AAdidas Originals 923 N. Rush St., Chicago, 312-932-0651
The Adidas Originals store (not to be confused with the Adidas Sport Performance store in Water Tower Place, which has an almost nonexistent children’s section) celebrates the 70s and 80s retro Adidas style for fashion more than function. Find adidas originals shoes in toddler sizes and a handful of clothing styles for tots.Alamo Shoes 5321 N. Clark St., Chicago, 773-784-8936
This Andersonville shoe shop has an almost rabid following among devotees who have been making the trip to this old-school store for more than 30 years. Kid’s brands include Geox, Tsukihoshi, Converse, and Merrell; many odd sizes and widths are stocked and available for order. (For those coming from the burbs, there’s a convenient parking lot across the street from the store.)
CCarrara Children’s Shoes 2121 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago, 773-935-9398
Carrara specializes in Italian designer shoes for infants, toddlers, and kids from See Kai Run, Ecco, Geox, Primigi, and Tsukihoshi. This store has been family owned for more than 40 years, and gets high marks for its customer service and shoe fittings.
DDSW Visit dsw.com for locations
The discount shoe emporium carries shoes for infants, toddlers, and kids ranging from casual sneakers and athletic shoes to dress shoes and boots. A sampling of brands include Robeez, Converse, Nike, Kamik, Puma, adidas, Kenneth Cole, and Keen.
FForest Bootery 284 E. Market Square, Lake Forest, 847-234-0201 525 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville, 847-362-1201
High-end, designer kicks for the whole family. These north suburban shops blend style with the appeal of a family shoe store, where it’s all about service and fit. Children’s shoe brands include UGG, Toms, Bogs, Hunter, Aster, Keen, Converse, Sperry, and Frye, and run the gamut from sandals and moccasins to boots. These shops also carry kid’s outerwear and accessories like sock monkey hats with ear flaps.
GGotskinds Children’s Shoes & Clothing 115 W. Jefferson Ave., Naperville, 630-355-1811
Shoes from Primigi, Geox, Pediped, and Jumping Jacks as well as clothing, layette, and gifts up to 3T.
HHanig’s Footwear and The Little Chick 1627 Sherman Ave., Evanston, 847-864-3268
This family-owned shop has been kitting out Chicago feet for more than 60 years. Although there are six Hanig locations, Evanston’s The Little Chick is the only spot that carries kid shoes. Children’s lines include Keen, Geox, Ecco, Merrell, Stride Rite, and Converse.
KKinga European Children’s Shoes 777 N. York Rd., Hinsdale, 630-321-1399
Kinga exclusively carries European children’s shoes, which offer more orthopedic support to ensure proper growth. The staff here is trained to fit children with any kind of foot, from narrow to extra wide, or who need orthotics or help with special problems like flat feet. Shop boots, sandals, dress shoes, and sneakers from Italian brands such as Naturino and Lelli Kelly, French brand Aster, and Austrian Brand Ecco. (More than 8,000 pairs are stocked in each store.) Prices run $60 to $125.
LLord and Taylor Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, 630-574-8000 Old Orchard Shopping Center, Skokie, 847-677-9000 Northbrook Court, Northbrook, 847-498-2500 Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 847-619-5000
Lord and Taylor’s baby and children selection is on the small side, but includes Lilly Pulitzer, Nautica, DKNY, Nicole Miller, Charlie Rocket, and Hartstrings. (The coats, such as heavy-duty Timberland coats and Ralph Lauren trench coats, are worth a look during sales.) Also find Michael Kors and Ugg Australia shoes, and a small selection of gifts like Gund toys and blankets.
MMilani 65 E. Oak St., Chicago, 312-587-0570
Babies in Roberto Cavalli? Why not? This kiddie couture boutique has been keeping Chicago kids in European high fashion since 1993. Shop Armani Junior and Perry Ellis suits, designer denim from D&G Junior, dresses from Betsey Johnson, and other apparel from Moschino, Escada, Gucci, Missoni Kids, and Versace Young. (Milani can also pre-order for the upcoming season.) The shoe stock is equally high-end, with baby wingtips, Fendi leather loafers, D&G sandals, and Armani sneakers for boys and girls. Prices range $95 to $400.
