Best Kids’ Keen Shoes: What are they?
Keening is a type of footwear which was invented in 1873 by Charles Keating, a shoe manufacturer from New York City. His invention was based on the idea that children were too small to wear shoes with thick soles and thin heels. Therefore, he designed a pair of shoes with high heels but low toes so that children could walk around without slipping or falling down. These shoes became known as “keen” because they had a narrow toe box and high heels. They were called “keen” because children would often say, “I’m keened!” when they got excited.
The name “Keening” came from the fact that the first pairs of these shoes sold out within days after their release. However, it wasn’t until 1912 that Keating’s original design was patented by him and other inventors at his company, Keating & Co., Inc..
Since then, the word “keening” has come to mean any kind of footwear made especially for young children.
What makes them special?
They’re very comfortable! Unlike regular shoes, which are stiffer than your feet feel during normal walking, child’s shoes have a softer sole and allow your feet to move freely. Some even feature built-in foot rests and ankle supports (which make wearing adult boots uncomfortable). They’re easy to clean! The soles are usually made of rubber, canvas, or leather (though some types have non-slip surfaces). You don’t need any special cleaning agents or equipment. Just use a damp cloth to wipe away dust and dirt! They’re easy to wear! As the name suggests, most keen shoes are not only easy to put on but also easy to take off with the pull-tab on the back.
They come in so many styles! Unlike most adult shoes, keen footwear is not gender-specific and are available in various colours and patterns to suit every mood.
Children have a wide selection to choose from, regardless of the occasion: there are formal shoes with high heels (for special events and school) casual shoes with rubber soles (for everyday use), and even sandals! There is something for everyone.
How are they supposed to fit?
As mentioned before, keen shoes have a soft sole which is easy to bend. The upper part of the shoe, on the other hand, is made of a harder and less flexible material so that it stays on your foot while you walk. Here are some tips:
Always try the shoes on carpet first to check if they slip. This is very important since your child will be putting his full weight on them!
Check the width and length of the shoe. It should match your child’s foot exactly in both dimensions (but it shouldn’t be too loose or too tight).
The heel should not slip out when your child walks. If it does, then the shoes are too big.
The toe box should not press painfully on any part of your child’s foot. If it does, they’re too small.
The shoes should not bend or flex in an unnatural way. If they do, then they’re defective or something is wrong with the material.
The shoes should be at least 0.5 cm longer than your child’s feet to accommodate for growth.
(Remember that kids have faster growth spurts during the teenage years!)
How can I keep my keen footwear in good shape?
Cleaning and maintenance are important in order to prolong the life of your child’s footwear. Even if the shoes have non-slip, durable soles, it doesn’t mean that you should just throw them on the ground when they’re dirty. This is especially true if the soles are made of rubber or another absorbent material.
When should I throw them out?
Like most things, these shoes have a limited lifespan and will eventually wear out. However, the way you take care of them can influence how long they last. Take note of any tears, holes, or abnormal wear and replace your child’s shoes when:
The material is torn in a noticeable area.
The upper part of the shoe has lost its flexibility.
The soles are uneven or won’t bend.
The edges are visibly damaged or have frayed.
The sides of the shoe have cracks.
The insole or lining has fallen apart or is missing.
The sides or parts of the upper part of the shoe no longer stay on your child’s foot.
TIP: Don’t fall for the sales trick of adding an extra digit to the size when advertising their products. For example, if your kid is usually a size 7, they might try to sell you a size 8 since 7.5 doesn’t exist (except in some rare cases).
Always go with the smaller size since kids feet grow faster than adults and the shoes will probably be worn out by the time they need the next size up anyway.
When should I replace shoe laces?
Shoe laces have a tendency to break or fray and replacement is inevitable. Luckily, it is easy to do and you can find a variety of colors and styles to suit your needs. Flat shoe laces are easier to replace since they have a simpler design but you might want to use round ones for activities where speed is essential.
What is the best way to clean my keen shoes?
If your child’s feet tend to get messy or if you just want to keep your keen footwear in tip-top condition, then here’s what you should do:
Use a soft cloth or toothbrush to remove any dirt from the soles and sides of your shoes.
Lightly dampen the cloth with water or cleaning solution and gently wipe the entire shoe.
Let your shoes air dry before wearing them again.
What if I just want to buy shoes for my child without all this fuss?
Why would you want to do that when you could be having so much fun?
Jokes aside, shoe shopping really isn’t that hard as long as you have the right information. It’s all in the hunt, finding that perfect pair that will fit your child’s needs and wants. If you don’t want to go through all that, here are some popular shoe models available for purchase:
Newports – these American-made shoes are great for outdoor use and come in a variety of colors.
Florsheim Kids – these leather oxfords come in a sleek design and are perfect for school wear.
Reebok Classics – available for kids who have wide feet, these sneakers are also great for playing outside.
Mizuno Runners – perfect for running long distances, these shoes also feature a unique wave design on the sides.
Newports – see boys’ section for details.
Palladium Pockets – these leather sneakers are just as great for everyday wear as they are for sports and outdoor activities.
Where can I find shoes for children with disabilities?
Children with certain disabilities such as missing or paralyzed feet require special footwear. Here are some examples:
For children who are missing their entire foot, a wrap-around shoe that covers the stump completely is required. These shoes can be made out of any soft material such as cloth, plastic, or leather.
If your child has a clubfoot, he or she will need a shoe that can be secured tightly to the leg (usually with laces) to prevent the foot from turning in or twisting. Open shoes with Velcro straps are also helpful for keeping the foot in place.
For children who have paralyzed feet, a shoe with a flexible outsole is recommended since it will better accommodate for the lack of movement.
Now that you know all about how to choose the best shoes for your child, it’s time to put that knowledge to good use. Remember, kids’ feet grow fast so don’t worry about getting the perfect pair right away.
As long as your child is comfortable and can walk properly, then its all good!
Till next time, this is The Krazy Coupon Lady saying STAY TRUE TO YOU!
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Sources & references used in this article:
Martin Keen by B Stern – Inventors at Work, 2012 – Springer
Doing the best I can: Fatherhood in the inner city by K Edin, TJ Nelson – 2013 – books.google.com
The one best system: A history of American urban education by DB Tyack – 1974 – books.google.com
The working class majority: America’s best kept secret by M Zweig – 2011 – books.google.com
The Shaping Healthy Choices Program: design and implementation methodologies for a multicomponent, school-based nutrition education intervention by …, M Dharmar, G Feenstra, C Hillhouse, CL Keen… – Journal of Nutrition …, 2014 – Elsevier
Evidence based coaching handbook: Putting best practices to work for your clients by DR Stober, AM Grant – 2010 – books.google.com
What the best college students do by PE Willis, P Willis – 1981 – Columbia University Press