Jacob A. Slosberg and Philip Green founded the Green Shoe Manufacturing Company in Boston in 1919. The name Stride Rite was coined by one of the company's salesmen in the early 1930s, and by 1937, every shoe was being sold under the label. After surviving tough times during the Great Depression and World War II, the brand really took off during the baby boom era and captured a decent percentage of the overall children's shoe market in the U.S. After going public in 1960, Green Shoe officially changed its name to the Stride Rite Corporation in 1966.
Stride Rite opened its first retail store in 1972, but its independent retail division has never been as integral to the company's success as distribution through other channels. By the beginning of the 21st century, Stride Rite had acquired several competitors, including Keds, Sperry Top-Sider, Saucony, and Robeez. In 2007, the entire Stride Rite empire was bought out by Payless ShoeSource (which soon changed its name to Collective Brands Performance + Lifestyle Group). Most recently, the brand was sold again in 2012 and became part of the Michigan-based footwear conglomerate Wolverine World Wide. The company operates about 340 retail stores across the country in addition to selling shoes through department stores, discount retailers, and specialty stores.
Stride Rite offers a huge selection of shoes for boys and girls, ranging from baby and toddler to preschool, and going up to older kids' sizes as well. For baby girls, you'll find sneakers, sandals, and boots in a variety of colors and patterns. Preschool girls can enjoy wearing the brand's Mary Janes, fashion boots, snow boots, cowboy boots, walking shoes, flip-flops, sandals, and more. In girls' sizes, Stride Rite has a large assortment of ballet flats, running shoes, fashion sandals, and hearty Mary Janes for all-day wear. Stride Rite has licensing agreements with major brands, so you'll find a wide array of girls' shoes featuring popular characters like the Disney Princesses, Hello Kitty, and Minnie Mouse. The brand also has several accessories, including socks, tights, jewelry, and headbands.
For baby and toddler boys, shoes are a little more masculine--though they're still designed to put comfort first. Sneakers, booties, and little dress shoes are available in a wide range of colors and styles. Shoes for preschool boys are mostly meant to support the active lifestyle your little one is sure to lead at this age, so they include running shoes and hiking boots. Older boys will find walking shoes, athletic shoes, and flip-flops, as well as accessories like socks. Some of the top licensed properties for boys include Marvel, Star Wars, Sesame Street, the Muppets, and Mickey Mouse.
The Stride Rite brand has grown alongside the market for children's shoes, dating back almost a century. As such, it has kept up with all the latest trends while still maintaining a commitment to quality. One major advantage of shopping with this brand is the fact that your tot can keep wearing shoes in the Stride Rite line starting at a very young age and continuing until he or she graduates to adult sizes. Plus, with the array of licensed products, it's easy for any kid to find a favorite character or franchise to latch onto. For its quality and selection, we give Stride Rite 5 stars out of 5.