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Back-to-School Must-Haves: Clayton Kids Waterproof Hiking Boot by KEEN

Want to give a child incentive to learn to tie his shoelaces?  Let him pick out a pair of super-cool lace-up boots or shoes!  Our 5-1/2 year old son is determined to learn to tie his new Keen leather hiking boots before the cold weather hits.  That is the promise he made to me when he chose the Clayton Waterproof boots over the laceless pair I was considering.

In addition to a pair of traditional snow boots, I always like my children to have a pair of shorter waterproof boots.  The snow boots can be saved for the days when there is a lot of snow on the ground, but the ankle boots can be worn for rain, slush, or a little snow.  An added bonus is that, with these boots, our son does not need to change his shoes when he gets to school.

(Click any photo to enlarge)

Although I agree with my son that the Clayton WP boots are pretty cool looking, what impressed me as a parent is the non-marking lug sole.  Our son is a peanut, so he needs all the help he can get to gain traction when walking in the slippery slush and snow.  I have slipped and fallen more than my fair share throughout my life and am always worried that my children will sustain a serious injury if they should slip and fall.

There are also lots of small details that shows there was quite a bit of thought put into the design of this shoe.  I love how the tongue stays upright and in place, something our son often struggles with on his sneakers.  I also really appreciate the large loop on the back of the shoe to help our son pull the shoe onto his foot.  On so many shoes, the loop is very small.  On the Clayton WPs, my son can fit more than just one finger in the loop.

The unisex Clayton WP is new to the KEEN footwear collection for Fall 2012.  It is available in four colors (our son is wearing the Slate Black/Chili Pepper) and retails for $70.  To learn more about these and other KEEN footwear for the whole family, visit and KEEN on Facebook.

Thank you to KEEN for providing a complimentary product sample for us to base this review upon.