Shoes for little ones: Our visit to L.L. Bean (November 2013)

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Shoes for little ones: Our visit to L.L. Bean

Visiting L.L. Bean, in Burlington, MA, on a sunny November Saturday was a trip that our family found fulfilling, interesting and allowed us to avoid the crowded streets during the Red Sox World Series parade.

We arrived at L.L. Bean in search of outerwear and boots for our daughter. We found all of the clothing items that we were searching for, however, the boots were a different story.

We began our toddler boot purchase journey by having her foot sized, which led to a conversation with one of the L.L. Bean footwear staff people.  I learned a few interesting things about children's footwear and what to avoid:

FirstL.L. Bean sells sneakers and boots that have molded support inside each shoe.  The molded support includes support for the arch, the front of the foot and the ankle. This support can also be fount in their toddler hiking boots.

Second, parents need to pay close attention early to the wear on your child's shoes - if one side of the shoe's sole is worn more than the other side (inner or outer), even with sandals, over time your child can develop problems with their ligaments/tendons in their ankles, leading to pain in the hip.

The L.L. Bean footwear staff person was a mother and told me that when her son was 6 years old, he began having pain in his hip and complained about it regularly.  The issue needed to be corrected with special corrective insoles and she needed to avoid having her son wear any shoes/boots that were not flexible in the middle as well as ones that are not molded inside to provide proper support.  Also, he needed to wear more 'mid-height' shoes, like hiking boots, that would provide the necessary ankle support.

Here is what I learned from the L.L. Bean footwear staff person:
L.L. Bean Toddlers' Shock Moc
1. Avoid any boot/shoe that has a straight/flat sole - these are the kind that don't bend in the middle. Buy the ones that are flexible in the middle, children's feet need this flexibility.

2. Choose sneakers that have the molded support inside and are flexible in the middle.

3. Choose boots that have the molded support inside and molded support in the ankle area as well. The support in the ankle area with keep the ankle straight and help to avoid the ligament/tendon issue that may result in hip pain a few years later.

4. Hiking boots have molded support inside and support the ankles.

5. Examine the back of any recently worn sandal, sneaker or shoe for wear to one side of the sole (on the inside or the outside of the sole).  If there is increased wear to one side of the sole, this can indicate a problem with your child's ankle ligaments/tendons. Speak to your doctor about this issue.

L.L. Bean Toddler Snow Treads Boots

For now, we have the L.L. Bean Toddlers Snow Treads Boots for the tough winter weather (in Rose Blossom/Silver).

They have a waterproof membrane to block moisture and cold, a lightweight foam insulation traps heat to keep feet cozy and hook-and-loop-closure strap that easily adjusts over the gusseted tongue.

They also include a chain-grip rubber outsole and a 3M® Scotchlite® reflective back triangle!

BOGS Kids Rain boot

L.L. Bean also sells supportive boots by BOGS.

BOGS' boots are available for toddlers and have the molded support inside, are flexible in the middle of the sole and have molded support in the ankle area. Here is the link:

Additional advice about how to shop for toddler shoes can be found here:

Afterward, we stopped down the street at Bickford's Grille for lunch and relaxation.

Our daughter enjoying her rolls at Bickford's.

Bickford's Grille!

Our daughter enjoyed the fun decor, her yummy rolls and Jennie, our server.  As you can see, we had a nice time.

Our family at Bickford's Grille for lunch!

We returned to L.L. Bean for a little playtime at the Outdoor Discovery Center downstairs.

Our daughter wanted to check out one of their new outdoor tents, this yellow one was her favorite. Our daughter also enjoyed playing on the fun scale and having her dad pull her around in her new sled!

Playing on fun scale.
Having fun with Daddy and new sled!

We really appreciate all of the help and information that we received at L.L. Bean and look forward to our next visit! 

Happy winter outfit shopping everyone!

Joy E.
Posted November 8, 2013


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Other family happenings:

MFA Play dates (Museum of Fine Arts):

At MFA play date with Melissa and her daughter.
Playing with a fun mask at MFA Play Dates.

See me with Mommy at MFA Playdates (on right) - Mom in yellow, I'm in pink! We appear on MFA's Instagram:

The 'Pru Boo' Halloween event at the Prudential Mall:

Resting with Mommy at the 'Pru Boo' Halloween event.
With Mommy at 'Pru Boo'!


Waiting to meet Elmo at Pru Boo!
With Daddy at 'Pru Boo'!


Dancing to the Spanish 'Music Choice' Channels:
Last month our daughter flipped through the Comcast 'Music Choice' channels to the ones that feature spanish music. Her favorite channels are Pop Latino and Musica Urbana.  After listening to these channels for a few days, I saw her dance for the first time to popular music!  I caught her on video dancing to Ricky Martin's 'Come with Me' song and a Zion and Lennox song. She also finds the music from Yandel and Jesse & Joy to be entertaining; the 'reggaeton' music by De La Ghetto and Daddy Yankee is fun for her as well. See her dance moves below:
           Dancing to Ricky Martin 'Come with Me' 10-10-13


         Dancing to Zion and Lennox on Musica Urbana 10-10-13

Out to eat with the family:

At the Four's Restaurant with Mom, Dad and GrandDad.
At Friday's Restaurant with Mom and Dad.

The Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA:

Playing with percussion instrument at museum.

Playing with shapes.

Playing with Daddy.

Swinging our daughter near the colored sand exhibit.

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