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Dr. Maryse Tadros, a family physician by profession, found out first-hand how quickly children outgrow their shoes and how pricey it is to replace them with a durable pair.

So she set out to do something about it. She created a company called Chameleon Shoes.

Tadros, who has three small children, said the company began after one of her children made a hole in her winter boots in February. She went in search of a new pair but many stores had transitioned to summer footwear already.

After a search online, she said a durable pair was more than $50.

“There’s got to be a better way to do this,” she recalled in an interview on Monday. “I know they’re going to wear all the sizes, there should just be a way to buy all the sizes from the moment they are little because you know you’re going to need all of them.”The company has individual kits which include a hanging organizer and six pairs of gender-neutral rainbow-coloured shoes. It’s all in one package, and Tadros said the shoes are durable and can last multiple generations of children. She has shoes for toddlers and infants.

“We picked the shoes that were the most durable,” she said. “They last as long as your kids need them.”

She says the company doesn’t just address the pace at which children outgrow shoes, but also affordability.“That’s something a lot of parents have told me,” she said. “They have a very hard time finding shoes that are affordable but also durable. So, this is a bigger investment upfront. You’re paying $109 or $139 depending on the kit, but you’re getting six pairs of shoes.”

The infant kits are for kids age zero to one and a half years old, while the toddler kits go from two to five years old.“It was important to me to make sure all kids have access to shoes … $60 a pair is not nothing for a lot of families,” she said. “It’s a considerable expense when your kids is outgrowing shoes every two to four months.”

The company name was inspired by an ever-adapting chameleon who not only changes its colour but sheds its skin when it doesn’t fit anymore – just like a growing child’s feet.

For every 10 kits that Tadros sells, she donates one kit to a daycare or a shelter.

She said there are plans to expand into running shoes and sandals next.

Chameleon Shoes are available online and at Jumping Jacks in Fredericton.

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