For the Love of Supportive Summer Shoes + 6 Ways to Trick Your Kids into Wearing Them!


{Disclaimer: We are working with See Kai Run to bring you this post, however, all opinions are our own!}

When summer comes around, our kids want nothing more than to head to the beach, get naked, or run around barefoot in the grass (not always in that particular order). If your kids are anything like mine, they refuse at all costs to put on summer shoes (or worse, they refuse to wear anything OTHER than flip flops). Of course, incredibly uncomfortable winter boots inevitably find their way onto kids’ feet (because winter boots and summer are a completely rational choice) but when all’s said and done, summer lends itself to bad foot support for our kiddos’ growing bodies.

Why is this a problem you ask?

My 3-year-old has been suffering from growing pains and nighttime leg aches due to poor foot support throughout the day. Ouch.

We are an active family and have spent a lot of these summer days going for walks, running around, or playing outside as much as possible. At first, we thought our son was just being lazy with the “my legs are tired, I want to be carried” whines. But it started to get serious once we realized how much pain the little man was in and that no matter what we tried (bananas, vitamins, etc) nothing was working. After much debate and a few chats with his doctor, we were told he needed better foot support and that we somehow had to convince him to wear sneakers in 80-degree weather. Great. That’s perfectly easy to do with a stubborn redhead.

Lucky for us we had a pair of sneakers to review from See Kai Run and the timing couldn’t have been more serendipitous. See Kai Run approaches shoe making from the belief that a child’s foot is different than an adult’s foot. Kids’ feet are constantly growing and changing, which is why See Kai Run studies kids’ feet and carefully considers every detail that goes into a shoe.

All See Kai Run shoes are proportionally engineered for a child’s foot and designed to promote healthy foot development. 

Their shoe lines are divided into three different ages and stages categories. These are defined by movement and foot form in babies, toddlers, and big kids.

We just loved the shoes so much that we wanted to share with you all the fun tips and tricks we came up with to get our little guy to wear them (and some other fun discoveries we made along the way). Aside from Zayne testing them, we also paired up (pun intended) his big brother and their little friend, Caroline, to test out what other kids thought of the shoes as well! Here are our top takeaways on how to convince your kid into wearing shoes (with proper support) that you can use year round!

1} Avoid sibling rivalry at all costs.

IMG_2937We have 2 boys. This means 2. Of. Everything. Without 2 of everything, we get hit with the “why not me?” “Where’s mine?” or worse, one time my son looked at me with wide eyes and asked, “You don’t love me as much?” To avoid this, anytime they get a special gift, it is always something they can share unless it’s a birthday. But beware… they must match! We learned early on that the best way to get both kids excited and to avoid a fight over who gets the blue vs the orange is get them matching sets of pretty much everything. Thankfully, See Kai Run makes it easy to get matching shoes. When the boys got their new shoes, they both were sooo pumped and literally ran around the house screaming, “I got the SAME ones.” Which was also pretty darn cute.

2} Make it easy for them.

Kids love to put on their own shoes. The worst thing you can do is buy a pair of shoes that they cannot or will not be able to put on themselves. Especially when you’re in the toddler “I DO IT” stage. I just love how the See Kai Run sneakers we received are easy peasy lemon squeezy when it comes to putting on your own shoes when you are 3. The kids were both pumped when they received their shoes and threw them on right away (even though it was 8 AM). It’s awesome being able to ask them to go get on their shoes before we go somewhere and not only do they listen, but they can actually do it themselves!

3} Make sure they are comfy.

The most comfortable summer shoes ever! See Kai Run! Josilyn (Caroline’s mom) loves Caroline’s Makena Washable Runner sandals that they received, mostly because of how easy they are to adjust to ensure a perfect fit each time. In Vermont, we have a small selection of retailers to purchase our children’s shoes from so when choosing her daughter’s See Kai Run shoes, she was really nervous about which size to get Caroline, as she seemed to be between sizes, and she didn’t have a local retailer to go to to see the shoes in person. But See Kai Run made it easy. Josilyn was able to download See Kai Run‘s printable size chart and measured Caroline’s feet that way. Caroline was between a size 6 and a 7, so Josilyn opted for the 7. Part of what makes the runner sandals so amazing is that they adjust in three places, so although the 7 is actually a bit big for Caroline, the back can be tightened and they fit perfectly now, and should last through the whole summer (perfect!).

20160417_105329They are well made and she can run, jump, swim and even mow the lawn in them. Caroline hasn’t liked other sandals in the past, and she has outright refused to wear them, but she gladly puts these ones on. It’s probably because the sole really forms to her foot and she feels secure wearing them. Plus our fashionista loves the print. Oh, and on a side note, as a mom, Josilyn also really appreciates that if they begin to stink (let’s be honest, feet sweat in the summer) she’ll be able to throw them in the washer and then let them air dry.

4} Get creative.

When we go hiking, we generally tell a creative story about what we are planning to see. For example, last summer there was a tree on the Five Tree Hill hike that someone decorated like a fairy house (or at least that’s what it looked like to our older son). Wyatt has a massive imagination so by telling him we “have” to put on sneakers so that we can go hike to the fairy trees and see where the fairies live we are able to get him out the door quickly with no screaming matches. And his little brother quickly followed suit!

5} Bribery works like a charm.

Don’t judge… but sometimes we just need to bribe our kids. The bribe could be something super awesome like “If you put on your shoes we will go get some ice cream” to “You can have a sticker!” Usually, our kids are super pumped to get a sticker and would do pretty much anything for them (seriously, stickers are amazing)!

6} Just do it.

IMG_1938Kids love to go outside. Generally speaking, if we tell our kids that they won’t be able to go outside or go do whatever family adventure awaits until they put their shoes on, they eventually will comply. Your kids will be perfectly happy in their comfy shoes and parents will be happy knowing our kids are getting the support they need with awesome shoes from See Kai Run!

So far we are a few nights pain-free! I’ll check back in and let you know how it goes but thanks, See Kai Run, for giving my kiddo the support he needed this summer 🙂

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Originally from New Jersey my family would frequent VT for ski vacations and always saw the green mountains as a second home. When my husband Jake and I were ready to settle down we quickly found Burlington to be the perfect home for us both. We have been in VT since 2008 and now have 2 wonderful, spirited, and busy boys (Wyatt - 4, Zayne - 2) and an absolutely insane puppy, Ike. I telecommute from my home in Williston and am on a constant quest to balance being a full time executive with the demands of being mommy. Thankfully I also carry some form of super power productivity gene that forces me to multi-task at an absurd level (also known as the mommy gene)! When I'm not working or saving the world one band-aid at a time I love trying my hand at gardening, pretending to workout, and exploring. My family loves Burlington and all the area has to offer through community, health, fun, and local and sustainable living. I am so honored to be a part of this amazing team!


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