I first saw Freshly Picked moccasins on a friend’s Facebook post. I immediately fell in love with the array of colors, multiple patterns, and cute, yet simple design. At the time, Max wasn’t even born yet, so I made a mental bookmark and then promptly forgot all about it.
After Max was born and started cruising, I looked into potential shoes for him to wear (plus, who doesn’t want to dress their baby up in cute baby shoes!) I then learned that it is actually best for babies to go barefoot. During a time of rapid growth and development, walking barefoot helps the baby to develop the muscles and ligaments of the foot, to increase the strength of the foot’s arch, and to contribute to good posture.
However, although there are a host of benefits to walking barefoot, there also comes a point in time when a baby starts walking outdoors and their precious feet need to be protected.
I decided to put buying shoes for Max on hold until he was actually walking. That was a few months ago. And even though Max is still only cruising, we are now planning a trip to Japan and Taiwan. I wanted Max to have a pair of shoes to protect his feet during travel so I started looking into shoes again. And since Max is not yet fully walking, I learned that soft-soled shoes were best for baby’s foot development.
That’s where Freshly Picked moccasins come in. Their moccs are handmade, in the USA, out of supple leather (or suede) that stretch and conform to the baby’s foot. Because the soles are made of leather (as opposed to rubber), they still provide tactile feedback from the ground to the baby’s feet. Essentially, it’s the next best thing to being barefoot while still protecting the baby’s tender feet.
At 11 months, Max has chunky feet that measure approximately 4.5 inches. I bought size 3 which accommodates feet up to 4.85 inches. I was tempted to buy him a size 4 (so that he could “grow into them” – channeling my Taiwanese mother) but decided to stick with the true to fit size. Freshly Picked moccs are priced at $60.00, except when on sale. Luckily, I snagged the Chocolate color (since it was Max’s first pair of shoes, I wanted to go neutral) on sale for $45.00.
I have to say, the moccs fit perfectly. I don’t regret buying Max a size 3, but I also hope his feet don’t grow too quickly. The design of the shoe is rather ingenious – there is a hidden elastic in the front portion of the shoe that allows the panel to stretch out so that the moccasin can slip on. I like that the elastic isn’t bunched in the back of the shoe, because I can attest, from my personal experience, that those type of shoes hurt. (Yes, I’m talking to you Tory Burch Reva Ballet Flats)!
Side note: Robeez also makes soft-soled leather shoes that have a cute (albeit more childish) design. Their shoes are also less expensive. However, the deal breaker for me was the elasticized ankle. Just looking at it made me shudder in pain, thinking about the back of my poor, raw heels. I wasn’t willing to risk it with Max.
Anyway, I tested Freshly Picked moccs on Max indoors. At first, Max was unsure of what to do with his feet. He would try to stand up but he apparently did not like the sensation because he ended up crawling around for a bit instead. After a short while, he finally got used to the feeling of something on his feet and started pulling up.
Once Max became accustomed to his new moccs, he definitely seemed comfortable. He was able to move around freely, kneel, and stand on his tip toes with no issues.
My only critique is that I am concerned about the lack of traction from the soles of the moccasins. We have hardwood floors and I saw Max lose his balance a few times before falling to his tush. The smooth leather can be a little slippery and I wish they had included grips on the bottom to prevent sliding.
But I must say, I really love the look of Freshly Picked moccasins. There are so many different colors and patterns that can go with any outfit. And I feel like Max looks très fashionable when he’s wearing them. I also assume the moccs are comfortable because Max has never tried to take them off. They are incredibly flexible and stay snugly on his feet while providing protection.
In the end, I would definitely buy the moccs again. I find them to be of very well made and of high quality. They are pricey, but Freshly Picked frequently has sales on colors/patterns that they intend to discontinue. And, they just look damn stylish.
UPDATE 01/27/16: I recently received a pair of suede moccs from Freshly Picked for Max to try as a two-year old. You can read the updated review here.
UPDATE 09/29/16: Freshly Picked is now also available on Amazon!
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