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With a combined understanding of biomechanics, child development and preventative medicine, New York-based couple Laura Santos, a board-certified pediatrician, and Jonathan Schofield, a certified podiatrist, have introduced Fields Footwear, a fit-focused line of lightweight shoes for kids. Designed for crawling, cruising and walking, each style features a clear sole that allows parents to see exactly where their child’s foot is located within the shoe.
“Fields proudly protects children from the effects of ill-fitted footwear,” Santos says. “If a child loves a pair of sparkly gold shoes, she’s never going to say when it’s too tight on her feet. So we came up with a solution to avoid damage to delicate cartilage.”
Roughly spanning sizes newborn to 10, Fields Footwear doesn’t abide by standard sizing. Instead, the shoes are listed in millimeters. “Sizes are never the same between brands, so it’s best for parents to measure their child’s foot to find the perfect size,” Santos says, adding the collection, made in Spain, features soft leathers and a thermoplasticized rubber (TPR) sole—the same nontoxic material in teethers. “Kids put everything in their mouth, so we only use the safest materials,” Santos says. As for styling, the designs are primarily inspired by shoes Santos and Schofield wore growing up in Europe. The Fall ’19 collection features several contemporary twists on traditional shoes, including T-straps, Mary Janes and chukka boots in metallic and suede finishes with bright pops of color. Suggested retail is $54.95 for the Baby Steps line and $64.95 for the Next Steps collection.
“Buyers are very impressed with the construction,” Santos says, following the brand’s debut at Playtime New York last month. (The company launched direct-to-consumer online in November 2017.) “I wish I could capture the exact moment when buyers saw our daughter’s foot through the sole of her shoes,” she adds. “So many jaws dropped!” Fields Footwear gives retailers an opportunity to educate consumers on the importance of healthy foot development for children at the point of sale—and Santos believes that sets the brand apart. “It’s nice knowing we can make a difference one new account at a time,” Santos says. “We couldn’t be more proud to provide fellow parents with something we truly believe is good for their children.”