Hailing from the shores of Vancouver, Native shoes are to feet what Dr Dre is to ears… aesthetically fun and perfectly practical super cool design.
In the realm of waterproof day-to-day shoes for kids, there are only a handful of brands that offer serious options. What makes this brand stand out is both their collection of iconic designs, which are most closely related to casual loafer, funky hiking boot and boating shoes than ‘waterproof by necessity’ designs, and the extremely lightweight, flexible and soft-to-the-touch EVA material (that’s Ethylene Vinyl Acetate to the rest of us) which makes these shoes easy on the foot as well as easy to get on and off for littler people.
Only launched in 2010, the brand is primarily focused on the adult market, which probably explains their chic aesthetic, which looks just as much at home in a five-star hotel lobby as it does on a child in a water-play park
There are currently five designs in the children’s collection – the Jefferson, Miller, Howard (boating shoe style), Corrado and the Jimmy (half hiking boot, half Wellington). Each is a brilliant and wearable design that is not so much an iconic signature of the brand, as a classic signature of style.
VIEW THE COLLECTION HERE (and pin one or more to your personal Pinboard)
The full-injection moulding process used to create the shoes produces zero waste, uses a low-energy emissions manufacturing technique, and is free of any animal by-products. And if you’re wondering about EVA, well it’s a durable, flexible closed-cell foam plastic – so nothing can penetrate its skin, whether that’s water, bacteria or odour – and it’s superbly shock absorbent. Used as padding in many pieces of sports equipment, and as a shock absorber in tennis shoes, Native explain: “Think of EVA as the marshmallow that never melts; the spring in your step. The natural characteristics of the material make it great for footwear because it molds to your feet.”
Interestingly, EVA is also used in many baby teethers – as it does not require a plasticizer to obtain its flexibility, making it bisphenol-a and phthalate free. Furthermore, the US Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CEHJ) recommends EVA as a safer PVC-free plastic alternative. So, at least for now, it seems that EVA is a pretty brilliant option.
We say, let’s have the Jeffersons in summer and the Jimmys in winter in at least two colours – and that’s the shoe wardrobe taken care of!
Why? Beyond the cool factor – these shoes are incredibly practical with their impervious surface, especially great for kids who love a quick stomp in puddles, snow or muddy ditches…
Outstanding Features Waterproof, bacteria resistant, super easy to clean and those brilliant designs and colours…
Best For Kids who love muddy puddles, outdoor festivals and showing a bit of glamper chic in urban environs.
What Parents Love “Uber cool, lightweight, super versatile, colourful, kids love them because they are easy to put on and comfy to boot… in short, the perfect shoe…” Elissa, Australia.
Designer Details Native Shoes was established in Vancouver, Canada by Damian Van Zyll De Jong in 2009 with a vision of combining the best of evolving technology and great design. Inspired by classic, casual silhouettes, Native shoes are made from foam-injection molded-EVA, a lightweight, durable and comfortable material. Now owned by Scott Hawthorn, the company’s tagline Keep it Lite, stands for everything its founder and global team stand for: in product inspiration, in spirit and in attitude. Along with a unique, low-emission manufacturing process, Native shoes are animal bi-product free, waterproof and odor-resistant. Since its launch in Spring 2010, Native now has global distribution in over 30 countries.