About Billycart Kids

Born in the Queensland bush,

Loved by parents all over

Hi, I’m Mandy. I’m a mum, and like so many Australian parents I had a tough time finding the right shoes for my little one. 

We live in regional Queensland and we spend lots of time outdoors. I needed a durable, all-seasons shoe that wouldn’t restrict my adventurous daughter’s movement while she learned to balance and walk. 

I searched high and low for shoes that were practical, hard-wearing, comfy, and most importantly, podiatrist approved. Oh, and shoes that were affordable – I learned first-hand how fast little feet can grow!

When I couldn’t find what I needed I set out to create them myself, and Billycart Kids was born.

For first walkers, barefoot is best...

After learning about children’s foot development and the ‘barefoot is best’ principle, I decided to design a first walker shoe that would mimic the barefoot experience as closely as possible. Research clearly shows that going barefoot gives kids the best possible start to walking – by feeling the ground under their feet they learn balance, coordination and confidence.

So many kids' shoes are just adult’s shoes in smaller sizes. They’re not designed with first walkers in mind and they restrict and compress precious little feet. 

The soles are thick, rigid and inflexible so they can’t feel the ground beneath them. 

The fit is too narrow, squashing tiny delicate toes together. 

And the soles are high-grip, which sounds helpful but can stop a first walker far too quickly, causing them to fall. 

But it’s not always possible for kids to go barefoot, so they need safe, developmentally-appropriate shoes that would mimic the barefoot experience.

...but the next best thing is Billycart

The result: our beautiful, affordable range of pre walker, first walker and toddler shoes, launched in 2020. 

All of our shoes feature a wide fit that won’t squash toes, velcro straps so they’re easy to put on and take off, a flexible rubber non-slip sole so kids can feel the terrain under their feet, and a protective closed toe. 

And the best part? All of the shoes in the Billycart Kids range have been approved and recommended by Australian podiatrists, so you can purchase with confidence, knowing you’re making the best choice for your child’s foot development. 

Billycart Kids founder Mandy Smolders holds her baby daughter. They’re standing outside in a paddock.

Bush tested and kid approved

Since our launch we’ve won awards (including the Ausmumpreneur silver award for Best Fashion Brand, plus a spot in the list of finalists in the One To Watch category), and we’ve been featured in media outlets like The Courier Mail, River 94.9 FM and Channel 7’s Sunrise

But the achievement we’re most proud of is the feedback from our customers. Our shoes are loved by parents all over Australia and New Zealand as evidenced by an astounding (and growing) number of 5-star reviews, and parents frequently tell us their kids are walking better, falling less and growing in confidence since they started wearing our shoes.  

And we’re not just loved by parents – kids love their Billycart Kids shoes too! I often hear that kids will bring their Billycarts to their parents first thing in the morning, or that they refuse to take them off for a nap. As any parent knows, when a toddler doesn’t want to wear shoes, a battle of wills ensues, so it’s fantastic to see Billycart kids enjoying the experience of wearing shoes and growing in independence by putting them on and taking them off themselves. 

I set out to create a shoe that could handle my toddler’s rough and tumble in the Australian bush while giving her the confidence and freedom for unstoppable adventures. If you’re looking for the same for your child, check out our range of affordable, podiatrist approved pre walker, first walker and toddler shoes.