Vans are my son's shoe of choice — he slides them on and is on his way. But, the stylish slip-ons popular with aspiring wee skaters aren't appropriate for certain occasions. For fancy affairs, I invested in a pair of shiny black Kenneth Cole lace-ups, but because weddings, holidays and funerals are so few and far between, he outgrows them quickly.
Then I came across a more casual shoe that is restaurant and playground friendly — Merrells. The classic mocs with rubber soles provide great traction for my tot who's always ready to party. The suede and leather uppers complement most casual outfits and the price tag ($25 - $30) won't break the bank as his feet continue to grow.