To think that there is a big gap in the market for a decent kids shoe shop?

(41 Posts)
Pyjamaramadrama Thu 24-Apr-14 13:37:13

Just that really.

Clarkes are so ugly, their measuring can be inaccurate, their sizing vs age is all out, poor quality, and did I say UGLY shoes.

I really like the styles of some of the Next boys trainers, if they did measuring they'd be spot on. But their trainers don't tend to be leather.

RoganJosh Thu 24-Apr-14 13:38:34

Our local one is fab. I think the key is the independents.

PinkLemons Thu 24-Apr-14 13:40:52

I had a fantastic independent one near me. You nip in every once in a while so she can check that the shoes still fit. Never tried to sell any when not needed and had a fab range of styles! I still go there when we are visiting the uk.

Fairylea Thu 24-Apr-14 13:42:29

Two dc later over 11 years and I've always been really happy with clarks. Maybe we've just been lucky but the fit has always been great and very long wearing. And dd and ds have always found designs they love.

It's only on mumsnet I've ever heard people saying negative things about clarks.

I wouldn't say no to another shoe shop for children though.... can never have too many shoes! smile

Slavetominidictator Thu 24-Apr-14 13:43:36

I completely agree. It's something in quite prepared to pay for but is currently done very badly, certainly where I live. The best solution I've found so far is ordering a variety of styles online from start rite then taking them to a Charles Clinkard to have them fitted. Major hassle and waste of time. Would really prefer to just have a well stocked shop......

Lollyheart Thu 24-Apr-14 13:46:42

I agree Clark's just isn't the same anymore,
Ds who is in reception is on his 2nd pair already, the sole has worn so much they had a hole in them, I remember them lasting dd1 and ds1 the whole year if their feet didn't grow.
So yes I think there is now a gap in the market.

Jinsei Thu 24-Apr-14 13:51:51

lolly, I've taken shoes back to Clarkes when they haven't lasted properly. If dd's feet haven't grown, they have given us a new pair, no questions asked. I didn't even have the receipt, but told them I'd had them a few months and had expected them to last longer.

ClaudetteWyms Thu 24-Apr-14 13:52:28

Mr two nearest Clarks are rubbish - waiting system which takes forever as too busy and not enough staff, surly staff, and last time I took DD she was measured (over the course of a week) as 3 completely different sizes, so I have no faith in their measuring systems at all!

Definitely independents, there are a couple of good ones nearby thankfully.

If M&S or Next offered measuring I'm sure they'd clean up!

MigGril Thu 24-Apr-14 13:56:17

Clarks have never been good, they didn't fit me as a child. And all stores I've been in seem unable to fit shoes properly. I prefer our local independent, but they still sell mainly Clarke's shoes to. Which are poor quality for price, I've even had that with there adult shoes recently and I used to really rate them. Grils shoes seem now designed so that you need to buy winter boots to.

I would happy pay Clark's prices of the shoes lasted and shared good quality but now won't pay full.price for them as I don't think they are worth it.

JuniperHeartwand Thu 24-Apr-14 13:57:48

One Small Step is amazing - a small indie chain. Check if you have one near you OP. Otherwise YANBU, I wouldn't go anywhere else now!

Clawdy Thu 24-Apr-14 13:59:28

Cockermouth in Cumbria has lovely independent children's shoe shops.

keely79 Thu 24-Apr-14 14:00:58

Love one small step - gorgeous shoes and they really know their stuff. Also not at all bothered if you just pop in to check sizing and don't buy anything, or alternatively try on about 20 different shoes and then still don't buy anything because you're not happy with the fit!

Don't trust Clarks ever since I went in for my DS's first pair of shoes and the lady put them on the wrong feet....

pinkcheese Thu 24-Apr-14 14:09:00

I often think I must have missed a memo because my DSs (10 and 12) haven't had their feet measured since they were about 14months old and needing first 'proper' shoes to walk in. I don't find it very hard to feel their toes in the shoes to see if they still fit, and even ask them if their shoes are still comfy! Few people would wear shoes that were too tight or small without complaining.

Trouble with being measured is that every shop has different sizing, much the same with clothes. The size that Next give you is unlikely to match with M&S shoes, etc, and it would be a time-consuming exercise to be measured in every shop. Can't you just try a few pairs on that you like and see what fits?

