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Toddler shoes made for movement. Made with soul.









Common Tread shoes have been developed by an Occupational Therapist & Engineer, who are parents themselves. With children's optimal development & well-being at the core of what we do - if you choose Common Tread, you'd be doing your kids' feet a favour.

Kids love wearing them - ask any Common Tread parent.

Welcome to the family.


Our Story

We set out to create kids’ shoes that would mean one less thing to think about for busy devoted parents and would be beneficial for kids - shoes that do kids' feet a favour! As parents of two delightfully adventurous boys, we understand that kids hate it when movement and exploration are hindered.

We know the frustration that comes from trying to pull on shoes with elasticated ribbing onto little flat feet, loose flying shoe laces, hard soles that limit freedom of movement and stability!

We resolved to find a solution for this ongoing problem after trying a variety of shoes and researching the benefits of barefoot designed shoes, for both adults and kids alike.

Although going barefoot is just the best - there are times kids' feet need to be protected from the elements.

The material used is locally sourced quality leather. The sole is made from a flexible compound that ensures good grip but does not take away from the flexibility of the sole. The wide toe box ensures lots of space for moving toes and allows for more stability and improved balance. The single decorative press-stud with the velcro fastening results in quick and easy on and off!

We have partnered with artisans based in Cape Town who share our vision and who lovingly and skillfully craft each pair.

So we put one foot in front of the other – a dream 10 years in the making and have now produced our first range of kid’s shoes for Common Tread.

A shoe made with soul.

Read more about our story - Common Tread features on Parent 24.

'A whole family effort': How two toddlers sparked a footwear business | Parent (news24.com)

Shoe Sizing

Sizing Chart

Measure your little one's foot by placing a piece of paper under their foot and positioning their heel closely up against a wall. The foot needs to be flat on the paper and their weight evenly distributed. Hold a pen at a slightly inward angle and make a mark on the paper which is in line with the end of the big toe. Measure from heel to this mark at the big toe. This will give an overall foot length from heel to toe. Use this measurement to select the correct shoe size on the sizing chart. If your child's foot is on the upper limit of a size we recommend selecting the next size up - this will allow them to enjoy their Common Treads for longer. Sizing in line with SA/UK standard sizing.

Measurements & Sizing

Size 4 = 129mm - 136mm foot length

Size 5 = 137mm - 144mm foot length

Size 6 = 145mm - 152mm foot length

Size 7 = 153mm - 160mm foot length

Size 8 = 161mm - 167mm foot length

Size 9 = 168mm - 174mm foot length

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Frequently Asked Questions

Courier & delivery

We use Fastway Couriers for efficient and affordable delivery - local delivery in Cape Town R55. National Delivery R99. Due to hand-crafted production, delivery will be within 7 -14days. If item is in stock, delivery time period reduced.

Caring for your shoes

Do not use water to clean your shoes.

If they are really muddy, wait for them to dry. Take a soft bristle brush to dust off dry mud, take a lightly dampened cloth and wipe clean. Use leather food to deepen colour again, and nourish the leather.

Beeswax leather balm is available for purchase - its a good idea to buff your shoes with our natural beeswax balm, nourishing the leather but also keeps them looking great!

Although the construction limits water leakage, very wet terrains are not recommended.

Although these shoes are made for every adventure under the sun it goes without saying that riding bikes down steep hills in your Common Tread Kids, using your feet to brake is not recommended - use your track shoes for bike-riding guys!

Returns policy

Kindly note that you will be responsible for the courier fees should you return the item, due to incorrect sizing - the items need to be in the original packaging, unworn , unused and unwashed. If the above is not adhered to we cannot do an exchange/return. Please refer to the sizing chart and measuring method to ensure you purchase the correct size. Please contact us by email before sending the item in order to process a return.

We cannot be held liable for evident damage from corrosive surfaces, standing on sharp metal or abrasive surfaces or for discomfort resulting from wearing the wrong size.

The shoes are hand-made from start to finish - so there may be some minor discrepancies between left and right, which could also be attributed to the natural variations in the leather hides used. All in all, a lot of care and attention to detail is given to each pair.

Made With Soul

Each shoe is hand crafted in KZN and Cape Town by skilled artisans who work closely with us on product development and manufacturing.

We have selected the highest quality chrome tan leather for the shoe uppers sourced from Namibia. This leather is especially resistant against dirt and stains when compared to other leathers we experimented with.

We have added an additional layer of leather on the toe cap and heel for wear and tear and heel support.

The shoe soles are made from a natural rubber enabling flexibility and ease of movement while still providing shoe grip. In our original range, after frequent use, the rubber compound may wear slightly at the pressure points of the foot - this is the shoe taking on the natural form of your child's foot as it makes contact with the ground and should not be a concern as it is beneficial to have increased sensory input from their environment. Should you wish to have the shoe soles touched up, please email us.

The shoes are fastened with Velcro, which makes it very quick and easy to put on and take off the shoes without having to worry about shoe laces. Externally there is a decorative brass rust resistant button.

Do your kids' feet a favour

Going bare foot is best as it develops muscles and ligaments of the foot, strengthens the foot, improves proprio-reception and improves posture. The next best thing needs to be as natural and simplistic as possible - hence our decision to create children's footwear that is minimalist in design and allows a child to move as needed as it is integral to their whole functioning as a human being!

As an Occupational Therapist I have always been fascinated with human beings functioning and the factors that enable quality of life. For children - play is an occupation that is integral for learning about the world around them, for their development as a whole.

Observing my own children - their interaction with the environment, their bodies ability to regulate feedback from the world around them has made me realise that feet play a huge role in facilitating this development.

I noticed my boys' shoes got in the way of their movement - as they ran along forest paths, the flex line of their rubber-soled shoes resulted in a flat footed, solid, heavy strike on the ground. The arch of the foot was so excessively supported, the movement of the forefoot was limited and they struggled to climb on rocks or up a small ladder. Often their toes were marked once the shoes were removed due to the rounded, tight toe cap area.

I started thinking about how vulnerable, foot tissue is to external influences, especially in children where the ligaments and fascia are more flexible.

On researching further, we discovered that wearing incorrect footwear can negatively impact foot development in children and even result in deformity.

Toes need space to move within the shoe - integral to stability and motion! A slightly square toe cap works wonders and gives the toes space to move around inside!

Bare feet is best! However there are occasions throughout the week where shoes need to be worn.

One should nurture movement and actually limit external support from rigid footwear for the feet, so that ligaments and the muscles can strengthen and give the support to the arches of the foot - in line with the "barefoot" design.

The foot needs to remain flexible in the shoe, able to absorb stress and change position depending on the environment. Sensory feedback i.e. feeling the ground through the leg muscles helps normal development and prevents injury.

Footwear design for children needs to incorporate all of the above to allow for optimal development and function.

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