Review: Foot Petals Andi Classic Trainer VoxBox*

Review: Foot Petals Andi Classic Trainer VoxBox* | Writing Between Pauses

Disclaimer: As always, an asterisk in the title of this post (*) denotes that I received this product complimentary, in exchange for a review. However, all opinions remain my own. For more information, please see my disclosure policy here

A few weeks ago, I received a questionnaire from Influenster. I receive them pretty frequently and, while I do receive a fair number of voxboxes, I didn't expect to receive this one. I remember filling it out, but I wasn't sold on it; after all, I am purposefully sparse with my shoes (I have four pairs only) and didn't feel like I needed more. 

However, when I want to my mail box in the first week of November and saw these shoes waiting for me... I got a little excited. When I had filled out the survey, I fully expected to receive something other than shoes: inserts, maybe, or a foot spray, or something small. But a full pair of shoes? A full pair of shoes? That's pretty cool. 

I've been blogging for nearly 10 years, but the novelty of receiving a pair of shoes to review is still there! 

I was so excited to try these on. I am a big fan of Sketchers GoWalk or Go Lite shoes; I've taken a pair of Disneyland every time I've gone and they are dream shoes for heavy walking. Day to day, I'll admit, I don't do a ton of walking, but I do take Forrest to the park every day that I can and we try to stay active when we're at home. I was excited to add another pair of comfortable shoes to my arsenal (cut to me cringing at this... when did I get so old?) and these really fit the bill. 

Let's get into specifics: I received the Andi Classic Trainer in gray, in a size 7.5. I think I put that as my size for fear that the shoes ran small; however, a 7.5 is really big on me. I tend to wear pretty thick socks, so it's not a huge issue, but I can easily slip these on and off without taking off my socks. So, true sizing or even sizing down would probably be recommended. I do wish I had a 6.5 in these! 

Foot Petals Andi Classic 1 | Writing Between Pauses

First things first, these shoes are comfortable. Not quite as walking-on-clouds comfortable as my favorite Sketchers, but they are very comfortable nonetheless. They have an insert in the middle of the heel that provides support. They feel a little bit like the orthopedic shoes I used to wear when I worked at a deli, but a lot cuter. 

I picked the Andi initially (way back when I did that survey) because they were the most "plain" and I figured they would go with more of the clothes I wear daily. I really love wearing these with leggings and jeans; they make a great casual shoe for when I'm running errands. They definitely aren't the cutest shoes in the world; in person, they are kind of round and remind me a little bit of turtles. 

Overall, what's my opinion on these shoes? If you're looking for a comfortable walking shoe, they definitely should be on the list. At $99.99, they are pretty steep for a pair of shoes (admittedly, more than I would consider paying usually); but they are extremely comfortable, so if you do a lot of walking (or are planning a trip to a place like Disneyland), they're a great option. 

Is It Too Pushy to Ask for More Gender Neutral Options?

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed 2 or 3 weeks ago that I sent out a tweet about Freshly Picked's celebrity collaborations. 

I love Freshly Picked. If you're a parent, you've probably seen an ad (or five) for them on Instagram. You've probably seen a baby wearing them on Instagram. Michael Phelps's son, Boomer, famously wore a red-white-and-blue pair with gold heels at the Olympics. They are small, leather moccasins, soft soled, for babies and toddlers. Freshly Picked is everywhere, becoming almost as popular among InstaMoms as ModCloth is among the indie crowd. 

However, when Freshly Picked announced their most recent celebrity collaboration, I found myself getting a little, well, flustered. The newest collaboration is with Ayesha Curry; she created four designs of moccasins. Three of them are holographic: they are gorgeous and insanely impractical for the average baby, but who cares! You can get gold holo, pink holo, or silver holo. They are also obviously for girls. They are little girls shoes. They are only shown on girls in Freshly Picked ads. There is another pair of moccasins in the collaboration: they are plain blue. Plain blue! Not blue holo. Not green holo. They are... blue. That's it. They're blue. 

They are for boys. 

During the summer, Freshly Picked had another celebrity collaboration with a professional skater. 5 styles of shoe were released; 4 styles were obviously for girls (floral, polka dots, etc) and one was for boys. The boys styled was plain black with a lime green sole. Plain. Black. That's it!

The girls get fun designs, cute patterns, pretty colors. Boys get plain blue or black or brown. 

That's it. 

We can get into the "for girls" argument all we want. I'm there with you. I think saying florals are for girls and girls only is total bunk. However, Forrest depends on me to dress him; I can dress him however I like at this point. When he's older, he can choose. But my goal for getting him dressed in the morning is not to make him the object of negative attention. 

But that doesn't mean I wouldn't like a cute pair of shoes to put on him. Shoes that aren't covered in the Ninja Turtles or Superman. Shoes that aren't boring or plain. 

I'm not asking for a miracle here. I'm just asking for more gender neutral--or even, perhaps, overtly "boyish"--options. 

Walk into a Target. Look at the toddler girls section. Look at the toddler boys sections. Notice anything? Yeah, the girls section is 3-4 times as big as the boys section. 

It's incredibly frustrating. 

Also, when you look at those clothing sections, notice another thing; there are almost NO boys shoes for young toddlers. Under size 5 boys shoes are the hardest thing to find in the world. I might as well be attempting to purchase the Mona Lisa. There are racks of tiny girls shoes--fake Ugg boots smaller than my hand, sandals and tennis shoes and Mary Janes--but there are no boys shoes. None. The boys shoes that are available tend to be covered in characters--the Ninja Turtles, Cars, and more. 

It is endlessly frustrating. 

It is hard to find things that are gender neutral or that aren't overtly girly. What am I supposed to tell Forrest? Sorry, kid, you can't walk right now because I couldn't find any shoes in your size? Sorry, I know your feet are cold because you need boots, but they don't make them for you despite the fact that there are 20 varieties of boots for girls? 

This is my plea to brands to please, please, make more options for boys or options that are gender neutral. 

Freshly Picked has many plain colored moccasins that work just fine--Forrest has the velvet mocha style--but it would be nice if, for once, a collaboration came out that was for primarily boys or gender neutral and didn't feature just solid colors. It is entirely possible to make cute, exciting clothes for boys or that are gender neutral. You just have to try. It's easy to sell girly themed things--overwhelmingly, because girls have more options, parents buy more--but I promise, boy moms (or moms that are choosing a gender neutral route) have money too.