At first there was a lot of hesitation in our son Chaim Yosef‘s movement when standing. He would hold onto the couch and slowly make his way over from one part to another. When he reached the end of the couch, however, he sat down and proceeded to crawl away. It went on this way for a long time until one day he apparently got sick of just toddling along and just started walking as though he had been walking for months with almost no stumbles or spills along the way. When I told my coworkers about this, the two that had children well past the age both asked me the same thing — had I purchased Stride Rite shoes for him? Specifically, the ones meant for toddlers who were just starting to walk. I answered that I had not and they insisted that I immediately buy him a pair.
My wife took young Chaim Yosef to the Stride Rite shoe store at the mall not too far from our home and when I got home from the office that evening proudly showed me her findings — R2D2 shoes. We are both big fans of the original Star Wars trilogy and of course adore little R2D2. The shoes close by Velcro and have the design of the body of R2D2 where it straps shut, with the head being the part that straps the shoe shut.
The first couple of times we put the shoes on Chaim we struggled a little bit to get them on but I think that is because he was unaware that we were doing it and, as a child of his age, was not exactly helping us in any way. We eventually got them on and set him back on the ground and he took off without any issues.
The shoes are durable, although this is of course a fairly relative thing since he only gets to wear shoes for a few months at a time before moving up to the next size. It is not like in my case where I wear a pair of shoes until they are on the verge of crumbling, or at least appear to be on the verge. The only critique that I would like to make is that it is far too easy for Chaim to open the straps on the shoes and he does so whenever he is in his car seat in a car, and sometimes even when he is in his stroller.
Overall I would say that the Stride Rite shoes that we purchased were a good deal. If possible, find them at an outlet store for even better prices — we picked up another pair of the R2D2 shoes for him in a larger size and paid half as much.