I’ve been meaning to write a review for PLAE shoes for years at this point. That’s how long I’ve loved them and how long I’ve personally recommended this brand of shoes to friends and acquaintances.
I don’t know why I haven’t written a review in all that time, but it’s definitely long overdue.
I am a big advocate of flexible soles in footwear for pre-walkers and young children. I’ve featured baby moccasins several times on my blog, for that very reason. But, as kids get older, they need more protection and support from their footwear.
However, flexible soles still remain essential to healthy foot development. Not to mention that, with the amount of running, jumping, and climbing that kids do, flexible soles allow them to stay connected with the ground or surface they are climbing on.
Ever since Max graduated from moccasins, I have only bought PLAE sneakers and boots for him to wear. We are on our 4th or 5th pair at this point.
So, why do I love this brand of shoes so much?!
1. My first and most important criteria: The shoes have amazing soles that are flexible, grippy, and shock-absorbent. We’ve had other sneakers (that were gifted) with flexible soles but they always felt thin, cheap, and were not shock-absorbent.
2. The shoes are very high-quality, well-made, and durable. The toe guard is brilliant and a feature ALL kids’ shoes should have. Max is rough on his sneakers and I am especially thankful for the toe guard. He would have definitely worn out other sneakers with his kicking and feet dragging by now.
3. I can throw them in the washing machine! Air-dry the sneakers and soles (separately) afterwards to decrease wear and tear of tumbling in a dryer. Kids’ shoes get sooooo dirty. Plus, Max has stepped in dog poop because, well, sh*t happens. So I love that I can throw these sneakers in the machine and get them nice and clean. (There are some lines that are not machine-washable but I don’t buy those because my kid steps in sh*t.)
4. Most of the shoes are super toddler and preschooler user-friendly. From a very early age, Max could put on his shoes using the pull tab and velcro straps by himself.
5. The velcro tabs adjust to easily accommodate Max’s thick and chunky feet. But they also have different tab sizes, ranging from S-XL, depending on the width of your child’s feet.
6. Some of their designs are the coolest. I am guilty of buying a limited edition design that was, at the time, three sizes too big for Max because I want him to have cool-looking sneakers when he’s “older.” Not to mention, they have purple shoes that Max can wear without me feeling like I’m buying him girly sneakers. This one is huge.
I think the main downside is that PLAE shoes are on the pricier side for kids’ shoes. Prices range from approximately $35-$80. But they really are quality shoes that are well-made and durable. I only buy one sneaker at a time in a certain size until Max outgrows it. (The only exception was this past winter when I also bought him a pair of waterproof boots.)
Best of all, Max has yet to ruin any of them, even after months of continuous wear. Well, one shoe almost developed a hole in the heel but it still lasted the entire summer (i.e., running outside all day on the hot pavement), before he outgrew it. But I’ve heard many parents complain that their kids destroy their sneakers in only two months!
Nonetheless, the other sneakers in our collection have held up beautifully and can be passed down.
Sorry Alexa – at least some of them are purple!
If you are looking to save some money on your first order (new customers only):
I usually purchase PLAE shoes directly through their website (they have a pretty good rewards program) but the shoes are also available on Amazon here.
Have you tried PLAE shoes before? Do you love them as much as I do?