November 17, 2005

Robeez Has A Giant Target On Its Back

[1/6/06 update: Sup? If you're looking for news and gear and stuff for dads who roll with their kids, you're in the right place. If you're looking for news about Daddy Yankee's new shoe deal with Reebok, that's cool, too, but all I have on that is this news release for the deal which says the shoes will be dropping in Spring '06, which looks like a short version of the original Reebok announcement. You need daddy info, you come on back anytime, papi.]

circo_robeez.jpg

The wife reported seeing these very Robeez-y baby shoes at Target, so I pulled off the turnpike the other day to snap a photo. They're from Circo, Target's in-house baby brand, and the concept--soft-soled leather booties with stay-on elastic and an over-decorated vamp--is clearly the same. Even some of the designs look the same. [Although if there's a too-cutesy design Robeez HASN'T put on a shoe, I'd love to hear about it. We got black.]

While even a cursory glance through the package shows the quality of the leather, cutting, and stitching is below Robeez', but then again, so is the price. $12.99 is officially "less than half off" Robeez' $26 price tag. For shoes your kid'll probably grow out of in no time, they might be tempting.

19 Comments

We saw these a few weeks back and were intrigued. If we hadn't already bought larger-sized Robeez prior to this, we might have bought them.

I guess what I am getting at is that I have no report on the quality or lack thereof of these shoes...

It seems that the lovely Canadian woman who started Robeez (named, I think, after her son Robbie) didn't bother to/couldn't get a patent on the product...because there seem to be a slew of exact imitators out there. Still, I don't think she's hurting for cash. But few of the ones I've seen are as cheap as the Target price. Too bad Target has still not come up here to the Great White North (that's Canada, BTW). Make ya' a deal -- you can take Walmart back for yourself if we can get us some Target.

Robeez are $26 in the US? The local baby shop here sells them for 24.95. Even if Target came to Canada (Didn't they buy Zellers?) the fake Robeez would be at least $20.

Well, they certainly couldn't sell REAL Robeez at Zellers because everything there STARTS with zed, not ENDS with zed!

(ahh, my childhood in the Buffalo area, watching CTV, all comes flooding back to me)

We purchased these from Target, just to compare them to Robeez that we adore... especially due to the cost difference.

There just isn't any comparison quality-wise. The biggest offender is the sole. It isn't nearly the same high-grade supple leather that you get with Robeez. The fit and finish is also not nearly as fine. We won't be buying any more of the Circo brand, and have already bought the next size up Robeez.

Basically, it's like my Grandpa always told me "You get what you pay for".

jeremy

We got those for the kiddos I nanny for. We seem to like them so far, but have nothing to compare too. Liked the price!

I saw these and instantly wondered why target hasn't ripped off the zutano booties yet??? they're so simple and it seems every baby i meet is wearing them. they'd probably only be about $5 if target made them. can't wait! (target, are you listening??)

Curious why you didn't link to robeez.com (or Target for that matter) in this post, like you seem to do for other product posts. Are you only linking to products for which you get a commission these days?

Signed,
Proud Canadian
(where Robeez are made with care by proud Canadians, earning decent wages)

(Superior quality aside, are Target in-house products typically made in the US by individuals earning decent wages? I'm not trying provoke - I honestly don't know the answer, but I have a $12 guess.)

PS After the 'Robeez = sock-holder' stage passes, they still make great indoor shoes/slippers for the walking set at daycare, home, etc. and they really do clean up well.

I, too, will continue to buy Robeez. I would rather support an independent business than corporation, when that's possible. And, frankly, My son's Robeez are practically indestructible. For $20-$30, his Robeez have long ago paid for themselves. We've been buying them since his birth and now, at 2.5 yrs he wears them every single day as slippers.

You Robeez folks have been sold a bill of goods by the vast Canadian cute-shoe industrial complex.

I choose See Kai Run shoes, which are local for me. Or at least the idea originated locally. No need to discuss manufacturing. Nothing to see there.

