As always, this is not a sponsored post. The reason for the post is to merely share with other mamas brands that are sustainable and make great things for our little wildlings to help them be comfortable, healthy and spend as much time outdoors as possible.
Jumping in puddles is one of the biggest joys of childhood as I remember it. 🙂 Another one is being able to get really dirty or stump around in wet, slushy, dirty mud. Recently we got both boys their first pair of wellies (rain boots) so they could do exactly that — stump through mud, jump in puddles and any combination of these two beloved activities. 🙂 And they have been a priceless addition to their outdoor gear both in cold and warm weather, in the forest as well as in the garden.
While there are many rain shoes on Amazon and possibly department stores I learned not all are of equal impact on the environment, some are considered toxic and of course there is quality of craftsmanship to take into account. So I wanted to share with you here the shoes we love and recommend; other brands we tried and what we didn’t like about them; some of the information on the natural rubber rain shoes vs PVC ones. Basically all that I learned and discovered so far on the topic of rain shoes to help you find the best ones for your little wild creature at home 🙂
PVC vs. synthetic rubber vs. natural rubber
Not until recently I learned that some rain shoes are made of natural rubber, some made of synthetic rubber and others are made of PVC, the latter is being simply plastic.
I do not know whether or not PVC or synthetic rubber shoes are toxic while being worn. But I do know that as any plastic the manufacturing of PVC products come at a huge cost to our environment, the people working on making them and as all plastics it will continue polluting our lands and oceans long after we are all gone.
In addition to the issue of sustainability I also learned that while PVC boots are lighter they are more stiff than natural rubber. And natural rubber while being a bit more pricey last longer than the PVC material.
Natural rubber wool-lined rain boots
I can not say enough compliments to Bisgaard brand. We really loved our Bisgaard winter shoes — both boys lived in them entire winter. So when it came to rain boots Bisgaard was my first choice. I chose this model as when I was shopping for rain shoes it was still March and it is a cold time here in Colorado. Plus I thought wool lining would come handy if Alexandros choses to wade into mountain lakes and creeks during our Spring and Summer excursions, as the water there always stays cold.
Why we love them
Below are few photos showing the shoes and here is point by point breakdown of the things I like about these shoes.
- They have a fantastic ribbed sole, making them great on slippery muddy surface, rocky surface or sidewalks.
- Wooly inside is very soft and makes them great for colder regions or seasons.
- Shoe shaft is tall. So a child can really wade into water without it splashing into the shoes.
- Shoe shaft is not too narrow nor too wide, so you can comfortably tuck pants in them without having gaps around child’s leg. Plus they have a string to tighten the opening with.
- Very flexible.
- Weight — they are on the heavy side when it comes to the rain boots, because they are made of natural rubber, not plastic. But the negative aspects for plastic erase any benefits, so we chose natural rubber.
- Bisgaard doesn’t make removable rain shoe inserts unfortunately.
Where to buy
You might remember form my post on Bisgaard winter boots that we ordered them from BabyShop, as unfortunately no stores in USA sell Bisgaard. The problem with that though is if you estimate the size wrong the return from USA to Sweden costs more than the shoes themselves. Fortunately, BabyShop has now a sister shop Alex and Alexa and they do free returns for US orders. This makes shopping for Bisgaard brand very easy and safe in case you get a size wrong.
Here is a full list of models for Bisgaard rain boots for kids. Alex and Alexa also sells this model which is possibly an older model and I did see a negative review for it on UK Amazon website stating they did to last long. This surprised me, but I wanted it to share with you nonetheless. Our pair of wool-lined wellies has been great, we’ve been using it extensively since March and have had no issues whatsoever.
- Alex and Alexa — free returns from USA. Possibly also for UK, Sweden, Norway.
- BabyShop — returns from USA are not free, not sure about other countries.
- Mama Owl — a UK-based store. I really love Mama Owl for their dedication to sustainable brands, but the returns from US are not free unfortunately.
Note on sizing
When determining the size I recommend sizing down. Use Bisgaard own size chart, which could be found here, and then size down a size. I got the size indicated per the measurements, but I think it is too big. My son fell in love with the shoes instantly, so I ended up keeping this size. But shopping for it now I’d buy size down, especially since thankfully to Alex and Alexa online store we can do free returns if the size doesn’t fit.
Other brands we tried,
but not recommend
KAVAT — too short and too wide, synthetic rubber
Even though we really loved our Bisgaard wellies I got for Alexandros I was also intrigued by Kavat brand of kids shoes I’ve been seeing on Instagram. So for Eleon I decided to try this model from Kavat. Sadly I can not recommend them, at least not for the purpose of really splashing around and getting muddy. While being very beautifully made the shoes are very short and wide. So as the child jumps in a puddle a lot of water ends up splashing into the shoe.
Additionally I didn’t realize then, but I understand now that KAVAT rain shoes aren’t made with natural rubber, but they use SEBS rubber instead which is a synthetic rubber. So, while not PVC they are still not natural rubber ones.
Tuckaer and Tate — too narrow, synthetic rubber
So I was disappointed in KAVAT shoes plus no matter how carefully I measured I ended up with the shoes that were too big for Eleon. So I had to return them. Eleon’s birthday was fast approaching and rain shoes was supposed to be his main gift (I can not count how many time I found Eleon in his leather Pololo shoes knee deep in a bucket of water or ankle deep in a muddy puddle in the garden). Sadly I did not have time to order him Bisgaard rain boots, so in my desperation I ended up buying him these Tucker and Tate rain shoes from Nordstrom.
So these wellies are OK and we are keeping them for Eleon as he was so excited to get his own rain boots we didn’t have a heart to try and return them. But once he grows out of them his next pair will definitely be Bisgaard.
The main issue with these little wellies is that they are too narrow. You can see on the photos Eleon’s calfs fill the shaft almost completely. So if the child wears tights, or pants are snag you could tuck them in, but if pants are even slightly bulky or made of thick material there is simply no room in the shoe shaft. And defiantly I don’t think it’d be possible to tuck in jeans.
But my main issue with this brand is that there is absolutely no information on what these shoes are exactly made of. There is not even a brand’s website to try and learn more about their environmental standards and sustainability values. Nordstrom page just says ‘rubber’, from that I assume that it is synthetic rubber, which I’m not thrilled about. Which is why I would not recommend these.
Children love wellies!
I hope this information comes handy to you in picking wellies for your little ones as they get so much joy out of all the messes they can get into in these shoes. 🙂
And shopping for brands like Bisgaard will help to support the businesses that do their best in providing goods for us and our children in the ethical and responsible manner. And since natural rubber boots last longer we can also reduce waste associated with fast-fashion where so many things we buy these days last a season at best and then end up in the tsunami of plastic trash that is choking our planet.