Thursday, January 11th, 2007
Review: Vincent Shoes for Kids
The worst thing you can do as a parent is give your child stylish shoes. You don’t need the headaches. You don’t need the arguments about not wearing shoes in the house even though they are cool. You don’t need a tantrum because you are drawn to the endearingly cute red pair with hearts, but she likes the purple pair because purple is her favorite color. And you certainly don’t need for your wife coming home to find the two of you in separate corners pouting.
“But I like purple!” Oh, give me a break. Toddlers don’t have the cognitive ability to be style conscious. You’re going to wear the red shoes. “WHAAAA!”
Oh, OK, that didn’t really happen, but there is a nugget of truth in every story. The whole family loves our Vincent shoes.
Our pair of red Mary-Jane Love shoes with hearts are excruciatingly cute. My daughter adores her purple leather Linus shoes more (photos below), I think partially because she enjoys using its larger Velcro fastener. At 2.5-years-old she can put on and take off these shoes without incident. They are slightly large (but still quite wearable) because dumb ol’ dad didn’t use Vincent’s easy shoe fitter guide.
These shoes are solidly crafted. I want seven more kids to exploit their full hand-me-down value. It would be awkward to donate them in a year and then have my daughter walk up to a strange kid every now and then for the next five or ten years and say, “Excuse me, but you’re wearing my shoes.”
Vincent Shoes are designed by two Swedes who have worked in various areas of the fashion world. You can read about the real Vincent behind the company’s name at the distributor’s web site.
I’m more interested in the fellow behind VincentShoeStore.us, the exclusive U.S. distributor for the shoes. You won’t find much online about him, Christer Berg, because, after all, he’s not the story. But he’s the guy who e-mailed to see whether I’d accept a sample for review (I do routinely reject product samples I can’t recommend) and I asked him about his business.
Christer launched Vincent in the U.S. last September. He is also Swedish, but has lived here for more than 10 years. In 2002, he and his wife launched Scandinavian Child, and began importing a variety of children’s goods such as Svan high chairs and bouncers, Cariboo bassinets and changing tables and Monarch nursery chairs.
I asked him via e-mail, why sell Vincent? He replied, “When we heard about the Vincent brand, met the people and learned about their design philosophy, we instantly liked the brand and felt it could fill an important void in the U.S. â€“ fun, fashionable, functional and affordable quality kidsâ€™ shoes.”
Vincent is certainly affordable in comparison to other high quality shoes. I was aghast to realize some competing brands exceed $100 a pair, and don’t even compare in level of design.
An excellent piece of news is that Vincent Shoes has a winter clearance sale for the next few weeks, with some styles 50 percent off and has a standing offer of free shipping on orders of $75 or more. The purple Linus shoes shown below are 25 percent off. Vincent has some wickedly cool winter boots I’d jump at if I lived in snow instead of a soggy redwood forest.
Here’s a tip good for whatever shoes or clothes you buy. When a seasonal sale begins, plot your child’s growth and buy for the coming year. I stocked up on summer clothes in autumn.
Ridiculously large close-up photos are displayed below.