Friday, October 11, 2013

Stonz Rain Bootz and Linerz: Review & Giveaway! (Closed)


Stonz is a Vancouver-based company which offers a continuously expanding selection of practical, stylish outerwear options for babies and children.

I previously partnered with Stonz to review their Booties and Youth Mittz, and today I'll be telling you all about their Rain Bootz and Rain Boot Linerz, two of their newer products. But first, if you're unfamiliar with the company, I encourage you to visit their website, check out my Booties review (which includes info on the company's roots and values) and/or view the Stonz story via this short video clip:



Product Info - Rain Bootz:

Keep little feet dry this season, with Stonz' brand new range of 100% Natural Rubber Rain Bootz! 


Available in 4 stylish colours, they can be layered up with Stonz' Rain Boot Linerz to keep those toes extra cosy.



Features:
  • 100% Natural Rubber
  • Durable and tear resistant, yet flexible and comfortable
  • Quick dry 100% cotton liner
  • PVC-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Lead-free
  • Formaldehyde-free

Sizing:

 


Product Info - Rain Bootz Linerz:

These versatile, ivory Rain Boot Linerz will coordinate with any boy or girl rain boots adding a cozy look on those cold, damp days.




Features:  
  • Made of soft, fine-fibre Velour-fleece – almost silky to the touch! 
  • Adds a layer of warmth and comfort 
  • Fits in almost all tall and short rain boots 
  • Open seams along soles eliminate ridges and maximize comfort

Product Video:




My Review - Rain Bootz and Rain Bootz Linerz:

For review purposes, I received a pair of Grey/Black Rain Bootz and Rain Bootz Linerz, both in size 8, to test on my daughter S (now almost 3 years old).



One of the first things I noticed about the Bootz is how flexible the natural rubber material is. It can easily be twisted and bunched up like this and will bounce right back into shape.


Synthetic rain boots, by contrast, are stiffer and prone to getting misshapen when they are manipulated in this sort of way.

The cotton liner feels pleasantly soft to the touch.


The soles are very grippy - a necessity for little feet splashing around on a wet day!


Finally, the Bootz do have a "rubbery" smell, but it's not offensive. Think Sophie the Giraffe as opposed to off-gassing dollar store shower curtain liner. All in all, it's comforting to know they're free from all those narsty chemical!

The Linerz are soft & snuggly - just like the Booties variant but longer. The outer fleece is smooth and the inner is thick and plush. I tried to get my daughter to try them on as slippers, but surprisingly, she wouldn't oblige!



Happily, the material passes the "pull test" - i.e. nothing comes lose when you pinch a small section and give it a good yank.

Outfitting the Bootz with the Linerz is pretty easy - "wear" each liner like a glove, align it correctly and work it down inside.


The two layers together result in quite the stylish look! The Linerz are longer than the Bootz, so the extra fabric can either be folded down overtop (my personal stylistic preference)....


...or left upright for extra warmth around the legs.


On to the most vital factors - comfort, fit and functionality. But first, a li'l "history lesson". :)

I actually received the Rain Bootz alone this past spring but wasn't able to review them at that point due to a sizing slip-up. My daughter had just come out of size 7 winter boots so I figured 8s would be good here, but they turned out to be huge on her. And indeed, comparing one to her size 7 rain boot, it's substantially larger - much more of a difference than I'd expect to see going up one size.


Now, my contact at Stonz informs me that the Rain Bootz are produced to fit true to size (based on measurements from another company which has produced boots for 25 years), so it could be that the comparison rain boots actually fit small. In any case, since every brand seems to fit a little differently, it's always a good idea to measure a child's feet and compare against a sizing chart to ensure he/she'll be getting the right fit.

Back to our history lesson. Upon realizing S couldn't wear the boots herself this past spring, her petite (almost) 5-year-old cousin A gave 'em a whirl and they fit beautifully, so she borrowed them over the spring and summer. Meanwhile, the Linerz were being revamped, and I received my test pair of the "new and improved" version in September. A then returned the Bootz so we could test the combo together on S, which we were happy to find out was wearable (whereas the Bootz alone were still too roomy). So ultimately our sizing gaff was a Good Thing from a review perpsective, as it led to feedback from two wearers (with and without the Linerz), and gave a glimpse into longevity, which isn't possible with standard reviews.

So let's start with Miss A's experience! From her mama, T:

"[A] wore them a ton...she had 2 pairs but she always choose [the Stonz] which is impressive for a fashionista 5 year old! She wore them likely 20 times! She really liked them, comfy, worked, never leaked. She walked well in them, which is not to be said for all rain boots, some are really clunky and hard for little ones to manoeuver. The Stonz ones were 'soft' enough to get on and off easily for her, but 'hard' enough to stay on and provide a good fit."

Love this shot of her striking a pose in 'em. Fashionista indeed!!


Now onto S. Since our weather's mainly been lovely and warm since we received the Linerz, S has only worn the combo in earnest a few times. From this testing, however, I can report the following:
  • The fit is quite good. Although there's still roominess at her toes, the Linerz help achieve a snug fit (and thus solid support) around her legs.
  • She finds them comfortable to wear, or at least she reports them to be. Like her cousin, she's shown a distinct preference for them over her other rain boots.
  • She moves well in them - jumping, hopping and even running with relative ease. 
  • They certainly look snazzy. Don'tcha think?

