Passionate about physical and mental health, Rebecca Burke wanted to look after her son’s feet when he was out and about, but was also conscious that the wrong shoes could affect his development and cause him pain and discomfort. Knowing the importance of letting your child learn to stand, balance and walk more freely without the tight constraints of shoes, but also wanting to protect her son’s feet, she set out to find a solution and to provide fellow parents with a shoe that would allow for both. BigToes let your little one spread their toes freely while providing support that is crucial for growth and cognitive development. We first spoke to Rebecca a year ago about the inspiration behind BigToes and their journey so far. Here, she updates us on the growth of their family business and what makes them unique.
In your business profile feature a year ago, you introduced us to BigToes Australia. A year on, how has your business grown?
Over the past 12 months, we have continued to expand into Australian retailers and baby boutiques, but I am so excited to share that our shoes are now available in Kuwait and very soon Singapore! Since we were last featured in your magazine, we have also worked to put a small, trustworthy team together to help us continue to grow! We have new styles that are launching this month and more to come later in the year, and we are also bringing back some customer favourites!
You produce a gorgeous range of baby and toddler shoes designed to mimic natural, barefoot walking. How do you come up with the designs and how has the brand developed since you started out?
Yes, I have an input into the designs. It’s an enjoyable challenge and it’s great to have that involvement in the brand itself. We are developing at a steady rate and it’s exciting. We never thought we would be where we are, let alone the possibilities of where we could be, even this time next year! Covid has, of course, thrown us many curveballs. However, we have managed to bring on more lovely stockists and even though expos were limited, we have managed to spread our brand with many new parents. It’s truly the most satisfying thing for me to see our shoes on little feet and mum or dad coming over to buy their next pair!
What are the benefits of BigToes shoes?
The most notable benefit of our shoes is that they are scientifically developed to mimic barefoot walking. Based on a Japanese patented study, our shoes have the ‘big toe box’ at the front, which allows free unencumbered movement of a child’s toes. A child can fan, raise, curl and wiggle their little toes to their heart’s content. Our shoes are also glue-free and made from non-toxic materials. They have a non-slip out-sole for maximum grip on slippery surfaces, but are designed in a way that does not present a trip hazard on coarse surfaces such as bitumen and concrete. They also have a breathable out-sole which allows sweat, moisture and water to quickly escape. (Let’s face it, infant and toddler feet sweat a lot!). This allows the shoe to also double as a slip-resistant water shoe in summer.
What is most important to you as a business and what makes you unique?
The most important thing to me as a business is being given the opportunity to help make a difference in a little one’s development and crucial times in their life. We are not here to tell parents their child must wear shoes at all times, because that is simply not true. But we are here to provide a shoe that can offer all of the benefits of still being barefoot whilst protecting that baby soft skin!
What makes us unique? Well, we do have the only scientifically developed barefoot shoes in the world that change colour in sunlight! Check out our Chameleon range of shoes for 20+ colour changing soles, designed to promote cognitive development in growing minds!