To not want to pay £25+ for a pair of Clark's children's shoes?

(110 Posts)
ophelia275 Fri 15-Jun-12 10:54:52

My son goes through shoes quite quickly but I cannot afford to spend £25+ on Clark's or Startrite shoes each time. I always get the guilt trip from the other parents at my ds school that if you don't get your kids feet properly measured and don't buy "fitted" Clark's or Startrite shoes, your kids feet will fall off or they will become horribly disfigured social outcasts.

Anyway, I normally buy Mercury brand which are cheap but have lasted longer than any pair of Clark's. But I am actually eyeing up a pair of slightly worn Kickers shoes on ebay that new would cost £45+ but are less than £5. Is buying used shoes the ultimate in bad mummying?

Snoot Fri 02-Aug-13 21:44:37

LynetteScavo try Salvatorre Ferragamo for small men's slim fit quality leather shoes, probably from about a 5 up? Generally look for an "Italian style" shoe, this will tend to be a narrower cut than our chunky Northern European norm smile

maja00 Fri 02-Aug-13 10:51:19

I tend to buy Clarks shoes in half sizes, but either doodles or brand new last season ones from ebay, so don't spend more than £20. When he's a whole size, high street shoes are fine.

Cherriesarelovely Thu 01-Aug-13 23:30:43

Agree Pookamoo, we sometimes go into Clarks and think "UGH!" My Dd has had some great boots/shoes from there and some not so good. We don't always go there, sometimes to cheaper places. How rude of the school friends parents to say that.

BackforGood Thu 01-Aug-13 23:24:32

No-one would want my dc's school shoes once they've finished with them. I'm happy to pass down wellies and trainers and boots and sandals and wet shoes and walking boots (always better once broken in anyway) and 'going out shoes' but school shoes just get worn out by the first owner IME.

pookamoo Thu 01-Aug-13 22:56:56

I also think that Clarks shoes are so unimaginative in terms of design. Where I live, all the little girls at the playgroup have identical shoes, because that's what Clarks has in stock in the highstreet. I have always had DD measured in Clarks and then bought elsewhere online.

I have just bought these for her next school shoes, as they look far more well made and tougher than the ones you can get in Clarks. I'm not expecting her to have a msasive growth spurt over the holidays, but she has been in the same shoes since February!

AnitaManeater Thu 01-Aug-13 22:41:31

The shoes you purchase in the Clarks outlet stores are made specifically for sale in the outlet stores. They are made using different moulds to the main store product. That said, there is nothing wrong with them but there are no big savings to be made and they are not of the quality you are lead to believe.

runningincircles Thu 01-Aug-13 22:27:20

Startriteshoes.com has an outlet online. I managed to get 5 pairs of shoes and a gauge for £59 including delivery. I was relieved to find the site this week, as my 3 all had a growing spurt at the same time. They all arrived the next day and fitted fine.
There is nothing wrong with other brands though as long as they fit well.

goldenlula Thu 01-Aug-13 22:18:00

I have always got my children Clarks shoes and they have always been good. School shoes wise, ds1 has had 1 pair per school year so far and ds2 had a pair of boots for his first year. I have now started getting some of their casual shoes from else where, bu so far the only place that has shoes to fi their skinny feet is Next. I tried to by ds1 some sandals from shoes one a few weeks ago, he looked like he was wearing boats on his feet, they looked awful on. Next had some nice ones so those are what he ended up with.
I really do not care where anyone else buys their shoes from. I do pass down wellies, sandals and slippers as they get very little wear. I would not buy secondhand shoes.

Snoot Thu 01-Aug-13 22:17:44

Ooh, let me have a look and I'll get back to you, it this for boys or girls? Or both? I have one of each smile we had trouble getting smart, lace-up boys' shoes which DS needed for his school at the time which weren't small men's dress shoes and could withstand the playground. He's bigger now and in adult size shoes, I'll look at my eBay history and at the shoes and get back to you tomorrow.

LynetteScavo Thu 01-Aug-13 21:59:41

What brands do you recommend, Snoot?

Snoot Thu 01-Aug-13 21:57:39

I've had to buy Italian shoes for my two as they come up much narrower than Clarkes & Start Right. I'd totally bought into having to buy C/SR as it was my mother's mantra. Having found nothing to fit in an outlet store (Bicester Village Clarkes) and then scaling up through two town's Clarkes and Start Right suppliers I ended up in one of those scarily-expensive-looking children's boutique stores where I paid £40-45 a pair for fancy continental shoes grin. I later worked out that the same brands are available on eBay for half the price. Haven't looked back.

