My daughter started to climb trees before her third birthday. She’s always on the go, running and climbing and jumping—so I was pretty pissed when her kindergarten required her to wear shoes that, well, are not at all play-friendly. I was like, WHAT? My kid isn’t terribly girly and pretty much the only shoes I can get her to wear are sneakers. Her schoolyard was full of fun things for her to climb on at recess, so I knew she’d love being outside at school. But without sneakers, that would be challenging.
The Shoe Store Nightmare
So we headed to a shoe store to try to find her something that met the school dress code but was still suitable for running while playing tag or climbing up the jungle gym. Yeah. Let’s just say that did NOT go well. Walking in the first store, everything in her size for girls that wasn’t sneakers had problems. First there were a LOT of shoes with heels. For five year olds. As far as I’m concerned, unless my kid is someone’s flower girl in a wedding and the bride required it, my girl was not going to start wearing heels at age five. Secondly, there was zero traction on the bottom of the shoes. Cue mom fury, right?
What The Heck, Shoe Makers
Seriously, though. Why on earth do shoe manufacturers still think all little girls want and need completely impractical shoes that even adult women would have trouble walking in? There’s a weird marketing switch that flips when girls hit age five where they are suddenly expected to be “ladylike” even in our modern age. Shoes that aren’t functional mean girls are restricted from winning races, climbing high, and generally doing much of anything. This inhibits her ability to be her best and be strong.
PLAE To The Rescue
Thanks to some quick internet sleuthing, I found Plae. In a world full of girls shoes made from slickness and glitter, PLAE stands out—and not just because of the quality of the product. I read some reviews and parents were just gushing about how great they are. So I went ahead and ordered my daughter this cute little pair. I loved what I read about the company—many of the materials are eco-minded, which is super cool. But best of all? My daughter LOVED them. She says her shoes are way more comfortable than her sneakers, so we’re getting her a second pair just to wear. She also swears she runs faster in them but I cannot scientifically prove that so I won’t make that claim (but it’s totally true).
Why PLAE Rocks
I absolutely LOVE that PLAE doesn’t market shoes separately to girls and boys; they are all just kid shoes, no matter the color or design. And best of all? They now have an adult line, too. I’ve got my eye on this pair. Don’t they look like perfect daily running around shoes? Because honestly, I don’t need heels in my life either.
But what I love most is this: PLAE gets that girls are physical and love to race and climb and generally terrorize their parents and cause gray hair. I know I sound like I’m gushing, but seriously…these are just great shoes, and they have made my girl super happy. She’s also apparently able to climb up things faster than anyone else in kindergarten, according to her new school friends. And that’s alright with me. Take that, patriarchy!
Designed for the imaginative, crafted for the creative—PLAE is a lifestyle brand for the next generation, with products that are innovative, fashion-forward, and inspired by play.