NNeiman Marcus 737 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, 312-642-5900 Northbrook Court, Northbrook, 847-564-0300 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, 630-572-1500
This upscale department store carries ritzy designer wear from Armani Junior, Baby Dior, Burberry, Juicy Couture, and Little Marc Jacobs. The shoe selection is similarly upmarket, with kid kicks from Gucci, Prada, Toms, and Ugg. Junior David Yurman jewelry, Missoni accessories for Bugaboo strollers, diaper bags from Marc by Marc Jacobs and Kate Spade, and toddler aviator sunglasses prove that even the pre-verbal can look too cool for school. (See also, Last Call Neiman Marcus.)Nordstrom The Shops at North Bridge, 55 E. Grand Ave., Chicago, 312-464-1515 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, 630-571-2121 Old Orchard Shopping Center, Skokie, 847-677-2121 Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 847-605-2121
Nordstrom’s baby and children’s selection is adorable, designer, and spendy. British catalog brand MiniBoden, one of the cutest tot lines around, is stocked here, as well as girl’s clothing from Burberry, Benetton, Flowers by Zoe and Little Marc Jacobs and boy’s suits from Joseph Abboud and Brooks Brothers. Frilly baptism gowns and rompers run $75 to $300. The selection of toys and gear is skimpy, but Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bags and Bugaboo strollers pack a lot of style to make up for it. The Nordstrom shoe department is one of the best in the city for adults, and the same holds true for children. The large selection includes brands such as Tom’s, Merrell, Frye, Hunter, Ugg, Pediped, Kenneth Cole, Timberland, and Keen. (See also, Nordstrom Rack.)
RRogan’s Shoes 147 N. Seymour Ave., Mundelein, 847-566-6077 2749 Grand Ave., Waukegan, 847-566-6077 45 E. Dundee Rd., Buffalo Grove, 847-325-5235
This Wisconsin-based family chain carries a huge selection of infant, toddler, and children’s shoes. Styles run the gamut from casual sandals and sneakers to dressier shoes, with a particularly good stock of kid’s sport shoes like football and baseball cleats, wrestling, running, and basketball shoes, and hiking boots.
SSkechers Visit skechers.com for locations
Playful shoes for infants through kid size 7, like sparkly boots for girls and light-up tennis shoes for boys.Stride Rite Northbrook Court, Northbrook, 847-559-1259 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, 630-574-1048 Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 847-995-1344 Hawthorn Mall, Vernon Hills, 847-367-0535 Orland Square Mall, Orland Park, 708-403-4282 7501 W. Cermak Rd., North Riverside, 708-442-7079 20530 Rand Rd., Deer Park, 847-438-5342 1506 Commons Dr., Geneva, 630-845-2489 1636 S. Randall Rd., Algonquin, 847-854-4560
Since 1919, this stalwart children’s shoe brand has taken podiatric health seriously. Robeez, Keds, Sperry, and Saucony sneakers come in size prewalker to 7. Styles run the gamut from colorful topsiders to Mary Janes, sandals to snow boots. (See also, Stride Rite Keds Sperry outlet.)
VVon Maur The Glen Town Center, 1960 Tower Dr., Glenview, 847-724-4199 Yorktown Center Mall, Lombard, 630-953-8181 *Free gift wrap
This Midwest-based, family-owned department store has a decent children’s department, though it does succumb to the usual imbalance of the girl selection outnumbering the boy product almost two to one. Be sure to check out the seasonal variety of coats, which range from heavy-duty down to wool pea coats. Easy newborn gifts include blankets, plush toys, and Reed and Barton silver. The shoe assortment rivals that of other department stores, with brands such as Saucony, See Kai Run, and Kenneth Cole.
Vose-Sanders Bootery 837 Elm St., Winnetka, 847-446-1108 Each foot is measured individually to ensure a proper fit at this third generation, family-owned store. Kid brands include Stride Rite, Keen, Jumping Jacks, Robeez, Geox, See Kai Run, Nike, and Converse.
WWesley’s Shoe Corral 1506 E. 55th St., Chicago, 773-667-7463
Hyde Park’s family shoe store has outfitted the Obama family’s tootsies and specializes in hard-to-find sizes and widths and personalized fitting services. Children’s shoes are stocked from popular brands Puma, Geox, Tsukihoshi, and Bogs.
YYoung Tootsies Children Shoes 200 Applebee St., Barrington, 847-277-1381
A shoe store equipped for old-fashioned fittings for all children, but especially those with hard-to-fit feet. Find brands such as Lelli Kelly, Milo and Morgan, Umi, Timberland, and Beeko, and little rain coats, boots, and umbrellas. Together with Learning Express Toys and Tommy Terri, these three stores make a kid-friendly triumvirate in the Ice House Mall and easy one-stop shopping for parents on the go.