LynetteScavo Thu 01-Aug-13 21:53:54

HorryIsUpduffed Clarks have refused to sell me shoes for DD as her feet are so narrow. I'm not sure what they expect her to do - walk around in bare feet? The owner of our local independent children's shoe shop told me she has had mums arrive at her shop nearly in tears, having been told by Clarks, there are no shoes suitable for their children's feet. She is always able to find them something to strap on their feet, even if the price is quite extortionate!

LynetteScavo Thu 01-Aug-13 21:50:49

I think it's important that DC have school shoes which fit, and are of reasonable quality (leather not plastic).

The two things I wouldn't compromise on are school shoes and winter coats.

Have you looked at M&S school shoes? They look very similar to Clarks on the website. I really don't rate Clarks for quality, or the sales persons fitting ability.

I find it weird to hear from other posters that they have to have Clark's for narrow feet - DS1 measures a D/E and they simply don't do boys' shoes in those width fittings.

Or so they tell me hmm

LaGuardia Thu 01-Aug-13 21:41:14

I don't think you can put a price on the health of your childrens' feet. It is worth saving up for decent shoes imo.

Scruffey Thu 01-Aug-13 21:33:02

It's very bizarre to inspect the school shoes on other kids' feet.

TokenGirl1 Thu 01-Aug-13 21:32:18

The Clark's shoe fitters are rubbish! They sell their brand on being the best with specially trained staff. What a load of old tosh!

I've had at least two pairs had to be returned because they've been incorrectly fitted. Today my little girl was measured and they said she was a 'H' width when she's only ever been an e or f. Like her feet are suddenly going to have gone super wide. Her feet are so narrow she can't get into the supermarket brands or start rite and so I have no choice but to use Clark's, more's the pity.

Clark's are pants in my opinion!

Lovetea Thu 01-Aug-13 21:22:54

I visit Clarks with the DCs every 2 months and that's ONLY to get their feet measured...I then have a fake browse and leave. Clarks shoes look hideous and I would never put them on my DCs feet! My DD is under the podiatrist and she says that she would never put any of her grandchildren in their pairs as they don't have enough support etc.

NutcrackerFairy Thu 01-Aug-13 21:15:24

I think this anti second hand shoe thing is a myth sold to gullible parents by the big brands like Clarkes and Startrite.

I would think that a lot of children of previous generations wore second hand shoes handed down by older siblings and cousins. People had bigger families and children were expected to make their shoes last.

If second hand shoes are so damaging a lot of the older generation must have had deformed feet... hmm

Viviennemary Thu 01-Aug-13 20:32:40

Don't buy second hand shoes. But look for cheaper alternatives such as sale and the outlet shops people have suggested or even cheaper brands.

Isildur Thu 01-Aug-13 20:30:40

Deichmann is fabulous. Delivery is fast, and free, and you can return shoes really easily.

It has been a revelation in this house. All kinds of shoes, and the sale bargains are amazing. My 9 year old (who can't tie laces confused ) must be their best customer.

DownstairsMixUp Thu 01-Aug-13 20:25:11

YANBU. I spent a fortune on Clarks shoes and when my lo's nan treated him to a pair of tesco shoes, he preferred them and moaned about wearing the clarks ones. confused I would prefer to pay for some vans, converse etc for trainers over clarks trainers and i don't rate their shoes either.

strawberry34 Thu 01-Aug-13 20:19:27

I like Clark's shoes, I like getting dd measured. I don't think £25 is a rip off for well fitting shoes. I've worn crap shoes before and they cam be very uncomfortable. I know it's easy to say you're happy to pay it if you cam afford it though, I understand it cam be tough on a budget.

JimbosJetSet Thu 01-Aug-13 20:06:06

Thanks Passive, you made me feel much better for your post... I can't believe 99% people on here saying they'd never buy second hand. All my DD's shoes are second hand (wide feet, all Clarks or Start Rite), most of my friends do the same. She has beautifully healthy feet IMHO.
I'm sure I read a Clarks thread on Mumsnet recently where everyone thought second hand kids shoes were a marvellous idea hmm
Well I have no problem with them.

Allegrogirl Thu 01-Aug-13 20:00:40

YANBU. DD has got through three pairs of shoes in her first year at school. Start Rite, Kickers and Clarks. She is a G/H fitting though. Would buy cheap shoes if I could squeeze her fat feet into them. I can't even buy online, except Kickers which always fit, as her feet as are really quite odd.

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