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SHOE DESIGN

Designed from the sole up, hand crafted with care. We make the shoes that your kids will love. Here is how we do it.

Designed for Freedom, made with love

FROM THE SOLE UP

DR SEUSS ONCE PONDERED

“Oh, the places you’ll go… You have the brains in your head, you have the feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

At Bobux, we design shoes for the places your child will go. Our shoe design all starts in the sole, designed with your child’s freedom of movement in mind, form fitted to their feet. We carefully select flexible materials that protect your child’s feet and allow them the freedom to grow… to explore… from the sole up.

DESIGN PHILOSOPHY

Just like with our own adult shoes, children’s shoes need to be comfortable and protect their feet. Our design philosophy starts with a deep understanding of what comfort means. Each one of our shoes is designed to the shape of children’s feet, with materials that are flexible to allow them to move and grow.

After almost 30 years of making the world’s best kid’s shoes, we’ve found there are five key elements that make a shoe comfortable: Flexibility, Adjustability, Breathability, Weight and Fit. That’s why our shoes are shaped like children’s feet, why they use flexible, breathable leathers and knits that are lightweight, and why they use fastening that makes them easy to wear and easy to adjust. Shoes also need to be durable to stand up to the crazy things our kids put them through and continue to protect their feet. 

Stage, not age, is a mantra in our business and what it means is that we design for the stages of development a child goes through, to guide them on their journey, whether it’s our Soft Sole for babies who crawl, Step Up shoes that guide your child’s early steps or the Kid + soles for jumping, skipping, kicking and climbing. Our shoes are designed to protect and guide your child, whatever stage they are at.

We’re constantly looking at ways we can improve on those criteria, constantly learning, and constantly developing throughout our range to keep making shoes that your kids love. Designed for freedom, from the sole up.

OUR

DESIGN PROCESS

Making the world’s best shoes for growing feet takes care and attention at every stage of the design. We work closely with podiatrists and researchers throughout our design process to better understand children’s feet, how they move, run, jump and play. 

01

DISCOVERY
Our design process starts with a simple question: What could we do better? Children need to grow freely and explore a lot of new environments, so it’s important that they have the right footwear to guide and protect them wherever they go. We try to understand what needs are not being met and how we can best design a shoe to carry our little adventurers on their journey.

02

RESEARCH
Once we know what problem we’re trying to solve, our design team works with podiatrists, researchers and other industry experts to find materials and design features that might help us. It might be that we’re designing a wet weather shoe that needs to be made with flexible materials, or a warm shoe that still needs to be breathable. Researching the problem helps guide our design direction.

03

PROTOTYPING
From our research we’ll develop sometimes dozens of prototypes, using different solutions to understand how effective each idea is. We continue to test these prototypes against our philosophies of flexibility, adjustability, breathability, durability and great fit. Our prototypes might use different materials, different shapes, different means of fastening or different assembly techniques.

04

WEAR TESTING
Once we find some prototypes that work, we invite a select group of parents to bring their children in and try on the shoes. Seeing how children react to the new shoe and how it feels on their feet, lets us know if we’re headed in the right direction. Once we’ve settled on a prototype, we’ll let children take the shoes away for a period of time and wear them to get feedback on which shoes they love the most.

05

AESTHETIC DESIGN
Designing shoes that children love means meeting a bunch of different criteria. At Bobux, we treat the child as our customer and we design our shoes so they will love them. That means making a shoe that’s comfortable for them to wear, guides their movement well and also, looks pretty cool. But it’s more than just looking cool, the shoes need to look like they do what they do, to inform their use. If a child doesn’t absolutely love their shoe, then it’s not a Bobux shoe.

Our shoes should be comfortable, adjustable, durable, breathable, flexible and they should communicate their purpose but, most importantly, our shoes should be loved. 

Parents constantly tell us that our shoes are their child’s favourite, that they don’t want to take them off or that they’ll even wear them to bed. The joy that our children find when they first put on their Bobux shoes is the ultimate endorsement in what we do. Designed for your child’s feet, from the sole up.

A shoe for every adventure

From splashing in puddles, stomping in the snow, days out at the beach and days in at home, our kids need shoes for each and every adventure.

At Bobux, we constantly talk to parents about what kind of shoes their kids need in order to design products that are form-fitted to every step on your child’s journey. From brightly coloured beach sandals to subtle suede shoes for school, formal and informal, boys and girls, casual and cool, there’s a Bobux shoe for every adventure.

The Last Comes First

Most shoes are built on lasts. A last is like a mold that determines the shape of your shoes. Once made from hand-carved wood, lasts are now made using a plastic polymer that creates a 3D foot shape around which your shoes are designed. Put simply, lasts form the fit of your shoe.

Lasts have historically taken the shape of an adult’s foot. So when it came to making kids’ shoes, manufacturers simply scaled the lasts down to a child’s size, with little to no consideration for the unique shape of their feet. Not Bobux.

Our lasts are anatomically designed in partnership with paediatric podiatrists to ensure natural gait and movement and to fit the unique shape of children’s feet as they form. This is why Bobux shoes fit your child’s feet better than any other shoe in the world.

WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING

It has always been important to me that my daughter has good quality footwear. I love how well Bobux shoes support her growing feet. Bobux shoes are stylish and practical and I know that she will, literally, always put her best foot forward when she's wearing them. What I also appreciate is that their design allows her to foster her own sense of independance and adventure, with velcro fastenings that my independent little firecracker can manage on her own.
AERONWY CORDING, MOTHER
After searching and searching for minimal, movement-friendly, comfortable, durable, good looking sandals for my toddler, I finally, came across Bobux and could not be happier. Evie can develop, run, climb, and play without a bulky shoe getting her way. And the leather sandals just look better with wear. Thank you for creating a toddler shoe that checks all of the boxes. Our lifestyle has us outside the majority of the time in many different elements, and these shoes are the perfect fit. Customer service was also outstanding!
LAURA BRUNER, MOTHER
We've had few pairs of Bobux shoes over past year or so, basically since my quads started to walk. Last year we had Zap sandals and even after couple of month wearing them the shoes literally looked immaculate! In spring time we tried grass court model (possibly my favourite model of smart leather trainers by Bobux) it's just the best! Goes with everything! Super light and comfy! My kids still would choose them over any other pair they have, even if it's boiling hot. To be honest, I think quality, design and the materials it's made of, make it the most perfect shoes for active toddlers!
ANNA SAVCHENKO, MOTHER
Bobux shoes have been a firm favourite in our household since my oldest (who's almost 7 now) was a baby. We buy Bobux every Winter and Summer for our kids and honestly they are the best quality shoes and boots I've found. I love how they're so specifically designed for the different stages of development and my kids have always found their Bobux very comfortable. Our current favs are the Aspen Boots, great for a cold South Island Winter!
HEIDI GREENSLADE, MOTHER

DESIGN AWARDS & RECOGNITION

For all the people behind the scenes who work tirelessly to bring joy to your child’s feet, the awards that we win always feel very special. More importantly though, to win an award for product design means that you’ve created something great. To win an award tells us that we’ve changed the world in some tiny way for the better. Here are some of the awards we’ve won:

BEST AWARDS
Gold 2017 Best Product Silver 2016 Best Product Silver 2015 Best Product
RED DOT AWARDS
Winner for Xplorer shoe 2015
Junior Design Awards UK
Gold 2016
Made for Mum's Award UK A/W
2018