A few months ago, Liz and Isabel (hereinafter referred to as "Lizabel") and I took our children to an event at one of those daycare imaginariums, whereby New Balance launched its new line of Sesame Street-themed sneakers. I don't normally respond to stuff like this, but I was intrigued by this brand marriage because 1) I am a consumer of each, and 2) the shoes retail for about $50 each. So off did we merrily go, to see what creature this corporate coitus had wrought.
When we arrived, Jenny Nametag cordially invited the boys to have their feet measured and to choose from three designs -- Elmo, Cookie Monster, or Oscar the Grouch. TwoBert instantly chose Oscar, with whom he has always had a special rapport, and went off to tackle the guy in the Elmo costume.
Robert was a bit more circumspect, since he left the land of Enchanting Children's Programming a long time ago. And in true, insouciant-six-year-old fashion, he proudly assured Ms. Nametag that when he got the shoes he was going to sell them on eBay, and use the funds to buy Yankee tickets.
Six to eight weeks later, the boxes arrived. And TwoBert demanded to be outfitted immediately. The shoes fit perfectly, and he was rarely out of them for the next several weeks--effectively abandoning the sandals that took about a tenth of the time to put on. Here's a shot of the boy, rocking his new kicks on the subway:
Robert was largely indifferent to his new treads (shown below, with patriotic hosiery), because Cookie Monster is neither a super hero nor associated with any tentpole movie franchise:
He boxed them up lovingly and put them away, lest the product be damaged and reduce the resale price online. But one day, as we prepared for a baseball playdate, he asked if he could wear them (as seen below, in the middle of his pitching windup). I was surprised by this, and when I asked Robert about it, he said he wanted to show off his new "baby shoes."
So in summary: the Sesame Sneakers are durable, yet flexibly-soled enough for a three-year-old to get a strong running start before he head-butts you in the crotch. They are laced, which might be a little burdensome. And they are an excellent medium for a six-year-old to convey to his startled parents that he has discovered irony.