I have done it countless times... made the delusional child footwear mistake of style over function. I have held tiny teal sneakers with bright yellow stripes aloft to my husband, then watched as he shook his head and said, "You'll hate them when they are dirty." Cut to a couple of hours later when my son's shoes look like they've been tied to the back of a four-wheeler in a monster truck rally, and I am silently vowing to only buy black leather T-straps from the 1800s. Which is why the new line of washable kids sneakers from Rothy's is so intriguing. Rothy's of course is responsible for the rainbow-hued (and as Business Insider reported, very popular) line of women's footwear that always pops up on my Instagram feed, and which I always want to buy in every color because I secretly want to live inside the Umbrellas of Cherbourg.
Rothy's flats and loafers are beloved for their comfort and breathability, and because of the company's impressive mission of sustainability: the shoes are all made from recycled plastic bottles, yo.
Also — they're totally cute. And not just for shoes made from old Poland Springs. They have a clean, classic design, and come in vibrant, playful colors. (Is it just me, or is there something about a delicate ballet flat that just makes other women seem like they have it more together? Like I could see someone in CVS in dirty yoga pants, crying while buying Cran-Actin, but if she has on cute hot pink flats I'm like, "now there is a lady who has her life on track!")
Anyway, one of the most popular features of Rothy's is their washability. They can be thrown into the laundry machine (on cold, naturally) and apparently they do not turn into a pile of fibers or new shoes for Barbie. (Buzzfeed confirms this miracle of science to be true.)
So Rothy's idea to expand their line to children — they who specialize in mud, dropping entire scoops of ice cream onto their feet, and kicking at unidentifiable substances on the subway — is a genius way for parents to dress their children in fun, colorful kicks while still feeling like responsible, practical adults. Kid drops his taco on his toes? No prob! Into the machine they go.
Rothy's previously unveiled a line of teeny girls' loafers last year, and following that success, have now cleverly expanded to unisex sneaks for both girls and boys. The shoes are of course slip-on and free of laces (which means no hunching at the playground and sweating through your coat while your child moans like you are a painfully slow sloth-human) and the patterns and colors are "inspired by bright 1970s hues." The "Yellow Puppy Camo" shoes are a sunshiney pattern of pups, while the "Blue Octopus Camo" features, yes, blue octupi. My personal fave though is the "Red Llama Camo", for if a parent has the option to clothe their child in a llama pattern, why in god's name wouldn't they? (The llama-pattern phase of life is but short! Seize it while ye can, I say...)
The shoes come in a bunch of other fun colors too, like "White Rainbow," "Bubblegum", and "Flame". They were also apparently road-tested by "brutally honest" kids. Which I guess means some children let Rothy's know if they were good for running up slides the wrong way, if they caused owies, or if the designer maybe shouldn't wear her hair like that.
The size range is 11 - 4 (11-13, 1-4) , and the shoes run about $55 a pop, which, yes, is on the pricier side for kids' shoes. But that $55 also buys you the smugness of knowing that your child's stylish footwear is helping to save the planet. And you can't put a price tag on smugness. Especially not in Brooklyn, where I reside.
Personally, I want some just so I can tell my kid his shoes are made from bottles, and then watch his little mind explode. This may result in him rifling through our recycling to try and strap some old Chardonnay refuse to my own feet. But. Cross that bridge, etc.
Rothy's Kids Sneakers debut on March 12, and you're going to want a pair in every color.