  • One issue - since the Linerz aren't actually attached to the Bootz, they can come out of place when putting them on or taking them off. You need to grip the liner and boot together and manoeuver inside with some finesse. As such, my daughter (who's now adept with most shoes and boots) still needs some help with these.

One thing we haven't been able to test yet (due to the aforementioned mild weather we've been having) is the combo's warmth. I asked my contact if they have a temperature rating and he said no, not officially, though he has received anecdotal feedback from customers in colder regions of the country that they seem to keep toes really warm.

Alright, final set of topics - care, maintenance and lifespan.

The Bootz are simple to clean - in most cases, you just need to wipe down the outer and/or sole. We haven't needed to clean the cotton inner on our pair yet so I can't comment on this, however it appears they'd be easy to surface wash, and, if the liner managed to get really dirty, I don't see why you couldn't soak the whole boot with a mild detergent. (Now I want to try this and report back, but my hubby's already chastizing me for taking too long with this review. ;)

As for the Linerz, they launder perfectly on cold wash / low heat dry, so no issues here.

Finally, all signs point to Awesomeness in the longevity department. Following several months of regular use, the Bootz have suffered merely a few superficial scuff marks and some (completely expected) wear on the soles. The seams all remain intact and the overall intergrity of the rubber hasn't been compromised. By contrast, the exterior of my daughter's other rain boots has become wrinkled and scaly looking over a similar number of wearings. Here's a comparison pic to illustrate. (Note that I made sure to capture the most prominently scuffed area on the Stonz.)


Since the Linerz are made of the same material as the Booties variant, I can tell you that they have a solid lifespan too. The only thing I noticed is that they lost a little plushness over time (and after many washings).

As for constructive feedback, if there was a way to attach (perhaps via applix) the Linerz to the Bootz so they stay in place better for kiddos, that would be helpful. Expanding the available colour selection would certainly be appreciated by many folks as well.

Overall, Stonz has hit yet another home run with its Rain Bootz and Linerz combo. Now the big question - which product(s) to try next? :D

*****************************************************

THE BOTTOM LINE - Stonz Rain Bootz and Linerz

Pros:
+ Leak-proof
+ Comfortable to wear 
+ 100% natural rubber / free from dangerous chemicals
+ Easy to clean
+ Grippy soles
+ Durable and long-lasting
+ Linerz are soft and plush
+ Combo (in particular) looks great together!

Cons:
- Currently only 4 shades available
- Can be challenging to keep Linerz in place - especially for young kids

*****************************************************


Buy It:

Rain Bootz and Rain Bootz Linerz can be purchased directly from the Stonz website (shipping is free within Canada and Continental USA on orders over $69.99) and from select retailers.


Win It:

Stonz has offered to give away a $20 store credit to one lucky Manager to Mom reader! Open to CAN/US.

To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Please follow all instructions within each entry option to ensure your entries are valid.   

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  The prize is being provided and shipped to the winner by Stonz.  I received no financial compensation for writing my review or offering this giveaway, although I did receive the sample items free of charge.  This is my completely honest opinion above and may be different from yours.  

38 comments:

  1. Ooh I'd love to win and would put the money towards a pair of booties for my littlest boy. Thanks for the chance!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would love to win and would put the money towards pair of booties for my littlest boy. Thanks for the chance!

    ReplyDelete
  3. boys Rain Bootz - Yellow/Black

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like Booties - Paisley Pink - Fuchsia

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would probably get the Winter Bootz - Grey/Black

    ReplyDelete
  6. I would get a pair of the pink rubber boots for my daughter!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I would buy my son the Blue/Black Rain Boots

    ReplyDelete
  8. I like the Rain Bootz - Grey/Black with the Linerz for Stonz Booties

    ReplyDelete
  9. i think i'd get a pair of rain bootz for myself (size 3 youth!)

    ReplyDelete
  10. The pink rain boots. The baby would love them

    ReplyDelete
  11. yellow/black rain boots!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I would get a pair of rain boots with liners.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I would get a pair of rain boots and liners.

    ReplyDelete
  14. i'd put the credit toward a pair of stonz mitts for our little girl - LOVE the paisley pink fuchsia

    ReplyDelete
  15. id put it towards xl Booties & Linerz in th epink paisley patter

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'd put it towards a pair of Mittz for my baby.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I would buy the winter alien booties for my son for his first birthday. I have been eyeing those up for a while!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love these boots and found your site because I want to buy the Rain Boots for my son.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I would get the Rain Boots in Pink/Black for my daughter

    ReplyDelete
  20. I really like the booties with the rocket

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'd get rain boots for me! hanovertomato at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  22. Blue and black rain boots for my son

    ReplyDelete
  23. Mittz is the product I would use my credit if I won the credit to Stonz.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'd buy a pair of blue Rain Bootz for my six year old son.

    ReplyDelete
  25. If i won i would by my 9 month old daughters first pair of boots

    ReplyDelete
  26. I would buy my 9 month old daughter her first pair of rain boots

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'd buy a pair of black rain bootz.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I would put it towards the winter boots- pink/black

    ReplyDelete
  29. I like the Rain Bootz but I'm also checking out the Mittz for our toddler this winter, too cute!

    ReplyDelete
  30. For me it would go towards the Winter Bootz - Grey/Black

    ReplyDelete
  31. I'd get these
    Reversible Hatz - Polka Dot Navy & Cream/Navy

    ReplyDelete
  32. Absolutely the Pink Rubber Boots :)

    ktgonyea at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete