Shop Talk: Hottest Kids' Shoes

Shop Talk: Hottest Kids' Shoes

Shop Talk: Hottest Kids' Shoes

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We reached out to local stores, asking which shoes they predict will be the hottest for kids this fall


ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 $80 at RnJ Sports in Bethesda

“These shoes have great cushioning, a nice fit and vibrant colors.”- Reu Scherf, ownerRnJ Sports


New Balance 574 Sweatshirt $80 at South Moon Under in Wildwood Shopping Center

“New Balance sneakers continue to be popular among high school students.” – J.P. Bishop, buyer South Moon Under

Sperry Tevin Oxford $50 at Shoe Train in Cabin John Mall

“This is a great everyday shoe for kids who attend private school.” – Marina Fradlin, owner Shoe Train


Saucony Guide 8 $65 at RnJ Sports in Bethesda

“The Guide hassome arch support, which is helpful for boys with flat feet.” – Reu Scherf, owner RnJ Sports


Steve Madden Troopa Boot $110 at South Moon Under in Wildwood Shopping Center

“This boot is a fresh take on the hiker trend without being too masculine.” – Melissa Bona, buyer South Moon Under


UGG Classic $120 at Shoe Train in Cabin John Mall

“UGGs will continue to be a huge seller this fall, especially in classic colors like brown and black.” – Marina Fradlin, owner Shoe Train


Photo by Michael Bennett Kress.

During back-to-school season, as many as 120 children visit Shoe Train in Potomac’s Cabin John Mall every day. In business for more than 40 years, the store carries footwear for toddlers, high school students and every stage in between. We caught up with owner Marina Fradlin, who purchased the store in 2011, to chat about what’s trending for fall and how to find the right fit.

What trends are you seeing for the back-to-school season?

“Retro, classic styles are very in right now. Bright shades and metallics are also very popular, so brands are pushing the color envelope as far as it will go.

Everyone from Nike to New Balance has silver sneakers coming out in fall.  My 13-year-old daughter, Ava, swears by ASICS.”

Why is finding a good fit important?

“Children’s foot bones are not fully formed, so you need to provide ample room for growth. Most people don’t know that the foot grows sideways first, then lengthwise. That’s why, for small children, finding wide and extra-wide shoes are imperative.”


How often should shoes be replaced?

“It depends on the child, but we recommend that younger customers come in every four to six weeks for a ‘shoe check.’ The staff doesn’t work on commission, so there’s no pressure to make a purchase. For kids 10 and older, footwear should be checked every six months.

Unless they’re incredibly hard on their shoes, they will likely grow out of them before the shoe falls apart.”


What’s the biggest mistake parents make when shoe shopping?

“I think a lot of parents are more focused on fashion, which is fine for a special weekend or dress shoe. But for everyday footwear, it’s crucial to find something that fits properly and has the right support.”


Are there any trends you wish would disappear?

“My personal pet peeve are Crocs. Forget the fact that they’re ugly, but the shoe doesn’t fit anyone and leads to tons of injuries. Luckily, most girls have traded their Crocs for adorable sandals, but boys still love them!”

Behind the Brand: Zosimos Botanicals

The average woman uses 12 personal care products every day, according to the Environmental Working Group, a research organization in Washington, D.C. Yet with the exception of checking color additives and restricted ingredients, the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t have the legal authority to approve cosmetics before they hit the market.

Zosimos Botanicals founder Linda Stein says customers should read the ingredients list of natural skin care products. Photo by Michael Ventura.

That’s why Linda Stein, founder of skin care line Zosimos Botanicals, set out to enlighten consumers. “Women aren’t going to stop wearing lipstick,” Stein says. “You just have to educate yourself on what’s healthy, what you’re putting on your skin and what goes into your body.”
Stein, who lives in Gaithersburg, has sensitive eyes that become easily irritated, which she says has always made wearing cosmetics a challenge. After learning how to formulate her own products, the former trademark attorney decided to launch her own company. In 2004, the online boutique, named after a third-century alchemist named Zosimos, began selling makeup without parabens and synthetic preservatives.

Zosimos, which is certified by PETA as cruelty-free, offers a range of personal care products including face serum, eye shadow, blush, lip balm and shower gel. Stein and her team of two artisans fill each order as it comes in, using only certified organic flavors, essential oils, mica pigments and local ingredients—including honey from Butler’s Orchard in Germantown and lavender from Stein’s garden.

As a growing number of consumers turn to natural alternatives, Stein offers some advice: “Learn how to read the ingredient list. If there’s something you can’t pronounce, maybe you don’t want to use that product.”

Zosimos Botanicals, Gaithersburg, 301-977-2826, Select products available at Dawson’s Market in Rockville, 240-428-1386,

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