When it comes to kids' shoes, we have to consider health, safety, comfort, and of course, fashion! I recently ran across a brand that nails each of those categories right on the head - Tsukihoshi!! I'm thrilled to be working with them on this review, and they've been generous enough to contribute one pair of kids shoes to my $400 value Spring Goodies for the Kiddies Giveaway (our jackpot winner will receive their choice of design and size - link at bottom of post to enter to win!!).
Designing children's shoes in Japan for over 140 years, Tsukihoshi's mission is to provide "comfortable, fun shoes that give children's toes the freedom to move"! From split-toe Tabi Tabi to sturdy sneakers, Tsukihoshi has great shoes for babies to big kids that feature generous toe boxes, heel stabilizers, and light and flexible soles.
Before we get into reviewing the 3 awesome designs my kiddos are now rocking, I think we first need to address the brand's name, which might be a bit intimidating for some! Tsukihoshi, pronounced "skee-ho-shee", means moon and star in Japanese. The name is a tribute to the moon and stars, which the company's founders, two shoemakers back in 1873, used to look up to for courage, strength, and inspiration when working late into the night trying to perfect the traditional Japanese split-toe Tabi shoe. Pretty cool, right? And now you know 2 more Japanese words (I bet you already know a few others... sushi, karate, and ninja, to name a few!
Speaking of ninja, that brings me to the first shoe we're reviewing today, Tsukihoshi's Tabi Tabi, split-toe home shoes. Using the same philosophy behind their Jika-Tabi ("ninja boots" still worn today by many in Japan), the split-toe allows kids' toes to wiggle around more freely, as if barefoot! The slippers also help lift the arch and bring foot bones, tendons, and muscles into a natural alignment.
Tabi Tabi are entirely machine washable, with a thick and soft removable insole. The slipper is made of thick, soft, breathable jersey cotton and the bottom is also fabric with a wee bit of embossed grip (grippier than a sock, less than a sneaker). You can find Tabi Tabi for sale on Badorf Kids - they have 4 color options (blue/grey, beige/camo, lavender dots, and fuchsia dots) in sizes Small (Toddler 8.5 - 11.0), Medium (Toddler 11.5 - Youth 1.0), Large (Youth 1.5 - 4.0) for $29.95. My son wears a toddler size 10 and we decided to go for the size Medium, it's quite large on him, as you can see, but they stay on just fine and he loves them, so I'm happy as it buys us extra time in them haha!!
They're really great for us because we are a "no outdoor shoes inside" household - not just because it's my Japanese husband's culture, but also because it is SO MUCH HEALTHIER - think of all the nasty things you can track in from outside in your shoes. No thanks!!
My son is too young to understand about the split-toes being healthy for his foot development, but he does understand that they look VERY different from anything he's ever had on his foot, and he's in love with them. The first time he put them on, he looked at me and said, "ROARRRRRRRR, I'm a T-Rex!!!!" and I couldn't contain my laughter. Yes, I guess they do look a bit like a dinosaur foot (or goat, pig, etc).
The other shoes we got for my son were the Tsukihoshi Marina sneakers in cobalt/orange and man, I'm in love with these, I wish they came in MY size!! They are super lightweight, are easy to get on and off (just one velcro strap, and the tongue is stitched into place on one side, so the kiddo doesn't struggle with that either)!
My son was in desperate need of some sneakers. He had just outgrown his last pair and was begging for some Spiderman light up shoes. I'm sorry, I just couldn't go there. But these Tsukihoshi sneakers are so so cute, and I'm thrilled because he LOVES them and hasn't been bothering me about those Spiderman shoes since getting these - ha!! He is 4 but can get these on and off himself with no problem, and says they're really comfy. They definitely look comfy!
Tsukihoshi's Marina sneakers are machine washable, are water-friendly (featuring quick dry textiles), and have a removable antibacterial insert infused with natural green tea extract to kill odor causing germs. How cool is that!? Other features include wide toe box, heel stabilizer, arch support, and a grippy flexible non-marking TPR sole. You can find them for $52.95 on Badorf Kids in 11 colors from toddler size 7 - 13.
Last but certainly not least, we got the Tsukihoshi Neko sneakers for our 18 month old twin girls. I love getting them coordinating stuff rather than totally matching, when possible, and this is easy to do with Tsukihoshi having many color options in each design. Neko had 8 colors to choose from (in toddler sizes 4-7), so we went with Purple/Berry and Fuchsia/LtBlue.
The Neko sneaks feature most of the same good stuff as the Marinas: machine washable, antibacterial removable insert, wide toe box, heel stabilizer, tongue stitched to one side, easy on-off with single velcro strap. These also feature a non-marking EVA outsole and cushioned arch support.
They're incredibly lightweight; not as flexible as I'd hoped but decent. I should add we're coming out of only wearing baby moccs until now, so the jump into sneakers is always a tough one. But I gotta say, they were literally off and running within seconds of strapping these on! Nothing stopping these girls!!
Alrighty, now all 3 kids are fitted up with amazing Tsukihoshi sneakers and ready to get out and enjoy the Spring!! Ready or not, here we come!!!
To get some Tsukihoshi sneakers or Tabi Tabi for your kids, head on over to Badorf Kids or Amazon (affiliate link), and don't forget, one pair is included in the $400 jackpot of my Spring Goodies for the Kiddies Giveaway running through April 19!!!
Disclaimer: Although I did receive these products free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
4/11/2017 11:26:48 am
I LOVE the super flexible soles and attention to lots of toe room!! I also love those house shoes!! I wish they made them in my size!
9/20/2017 10:30:34 am
Wondering which men's shoes turn women on the most? You'd be surprised at how easy it is to end up with shoes that do exactly the opposite.
9/20/2017 12:17:51 pm
Shoes form part of everyday life and therefore buying them especially for kids should be deftly handled. Buying a poor quality of this basic necessity for kids will tend to disrupt the posture of their feet, thus causing long term injuries. But now with so many qualities and varieties of stylish and comfortable kid's footwear, this is a mistake that can be easily avoided.
5/31/2018 05:20:20 am
This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free.
1/10/2020 07:08:49 am
These shoes are adorable! I love the split toe. Are they comfortable? PS great pics :)
3/16/2022 11:30:05 pm
I very much appreciate it. Thank you for this excellent article. Keep posting!
4/21/2022 08:55:51 am
Excellent article! Your post is essential today. Thanks for sharing, by the way.
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I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!