Best place for first shoes?

(24 Posts)
KumquatMae Sun 20-Jan-13 17:29:05

Ds2 has verb walking a few weeks now and we want to get him some good shoes for walking outside. Where would you recommend?

KumquatMae Sun 20-Jan-13 17:29:34

Been* walking...

BlahBlahBlahhh Sun 20-Jan-13 21:23:54

Always Clarkes !

BillyBollyDandy Sun 20-Jan-13 21:25:42

Clarkes!

bangersmashandbeans Sun 20-Jan-13 21:27:11

Clarkes!

AlanMoore Sun 20-Jan-13 21:33:01

Barefoot shoes - better for little feet and nicer styles than Clarks, where virtually everything is brown and has that "38 year old haematologist on his day off" vibe.

Happy Little Soles online is good, stock can be a bit limited at some times of year but the lady who runs it is lovely and v v helpful.

AlanMoore Sun 20-Jan-13 21:34:37

Kickers are really good too IME but won't do for fat feet!

Pocketmonster Sun 20-Jan-13 21:42:11

Clarkes - the one I go to doesn't do brown...

PPL Sun 20-Jan-13 22:06:10

I think the best thing to do is go to a local shop that sells multiple brands, that way you don't have to feel pressured into buying into a specific brand. The place we go sells start rite, vivo barefoot, camper, kickers and some other European brand. DS wears barefoot shoes and by trying on the different brand I could instantly see which ones were comfy for him by the way he ran around the shop. Have tried clarks and not only are all the boys shows utterly boring ( girls less so) they just didn't fit so well.

KumquatMae Sun 20-Jan-13 23:53:41

We might have to venture further afield than our local shopping centre then - we have a clarkes and a brantano (which for little ones does clarkes or....clarkes I think!) thanks smile

DD has StartRite - Clarks don't do a slim enough fitting for her.

Personally I would say speak to Mum's in your area and get a consensus of where they think is best.

We take DD to an independent shoe shop 30 miles from our home. They sell Clarks and StartRite amongst other children's brands including some ranges from other countries. They aren't tied to one maker so they have a much broader selection to fit to the child.

They also spend as much time as needed with each customer - they measure their feet and then bring out all the shoes in the right size/width, and check the fit on as many pairs as necessary until they get the perfect one.

Add to this the fact that they tell you how many weeks to come back in for a growth check, and (and this is different to any big chain) will tell you if you don't need a new pair, or approx how many more weeks growth there are in the current pair. Last time I took DD she had two weeks left in her shoes, so I bought the next pair that day. Another time they said she didn't need a bigger size at that point - so I didn't buy any. They really are brilliant.

Most towns have independents and the service is usually superior and the range bigger.

Flisspaps Mon 21-Jan-13 00:25:09

Most MN threads about shoes are unanimous that Clarks are overpriced shite that are dodgily fitted by staff trying to sell you any shoes they can.

We got DD fitted at Brantano, then bought her first shoes from Next.

LentilAsAnything Mon 21-Jan-13 00:32:17

I agree with AlanMoore. Barefoot. See here for info: www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/aug/09/barefoot-best-for-children

DS had a couple of pairs from Vivo but I can't see the nice plain ones we got on the site.

Also here: Happy Little Soles or Merrell.

Aspiemum2 Mon 21-Jan-13 00:34:45

I'm dreading this. Dts has huge feet, they are seriously massive and sooo wide! Dtg is the exact opposite, tiny little delicate feet. Older dc's wore Clarks but might try brantano thanks to this thread. I did notice our local one has a huge selection. We've got a few more months to go yet though

janji Mon 21-Jan-13 00:53:31

I would go to an independent children's shoe shop. They are much friendlier, spend more time measuring and often have a better range of child specific shoes.

sausagesandwich34 Mon 21-Jan-13 01:04:56

I would leave shoes until the spring -is your lo really going to be walking outside at this time of year?
Leave it a couple of months and then go to an independent -brantano have a wide variety but their measuring/fitting is terrible IMO

BillyBollyDandy Mon 21-Jan-13 09:02:35

Wherever you do get the shoe fitted to the foot, don't get a measurement and then go somewhere else. Fwiw I haven't had a bad experience at Clarkes but the same size can fit or not fit depending on the style.

My dd's do have troll wide feet though, I know slim feet are more of a problem there.

tilder Mon 21-Jan-13 09:06:55

Always thought of them as expensive but Russell and bromley are actually really good for kids shoes. Same price as Clarks etc but lots of brands. My kids tend to fit different brands so I find it helpful.

Independent shops can be great if you have access to them.

lurcherlover Mon 21-Jan-13 09:08:16

I've only ever had good experiences with Clarks. Ignore their efforts to persuade you that non-walking babies need "crawling" or "cruising" shoes, and just go when your child has been walking independently for a few weeks. I've always found that they fit ds' feet well, and whenever I take him back to check his feet size, they never push me to get him new shoes unless he's ready for them. I also like their boys' ranges! It's not just brown, they do green, blue etc too and some lovely traditional styles (or flashing trainers if that's what you're after!)

BertieBotts Mon 21-Jan-13 09:08:43

Independents def. Mine's just closed - gutted sad

megandraper Mon 21-Jan-13 09:09:49

Just to go against trend - I am very anti-Clarks - might just be our local branch, but have found it to be staffed by teenagers who don't know how to measure feet properly and have tried to sell me shoes of completely the wrong size. I now go to our local independent (which is ££££ but very knowledgeable staff who get exactly the right size and also don't sell you new shoes you don't need if there is still growth room in the shoes).

Purpleprickles Mon 21-Jan-13 09:16:14

Independent shop here too. Ds had physio referral for inverted ankles and we were advised that Kickers are the most supportive shoes for developing feet and ankles. We also had a Ricosta pair when he was very young too.

Independent shop here, although more often than not we end up with Clarks. We find the fitters far better, and the work of new assistants is always double-checked.

gourd Mon 21-Jan-13 13:59:58

Depends on the size and width of the foot. Get feet measured at independent shop first then shop around for best deals. Shoesforkids.co.uk usually has Clarkes and other width fitted shoes a lot cheaper than high street shops but you must get a proper fitting first.

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