We’re currently working as Gore-Tex Family Ambassadors which means they’re sending the kids shoes to trying out each season! Of course this fits perfectly with our love of a good adventure so we were excited to join in and give the shoes a good testing!
I don’t know about you but many of our summer adventures happen in the park so that’s exactly where we took our first Gore-Tex Big Day Out – a trip over to Leeds to catch up with friends in one of my favourite parks, Roundhay Park.
Although the forecast had been for an overcast day we struck lucky and the weather was perfect for a day in the park – warm enough for a picnic and sun cream but not so hot we were worried about being outside all day.
Ben, Chloe and Amy’s shoes were sturdy and supportive and I was confident that they were wearing the right shoes for the day ahead. The shoes were perfect for the rough and tumble that comes with a day in the park – climbing trees, rolling down hills, running round the lake and playing on all the equipment.
Ben’s shoes are a smart blue trainer which I would have happily chosen for him myself. As yet he hasn’t quite learned to tie his shoe laces so we generally aim for Velcro fastenings to allow him to get his shoes on independently (when you have three children to get ready and out of the door an extra pair of shoe laces to tie might just be the deal breaker!)
Unfortunately the girls shoes were considerably less to my taste. You all know how much I hate to buy pink for girls, and in particular pink shoes – so these are definitely not something I would have even picked up off the shelf under normal circumstances. That said, Chloe loves her shoes and I should think if they were navy I would probably think they were gorgeous too! Anyway, the pink and sparkly nature of the girls shoes is just a matter of personal taste so we shall ignore that and move onto the features of them!
Like Ben’s shoes, I was pleased to see that Amy’s feature a double strap Velcro fastening – much quicker for me to get onto a wriggling toddler than laces! Whilst Chloe’s hi-tops do have laces, the main fastening is actually a zip to the inner ankle which she thought was great as it meant that once I’d got her laces tied up for her she could take her shoes on and off herself. Bonus.
As soon as I took each pair of shoes out of the box I was struck by how light they were – although you can tell they’re a substantial shoe there’s no obvious weight to them (not like my walking boots which are a little like walking around wearing lumps of concrete on your feet at times!)
Each pair of shoes features a substantial grip which the girls tested out by climbing up a dirty hill to the slide and Ben? Well, he climbed a tree . . . boys will be boys right?
What we love about them:
* The Velcro / zip fastenings make it considerably easier for the kids to be independent in putting on and taking off their own shoes
* These shoes are specifically designed to keep feet cool making them the idea Spring / Summer adventure shoe! No sweaty feet here!
* They’re lightweight and comfortable
* The shoes are supportive and “sensible” – as you would expect.
* There’s no rubbing – from first wear the kids were comfortable and happy to explore all day
* They’re flexible – perfect for all that climbing
What we’re not so keen on:
* They’re pink and sparkly – whilst this doesn’t impact on their effectiveness whatsoever it really doesn’t make them aesthetically pleasing in my book! (Of course I know this is just personal taste!)
* The suede effect finish will look tired quickly – and in fact, after just one wear, both the girls have already got slightly scruffier looking shoes after climbing that dirty hill! Whilst I know these are a Spring / Summer shoe and should therefore not get quite so dirty as an Autumn / Winter pair I would still prefer a more wipe clean material for this sort of shoe.