also see the cheetah in the shoes on the soles in the photo above. This is to help teach kids which shoe goes on which foot!
The Summer Sandals are perfect for the adventurous kiddos that enjoy all things outdoors.
They are made with water-friendly materials so you don’t have to worry about your child wearing them on the beach or by the river and ruining them.
These sandals are open-toed, have three different color options, and are made for children that wear a size 6-13. They have a soft, textured EVA insole and hook-and-loop velcro straps.
This ensures both comfort and ease when putting them on and taking them off. The Summer Sandals are available for $36.
Similar to the Summer Sandals, the Everyday Sandals come in three different colors. They are ultra-flexible closed toe sandals that are made with naturally water-resistant, non-toxic, and quick-dry materials.
The fit is similar to the Everyday Originals, these just have a different design. They are made for outdoor play and have extra traction on the bottom.
Both stylish and functional, these Mary Jane Flats are great for everyday use, or more special occasions. They have flat, flexible soles and a wide, foot-shaped toe box. These flats come in sizes 4-13 and are made with materials like vegan leather and natural rubber. You can purchase these shoes in either rose gold or classic black for $42.
I don’t own these but the soles seem thicker than the other Ten Little shoes. I probably would not pick these for everyday wear personally.
The Everyday High Top, along with the Everyday Original sneakers, are approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). So you can trust that they are safe for your child’s little feet.
They come in the Everyday version and the Furry version. We had the Furry Version in red last winter for my son and they kept his feet warm throughout the season. He turned 3 during that time and was able to put them on and off by himself.
The Everyday High Tops come in three different colors, silver, gray, and navy. The Furry High Tops come in red, purple, and brown. They come in sizes 4-13 to fit your child through a variety of stages. They cost $46 (and at the time of writing are currently on sale for $36.80).
Everyday Baby Booties
Ten Little also has shoes for newborns and toddlers. One of the options are these Everyday Baby Booties. They are made with 100% Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified organic cotton lining and vegan leather soft soles.
A great feature of these booties is that they contour to your baby’s feet via the adjustable double-snap strap. There are three different color options, soft white, petal pink, and heather gray, and have sizes that fit newborns up to 18 months. You can purchase these booties for $18.
My experience: I bought these in a 3-pack for my 8 month old. He got about 4 months of use out of them before we moved him up to the first walkers. I liked the baby booties and I especially liked having a 3 pack. They tongue opens wide so you are able to slip your baby’s foot in very easily. The snaps were secure and we had no issues with them falling off of his feet.
The First Walkers are a newer addition to the Ten Little line up. They are designed to be for outdoor use for new walkers. The First Walkers are ultra-light and flexible making them an optimal choice.
They have an adjustable velcro strap, a wide opening that makes them easy to get on, they are made of cotton so they are breathable, and they have high-traction outer soles for support. These make for a great first pair of shoes and a a good fit for new walkers.
My experience: We moved my son into the First Walkers when he was about 12 months old. This is when he first started walking. He is a big guy (topping in the 90th plus percentiles for everything) so he was immediately in the highest size first walker shoe after that. I do wish their first walkers went up at size or two more so he could have gotten a little bit more use out of them.
Within the last 18 months, Ten Little has expanded their offerings to also include a curated marketplace of toys, art supplies games, and more. Whenever I am sizing my kids up, I usually end up grabbing a new game or toy for them too.
You can shop in their curated marketplace (under the “Play” tab) by age, stage, and skill level which makes buying the perfect toy or activity easy. My kids have loved everything I’ve picked up from here, especially the Haba games.
The Soft Block Set comes with four different blocks. Each one is a different color and pattern. They also each make different noises. This is a great toy to introduce open-ended play and stimulate your baby’s senses. This toy is free of lead and phthalates, so you can have peace of mind knowing they are safe. You can purchase this toy for $24.99. The Soft Block Set is made by a family-run company named Haba.
This Unicorn Bubble Machine is battery operated (3 AA batteries not included) so you can bring it anywhere for instant fun. Non-soapy, clean fun is just a button away with this machine. The bubble machine is $24.99 and includes two bottles of pre-made bubble mix. This toy, from the company Good Banana, helps with your child’s senses, mobility and strength, and more.
The summer-loving toddlers will love this fun pool. It’s three foot wide and one foot tall and has a fun watermelon theme. This pool comes from the brand Minnidip and you can buy it for $33. This pool makes my non-toxic baby pool list too.
You’ll also receive a repair patch so that the fun won’t stop due to a small hole. The Slice of Watermelon Inflatable Pool is great for kids three years old and up.
These were just a few of the great options in the Ten Little curated shop.
Are Ten Little Considered “Barefoot” Shoes?
You might be wondering if Ten Little shoes are considered to be “barefoot” shoes. Barefoot shoes are the best kind of shoes for healthy development so in my opinion, it’s important we prioritize this kind of fit for our little ones.
Ten Little does not describe themselves as a barefoot shoe, however, they fit all of the boxes of a barefoot shoe. They have:
1. A thin sole and flexible sole:
Touted as the most important aspect of barefoot shoes is a thin and flexible sole. This allows the shoe to bend with the foot, offer traction, protect from a dangerous environment, but also allow for free movement.
One test to know if the sole is flexible enough is to see if you can roll it into a ball.
2. A wide toe box:
A wide toe box allows a child’s foot to develop naturally and not be cramped or pinched. It follows the natural shape of the foot and allows for free movement without distorting the natural growth pattern.
Most kids’ shoes cramp the foot and impede proper development of kids’ feet.
3. A flat sole/zero drop platform:
And finally, barefoot shoes need to have a flat sole or “zero drop platform.” This allows a child’s feet rto move freely across uneven ground and terrain.
While there are some use cases for heeled shoes (like for example, if your child is a toe walker – please consult your pediatrician if you have concerns), heels typically put unnatural tension on the muscles and increase the chance of both improper development and injury.
In Summary: Ten Little Kids Review
As you can see, I really have loved our experience with Ten Little Kids shoes. I think they are a great choice for kids from new walkers to older kids. They are great toddler shoes as they hold up well. I personally love the look of them as kids’ shoe as well.
They buying process is seamless and easy. They have a lot of options and I love that they collaborate with doctors for foot health. I do hope they expand their sizes in the future so more kids can wear them.
All in all, we love our Ten Little shoes and will continue to purchase them as our kids grow. They are good shoes and a good choice for all ages. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. I will do my best to answer them.
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