It’s no secret that we try to get out and about as much as possible as a family. I want my children to have an outdoorsy, exploratory, imaginative, cold noses, pink cheeks, dirty fingernails, panting breath, muddy everything, kind of childhood. I want them to have a detailed understanding and deep appreciation for nature. I want them to constantly challenge themselves, to foster their natural desire to explore and to take risks. For these, and so many other reasons, one of our core values is to spend lots of time outside, and I try to live that value as much as possible. As much as possible with such a young family anyway.
But when it comes to the colder, wetter, muddier months, I have to admit my resolve starts to slip a bit.
December arrives with all of it’s busyness and preparations and celebrations, and then January and February follow with their bleak and bitterness and before you know it, the same family that was outside for 8 hours a day in September hasn’t seen a forest or a beach or even a park in weeks. Well I am resolving to change that this winter. Sure half the fun of winter is snuggling inside with candles and books and board games and Netflix (the other half is called Christmas), but this year I’m determined that we will still get out for an adventure at least once a week.
Last winter I discovered that I had up until that point been a little bit silly and we just hadn’t invested in the right kit. It all started with the arrival of the girls’ Tiny Trolls waterproof all in one suits, which are a godsend when you just want to make sure they are completely wrapped up and protected from the elements. From there I started to educate myself about thermal base layers and fleece midlayers and hats and all kinds of things that to be honest I shouldn’t have been able to get to 30 years old without knowing about but now that I do know it makes our winter exploring a lot more comfortable for everyone!
One thing that I was particularly slow on the uptake with was footwear, I mean wellies will do right? Well it turns out that while being excellent protection if you’re planning to wade through deep puddles, shallow rivers or particularly squelchy mud, they are also pretty slippy on quite a lot of surfaces and not at all comfortable to walk a few miles in.
These last few weeks, Mabel has been trying out some new boots on our winter walks, the KEEN Hikeport mid waterproof boots and to say that she is impressed would be an understatement. They are clearly a hiking boot, designed to do a job rather than look pretty, but despite that I think they look really cool (although I won’t say that out loud because I’m pretty sure that your Mum saying something is cool is the fastest way to turn it into the opposite) and Mabel loves the colours so much that when they first arrived she wore them around the house for a couple of days and for a walk into town just because she liked them.
I love that she has proper ankle support and padding in these shoes so her little feet are protected and cushioned while she’s out exploring the world. In Mabel’s words ‘these shoes are super grippy!’ and I think she feels a little bit invincible in them, based on the way she’s been flinging herself around whenever she wears them. I also have it on good authority that these are excellent tree climbing shoes! I thought we would probably have to sacrifice a little bit in terms of slightly soggy socks in return for the comfort and grip but these are waterproof so little puddles or a bit of mud is no problem at all.
I am so pleased with these shoes and it has just proved to me even more that it really is worth investing in the right kit when it comes to getting outside with kids in the winter.
Thank you so much to KEEN for sending us these shoes for review.
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