Clarks are awfully overrated I find, their shoes seem to be fairly poor quality and very poor value for money. Our school shoes this year are Startrite (£45 bought at John Lewis, as they have great returns/complaints policies) black leather lace-ups and it looks like they'll last til July. Regular polishing has helped smile

My DSs know now what kinds of shoes will fit them and be comfy (wide feet so cheap boots can be tricky) and we buy from a huge variety of shops. Primark are good for converse-style, Nike factory shop for trainers, Sports Direct for footie and walking boots, Brantano, Gap, Shuh and independents for other random styles. And loads on the internet of course!

umiaisha Thu 24-Apr-14 14:15:55

Russell & Bromley Kids are really good.

They measure and stock a really good range.

Boobsofsteel Thu 24-Apr-14 14:20:59

Clarks are awful. They don't seem to understand that bringing out 10 pairs of shoes that are all the wrong size because they don't have the right size in stock is unlikely to fill me with confidence!

Shoe-b-do in shrewsbury is fabulous

CouldntGiveAMonkeysToss Thu 24-Apr-14 14:25:46

I like Clarks, shoes fit my children well and last a long time. Staff are friendly and you can go in just for a fit check without buying anything.
I tried startrite once and they had nothing that fit ds2 and the shoes they sold me for ds1 are far too wide, they actually fall off his feet sometimes and they are falling apart and tatty after three months.

saythatagain Thu 24-Apr-14 14:32:23

Another vote for the independent shoe shop.
I was first introduced to it by my mum. If you imagine the old fashioned shoe shop of yesteryear - loads of stock and the staff are wonderful.
I was in there last week to take dd's current shoes to be re-soled on the inside. I was desperate not to have to buy another pair when they break up at the beginning of July. It was the assistant who said to bring them in.
Fitted whilst we waited and no charge....all part of the service.
I can't praise them enough; so much so, I'm going to write a thank you card.

I like Clark's for girls school shoes. Their E fitting works well for my DDs. My girls are light on shoes, besides getting toes scruffed, they last until shoes get too small.

Clarks have got a weird new app-based way of measuring kids feet, I was in there on Monday with DD and DS1. It promotes the Daisy character that's in the heel of girls shoes and the boys equivalent too confused

Both mine were measured by this app as H+ width. DD has always been an F, DS1 a G. Tried on an H fitting, was like a boat on both of them, I'm not impressed.

knickernicker Thu 24-Apr-14 14:50:37

It's fine for school shoes but drab for casual particularly girls sandals, really nerdy.
Maybe there is no call for a better shoe shop? In the Trafford Centre, both Jones and Clinkard have now gone. Manchester centre has one small Clark's for the whole city.
It's all very well whinging about lack of choice but if they don't get the footfall they will close.

Catsize Thu 24-Apr-14 14:58:12

Many independent children's shoe shops are closing, sadly. On speaking to staff, it is common for parents to take their kids in, have them measured and try on shoes, then guess what? They go and order the same pair for a couple of quid less online. Grrrrrrr

ScrambledSmegs Thu 24-Apr-14 14:58:54

Independents are great, my local stocks a massive array of brands including Clarks, Start-Rite, Ecco and some really lovely Italian, French and Scandinavian brands. It's also really good value in comparison with the more expensive independents like One Small Step and Iglu. Probably because the shop isn't as flashy.

DD destroys Clarks shoes now that she's over child size 9, so it's great that I can still buy her something robust that won't fall apart the moment she kicks a ball or climbs a tree, or uses her shoe as a spade (yep, she does that, nursery let her hmm ).

The only problem is that now I've discovered brands like Bisgaard and Angulus I don't like the alternatives. They're so expensive though, I can't buy my 4yo shoes that cost £80 when she'll grow out of them in a couple of months!

ICanSmellSummerComing Thu 24-Apr-14 15:00:22

Our local indi is so expensive shock £50 for shoes to fit DD.

They also advertised everywhere how friendly they were but sadly on visiting them this was not the case..

But yes, loathe clarkes....

SpanishLady Thu 24-Apr-14 15:01:43

It's expensive but I go to camper for my sons shoes - they never fail to be sturdy and look great despite the wear and tear

Aboyandabunny Thu 24-Apr-14 15:09:09

A fan of independent shoe shops too. Geox, Ecco and Ricosta etc are great shoes. Our local shops measure correctly and wont sell a pair of shoes if they aren't happy with the fit.

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