Little Footprints
By Karen Durrie

Stepping Into the World of Shoes

When kindergarten teachers Jasmine Surani and Taz Saleem had their own children, the couple was inspired to step into a new business — children’s shoes. Opening Little Footprints in Aspen Landing in 2009, the pair was able to combine their pre-career retail backgrounds with their love of working with children. And doing so has allowed them to remain hands-on parents to young sons Mika and Eesa who’ve grown up with the store’s whimsical, colourful surroundings.

The self-confessed shoe aficionados got the brainchild to open a store specializing in children’s footwear upon moving home to Canada to raise their firstborn after teaching school in Taiwan. “There was a shortage of good children’s shoes in Calgary,” Jasmine says.

When a shoe fits well, they will love it. The right shoe makes a huge difference in how well they walk and run. - Jasmine Surani, owner
Little Footprints - Children’s shoes, children’s clothing, professional shoe fitting
The best shoes fit well, are handmade, flex and hug the foot in the right places and have good arch support, says Jasmine Surani.

Where Fit Meets Fashion

The pair started out doing in-depth shoe research, training with a shoe expert to learn about proper fit. Armed with this knowledge, they now carry high-quality shoe brands, with an emphasis on trendy, fashionable styles. The store is a riot of candy-coloured footwear, from sneaker-inspired rubber boots to shoes made with organic materials and infused with antibacterial green tea extracts. There are also on-point fashion statements in boots and shoes that mirror grown-up styles. Jasmine says the best shoes fit well, are hand — not machine — made, flex and hug the foot in the right places and have good arch support.

Little Footprints has built a loyal clientele, Jasmine says. The store maintains a database to keep tabs on each child’s shoe size and their growth patterns. The couple has become so proficient in recognizing the right shoe for each child that they can watch a child walk, and, in three steps, know what they need, Jasmine adds. “The right runner can make a wonky little three-year-old run athletically,” she says. And the wrong shoe, she says, has the potential to cause knee and back problems in malleable little bodies.

Little Footprints - Children’s shoes, children’s clothing, professional shoe fitting
The store maintains a database to keep tabs on each child’s shoe size and their growth patterns.

A Business on the Grow

Little Footprints also stocks an array of children’s hats, mittens, slippers, outerwear and baby accessories. As well, the store does a brisk school uniform business.

Jasmine says one of the joys of running Little Footprints is watching children grow up, seeing changes each time they return to be fit for new shoes. She and Taz also take satisfaction in knowing that they play a small part in their little customers’ physical development. “When a shoe fits well, they will love it,” she says. “The right shoe makes a huge difference in how well they walk and run.”

Little Footprints - Children’s shoes, children’s clothing, professional shoe fitting
Little Footprints is located in the Aspen Woods neighbourhood.
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