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Instead of 'barefoot' shoes for 14mo why can't I just keep using leather slippers?

(13 Posts)
SnoozingCyborg Tue 23-Apr-13 18:22:24

Vivo barefoot shoes for babies/toddlers etc and various other permutations of barefoot soled shoes sound all well and good (I have a grownup pair myself for when I want to feel virtuous). But they are bleeding pricey. If 'barefoot is best' why do I need to get DS expensive shoes at all? I thought I was being clever by not buying pricey 'cruising shoes' etc from Clarks and just keeping him in eBay leather slippers until he was walking well, because 'barefoot is best' etc. But the 'barefoot' options with their thin soles are even more expensive. Is there any reason why I can't just keep using those leather toddler slippers for as long as is practical, in terms of weather? DS has been walking well for around 4 weeks, and some online guides say he will need his first pair of 'proper shoes' in a couple of weeks.

PoppyWearer Tue 23-Apr-13 18:24:12

What about switching to Crocs? Very light, practical, and you can buy cheap versions, or even second-hand on eBay?

SnoozingCyborg Tue 23-Apr-13 21:16:36

Crocs! Yes, I'll look into that. I forget that Crocs are basically children's shoes. Will be just right for the impending warm weather...

SwishSwoshSwoosh Tue 23-Apr-13 21:22:53

I thought crocs were not good for growing feet? They are not fitted and the foot moves a lot inside them. Comfy for adults yes.

Barefoot at home, barefoot is always better.

Then a pair of properly fitted flexible shoes for outside.

HappyAsASandboy Tue 23-Apr-13 21:35:16

I wouldn't use crocs, as I think they're as far from barefoot at you can get! They aren't fitted properly, they don't bend and you have to either have the heel band tight or walk funny to keep them on. Horrible inventions!

I'd keep him in the leather slippers, then stay in cruisers as long as possible cos they have lovely bendy soles, them move to harder soles when he's a really confident walker and you have no choice!

And just socks or leather slippers at home smile

SnoozingCyborg Tue 23-Apr-13 21:49:50

Indoors? What is this thing called indoors?
Hmm, yes, bad slippy Crocs. Leather slippers are not fitted either, so, erm? And all the recommendations for correct sizing of shoes are all 'you need to have five million fingers between the toe and the front of the shoe and half a million at the back' etc, so I'm not sure exactly what 'fitted' means at this point. And someone on another thread said that the slight wobbly sponginess of Crocs was good for ankle strengthening. Aaah, shoe wars. So confusing. It also turns out also that Crocs do a special one for babies that is meant to be soft and flexible but I don't know how thin the sole is. The sweatiness is another issue though.
I bet I just end up going to Clarks to get him measured and end up buying shoes there that cost more than my own. Boooooooo.

SnoozingCyborg Tue 23-Apr-13 22:03:17

After more assiduous research (ie searching more Mumsnet threads) I may get him measured at a nearby Clarks then order discounted cruisers/barefoots online at some of the recommended sites. Or even secondhand cruisers. Because those non-walking cruising babies weren't even walking in them! The other option is to go to an exotic beast called an "independent children's shoeshop", the likes of which I have never seen in my neighbourhood.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Wed 24-Apr-13 06:50:54

Don't ask for advice if you don't want a variety of views! Shoes cost because they are complicated to make.

LegArmpits Wed 24-Apr-13 07:14:36

I actually had this problem with my DS3. He had tiny fat feet when he started walking and even though I had him fitted for cruisers at Clarks I couldn't bloody get them to stay on his feet. So I carried on using the leather slippers (I know exactly what you mean, TKMaxx did them for a fiver) and they were fine for letting him bumble around the play park or on the decking. They did wear out quite quickly though.
(He wears normal shoes now grin )

SnoozingCyborg Wed 24-Apr-13 12:11:02

There there Swish, did I say anywhere I didn't want a variety of views? Or is it just your view that I should be wanting? And was I insulting in some way about your view?

What is with the passive aggressiveness on Mumsnet threads that are just about purchasing choices? Is this what capitalism has come to?

SnoozingCyborg Wed 24-Apr-13 12:24:07

Anyway, I took HappyAsASandboy's advice and just got the bub measured for some Clarks cruisers which he'll use for particularly rough outside surfaces, and will just keep him barefoot or slippered as usual for the rest of the time, until the slippers die. Interestingly, the Clarks fitter said she would sell me the cruisers that I was asking for, but was not allowed to directly recommend them due to their policy, which was that walking babies 'need more support' in the sole. I asked her what this whole 'needing support' thing was about, considering their own website says 'barefoot is best'. Like, what in their foot needs support exactly (as opposed to just protection) and I wasn't being rhetorical or snarky or anything, just wanting to understand the rationale. And she gave a vague answer about 'helping them stand'. So then I said 'but he doesn't have any problem standing,' and pointed out that their own website said that a child should be walking barefoot inside anyway, so that didn't really explain what it was that a child needed from 'support'. She said she couldn't answer that. Fail.

HappyAsASandboy Thu 25-Apr-13 09:29:02

I ha r had the same conversation with Clarks staff. They put all the right stuff on their website so it all seems hunky dory and in the chds best interest then train their staff to push the more grown up shoes because they're more expensive.

I think all of the Clarks ranges from cruisers up are quite supportive, but IME the bendy soles are important. My DS had a pair of their boy boots at the start of the winter, and he walked completely flat footed in them and fell over all the time because the soles didn't bend and the ankle didn't bend. We went back to bendy soles and his walking is fine again. He was two at the start of last winter, so not a new or wobbly walker.

I do wish they were cheaper though! As you say, I spend more on a pair of infant shoes than I do on mine! and I have to buy two pairs each time as I have twins!

Pumpkinette Thu 06-Jun-13 21:23:10

I find clarks doodles are great for the summer, not to mention half the price of their walking shoes. Canvas, flexi sole an machine washable. They might be a good compromise between leather slippers and proper walking shoes.

I would never buy clarks proper shoes full price. We either shop in the sales or go to the clarks factory shop.

I have also heard really great things about startrites but can not justify the price as they are even more expensive than clarks.

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