Seriously, See Kai Run shoes are the bee's knees.

I also have some of those Target slippers. Not the shoes - but the fleecy slippers. They seem to work fine and for $4.75 I'm thinking they're a deal.

PS: Canada rocks.

[lolol. any "___industrial complex" of your's is an "___industrial complex" of mine. -ed.]

I think its funny how Wal-Mart (deservedly so IMOH) gets dumped on while Target gets a free pass. Yet Target has the same low wage, terrible benefit jobs that Wal-Mart has. They import just as much from China and SE Asia and are hostile to unions. Yet, I feel like many other people here that Wal-Mart is to shopping what the Yankees are to baseball (the Evil Empire). Am I the only one that admits my own personal hypocrisy with this?

I recently stopped by Kmart (dont ask) and I noticed some Robeez knockoffs for sale there as well. They were selling for a whoppin $5.99. I have never been a fan of the Robeez but the quality of these certainly looked no where near the originals. I've never understood the hype on these shoes and likely never will but again, if you are looking for a cheap alternative to the originals, K-mart may be a good place to check.

You can find an image at http://www.webgoonies.com/blog/pictures/kmart-shoes.jpg

For me, the issue with Walmart is not just the low-wage, crap benefits, steamroller into town and shut out small business thang...it's the fact that the Walmart/Sam's Club mega empire contributes a ton of $$ to the conservative agenda. Ever browse the book section of Walmart or Sam's Club? It's definitely biased.

Never found the same issue with Target.

We have the Target knock offs. We've had them for a while and my child has ran all over the place wearing them and they're still holding up. Ya'll are probably right in your assessment in the superior quality of original Robeez and I have little doubt that your Robeez will outlast our knock offs. But I don't care about that. My child will outgrow these shoes well before they show any wear and tear.

Robeez has been sold to a major show corporation and now made in china. Sorry. materials from canada does nto mean made in canada.

[striderite. the deal went down last year. -ed.]

A Michigan-based nonprofit group, which is lobbying for tougher state and federal regulations on harmful chemicals in children's toys, said Wednesday it found lead content exceeding U.S. government standards in a number of toys it tested.

Toys included Dollar Store animal figurines, Hannah Montana Pop Star card game packs and Circo baby shoes.
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/advocacy-group-finds-high-lead/story.aspx?guid=%7B1BF0EBB3-8E81-4683-B2D3-29957F271944%7D

[yes, though they apparently did not test the Robeez-style leather booties. Also, should kids chew on shoes? Also, should the chlorine in the plastic bubble packaging, which is thrown away, be enough to get things labeled "medium" risk? -ed.]

Robeez is actually a copy rip off of the original soft leather shoes from Bobux in New Zealand who launched the original concept in Jan 1991.Thats why Robeez couldn't patent the idea.
They had copied someone else's design. Doesn't everyone.
Whats worse when I had Bobux in my store a Robeez rep tried to persuade me to stock Robeez instead by saying Robeez were the original which was not only misleading but untrue.Shame on your Robeez.

[that's lame of them. of course, they're part of StrideRite now, full-fledged Baby Industrial Complex -ed.]

The reason the "lovely lady" from Robeez didn't get a patent on the Robeez shoes was she couldnt because she had copied them from the Original designer Bobux a company from New Zealand.

Bobux launched the now famous and recognizable category back in beginning of 1991 two years before Robeez was started by Sandra Wilson

In Europe, pairs of Robeez sold between April 2011 and April 2012 have been called back for allergy risks (chromium). People here are now a bit scared and point out that it is a pity they were made in China.
I am not so sure that the fact of being made in China is the major risk, I think it depends on all the controls that the company organizes and how it deals with its own production. However the fact if that for ethical reasons (wages and social responsability), I've chosen in my little online shop to sell so far 2 British brands which are Starchild and Inch Blue.
@Chris : Bobux gets good reviews here in France too, it is well appreciated. I think it is trusted by people as a quality brand.

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