Ikiki is a small company based in Utah that produces unique and comfy kids’ shoes that you won’t find in stores. But don’t let that stop you from trying them out. Shipping, returns and exchanges are all free. And there’s a code at the bottom of this review for 10% off. Sure, you can scroll all the way down to get the code, but reading the whole article is fun too.
Ikiki shoes were designed by parents who couldn’t find shoes they liked for their kids. “We found out that most kid shoes are just adult shoes that have been shrunk down,” Laura, a company representative, said. “We started from the ground up to make a shoe especially for kids. One that would be roomy, comfortable, and help kids learn how to walk.”
First and foremost, these shoes are adorable. There are many designs and colors to choose from so you can match your baby and your personalities. Pigs, frogs, puppies, skulls, kitties, hippos, narwhals and unicorns are equally represented, as are lots of different colors from pink to sparkly purple to green and blue. I choose the unicorn because the light-blue fabric has some sparkle to it and Little Monster and I both favor a little pizzazz here and there. Also because the light blue seemed easy to match to a variety of outfits.
The shoes go for the cute factor from heel to toe and beyond. Each of the shoes not only has a cute animal face on its toes (or skull…there’s a skull shoe too and even it is cute!), but also a touch of that character on the heel too. On our unicorn shoes, for example, the heel has a rainbow pony tail on it. I love it. Each of the characters also has a name – our unicorn is Duchess Bubblegum Sparkles – which would be especially fun for older kids. Little Monster isn’t old enough to appreciate that her unicorn has a name, but she is old enough to enjoy the sparkly fabric and that’s all that matters.
The shoes come complete with squeaky heels, which is handy for traveling. Listen for the squeaker to make sure your little monsters haven’t wandered too far at the airport or park or wherever you wander. But if you get tired of listening to little squeaks beside you, you can also turn the squeaker off with the flick of a little switch on the heel.
However, do note that the squeakers can be damaged if your child gets into mud or sand or too much water, which is a slight con for a kid’s shoe, but they’re so cute you probably don’t want to use these for your outdoor play shoes anyway.
Make no mistake, there’s more to these shoes than cuteness. They’re also comfortable and easy to get on. I bought a size up since my Little Monster isn’t an accomplished walker yet. She hates shoes and generally yells at me when I put shoes on her, but was instantly fascinated by the two little unicorns on her feet. In fact, she was all smiles as she tried them out, which I can only interpret as meaning they’re comfy. Ikiki claims the shoes have a roomy fit and it looks like Little Monster appreciates that.
It also helps that the shoes slip on easily and quickly. There’s a single Velcro strap and it opens the shoe WIDE. We struggle to get most shoes on her, even shoes with straps, but these slipped right on with no fuss.
The shoes have a roomy fit, which is great for chubby little fit. But let it be known that Little Monster inherited my narrow foot that makes finding shoes a frustrating adventure. Even with her narrow little foot and the size up that I ordered, the thick and supportive Velcro strap kept her feet nice and snug.
Another perk is the high-top design. For one, it looks unique for a baby shoe. For two, it’s designed to add a little extra support for early walkers.
I asked Ikiki what made these shoes so unique and got a long list of answers.
“The wide opening can also fit AFO and SMO foot braces,” added Laura. “Most shoes compatible with braces are very expensive and typically not very fashion forward. Ikikis are also great shoes for children who have special needs. They fit children with clubfoot disorders. The squeak helps keep track of non-verbal children. The squeaky sound in the shoes encourages children to step heel first, and helps prevent ‘toe walking’ which can cause long-term health problems. Ikikis are the only squeaky shoes that offer an off switch. And they are light weight for kids with low muscle tone (hypotonia).”
The materials used to make the shoes help make them more comfortable too. Materials are all breathable so little feet don’t get sweaty and include EVA foam, nylon, sponge foam, BK mesh, polyurethane and polyester. The sole is soft and flexible and the shoes are free of any animal products, meaning vegans can enjoy them too.
If you’re not sure what size to order, have your baby stand on a piece of paper, mark in front of their toe and behind their heel, measure the distance, and use the company’s size chart to figure out which size is best. If you’re still not confident in your wiggly baby’s foot measurements like me, you can go to Nordstrom or another store that sells a variety of children’s shoes and let them measure your child’s foot.
If you plan to order some of these shoes for yourself, you can use the code MONSTERSHOES to get 10% off. You can order from Ikiki’s website.
Full disclosure: I received a discount on a pair of Ikiki shoes for review purposes, but all opinions in this review are my own. I really do love these shoes and – most importantly – so does my daughter.