When Felix was a baby I got heavily into handmade leather moccasins. I loved finding new small brands mostly run by WAHMs who were putting their hearts and souls into these gorgeous little shoes. There's something about baby shoes, isn't there. I especially loved buying ones that I wouldn't mind saving.
As Felix got older, he continued to wear leather moccasins, often as his main shoes. Even out and about. Whilst they don't have a hard sole they are very heard wearing shoes and research has shown it's good for developing feet to be as free from constraints as possible. It's better for their development. Obviously I wouldn't let him walk around in them if there was any danger on the pavement from glass or similar, but for most situations, they were perfect for him! I found them invaluable at playgroup. They were perfect for running around the hall but were soft enough I didn't have to worry about him crushing a baby's arm as he absentmindedly played with the toy cars.
Felix is three now and most people who make these beautiful shoes don't go up to his size. This is quite a source of upset for me. I loved those shoes. And I think even though they wouldn't be right for him to wear outside of the house nowadays, they would make the perfect slippers. I have all of his old pairs and I treasure them.
I am aware though that all these lovely shoe makers are still out there and there are still heaps of you who would love to buy their wears. As such, I thought today I would feature one of my favorite online stores, Belle & The Bear, Belle & The Bear are US based but their moccasins still come in at around the same price as UK ones, postage included. I do try to buy from the UK where I can but I'm not apposed to not doing so. It's still, in this case, supporting a small parent run business!
Belle & The Bear have a few new styles so I thought I'd feature them today. First up is the retro & reminiscent of our own childhood days T Bar Strap shoes:
I love them in the gunmetal, makes them a little more modern. I know Felix would love these if they came in his size because he's got a pair of what he calls "school shoes" which are T-Bar and he chooses them more than any others at the moment! These are available in other colours too including a gorgeous yellow. These shoes are $44.
Second up are these beautiful boots:
I don't think even I could quite get away with these on Felix. And to be honest, I don't think he's much of a bow fan. But I do think they are beautiful. They look soft, easy to pull on but look like they'd have good staying power on little feet, Always a plus! These come in at $55.
It's fair to say that these shoes aren't cheap. But having bought from Belle & The Bear in the past I can confirm they are fantastic quality, The leather is great quality. The attention to detail and quality of the work is without fault. They last. They would last more than one child too. I love them.
Linking up today with lovely Hannah for Funky Kid Friday.