Buying shoes for DS with big feet

(25 Posts)
Tuhlulah Tue 24-Sep-13 15:31:07

Hi, this is my first post on Mumsnet, so do forgive me if I have posted this in the wrong place.

I live in London, and my DS has just started Yr 7 wearing size 9 1/2 shoes, the very last in the Clarks Bootleg range. So, when these are outgrown (could be next week, Christmas or next year) there are no more children's shoes for us -anywhere (as far as I am aware)

But even more pressing, he needs winter shoes/boots soon -probably this weekend or the one after.

His feet are long and narrow, with a high instep, typists' toes and narrow ankles. Buying shoes has always been -how shall we say- an complete and utter nightmare, but now add in to that -impossible.

Where can I buy his next shoes that don't cost a fortune? The problem with adult shoes is that they are made for adults -stiff soles, made for people going to spend the day in an accountants' office, not for running around in the playground (if they do that in Yr 7). We have tried adult shoes and he looks quite ridiculous, like he's stepped off the set of Big.

Ecco have been recommended, as they are quite narrow, but they are very expensive. Clarks men shoes are also expensive but more to the point, made for adults. We tried some and even the narrower ones look like he's wearing great big clumpers. Would be funny if it wasn't a problem I have to resolve!!!

There is such a gap in the market for children with large feet. Where do people buy shoes for them? Is there a magic faraway land/shop that i don't know about?

Both of my DS were in mens shoes at primary school. If it's any consolation they stopped growing at size 11. Annoying that VAT is levied on so called adult sizes as well.
I find there is usually a good choice at somewhere like Brantano.
Beware though, that if he is entering a pubescent growth spurt his feet will grow a size every week grin.

BanjoPlayingTiger Tue 24-Sep-13 16:10:01

As a mum of a yr 6 boy in a size 8.5 I feel your angst! Brantanos has been the best place I have found for shoes.
Good luck!

Tuhlulah Tue 24-Sep-13 16:16:44

Ah, so there is a magic faraway shop that I don't know about! I will google Brantanos immediately.

Thank you.

booface Tue 24-Sep-13 16:21:50

Good luck with your big footed son! I am mum to two boys with huge feet as well, DS1 had adult 13-14 size and is in yr 9 and DS2 had adult 8 and is in yr 5. For school shoes we have had to go into adult shoes, and for trainers we try sports direct online as they have large shoes but it is a bit hit and miss. Shuh has bigger sizes in store too. I hope they slow down a bit for you!

louisea Tue 24-Sep-13 17:54:47

Sports Direct works for us as well. Both DTs (Y10) have had shoes from M&S or Clarks mens' range. They also outgrew Bootleg a couple of years ago. One is a size 14, the other size 12-13.

JenaiMorris Tue 24-Sep-13 18:07:38

Tuh - It might also be worth posting on Style and Beauty - there are some serious shoppers there.

I thought my ds had big feet (size 8 in Y7) but clearly his are mere commonplace plate of meat! His friend, same tutor group, takes size 1. I know this because I was so gobsmacked looking at his teeny trainers next to ds's in the porch - I had to check grin

Tuhlulah Wed 25-Sep-13 10:21:57

Wow! I won't complain any more -clearly there are children whose feet are even more generously proportioned! And yes JM, DS is taller than me, maybe 5 feet 7, maybe 5 feet 8 this morning, who knows tomorrow, and his best friend seems waist high, with fairy-sized feet. Those mums are so lucky, popping into Clarks, knowing they always have the size you want and the right width.

I am a bit reluctant to buy online -his feet are so long and thin and bony that he needs to try on shoes, many pairs of shoes in a range of sizes. I know shoes are a good fit for him when he looks clownish. If they look proportionate, I know they're too small. (Poor child, what a genetic inheritance from his father! Am just hoping he doesn't grow the big nose.)

I guess it'll be Clarks men's shoes to start. Thankfully he isn't yet fashion conscious (not that there aren't fashionable shoes in Clarks).

But there is definitely a gap in the market -affordable shoes for children, suitable for children, on a smaller scale than adult shoes (i.e., just because a child has big feet doesn't mean he can wear the same shoes as a fully grown man). Like a Long Tall Sally for kids' feet. I am no longer incredulous in John Lewis or Clarks, because I no longer expect there to be shoes that fit, or expect the shop to have the shoes in the bigger sizes it should carry. Although I was very fussy when he was a baby, I now grab whatever fits/almost fits, because the perfect shoe for us just doesn't exist. But I live in London, where we have quite a few shops which should give a wider choice. How do mums cope who live in small towns or the country?

Anyway, this weekend it is. The great shoe hunt. I'm just going out, I may be a while....

mimbleandlittlemy Wed 25-Sep-13 13:13:40

My ds is in Y7 with size 9 1/2 feet in shoes and size 10 in trainers so I also feel your pain.

Clarks was the only affordable option for us as far as shoes were concerned three weeks ago (the ones I got were only £7 more than the bootleg), and I got standard size 44s in Nike trainers/Canterbury rugby boots. Thick sports socks/tight lacing are your friends if they are too wide.

Next men's shoes come up very narrow, we've found, so might be worth trying there. My ds's feet are actually very wide so not only is he in Clarks men's but in their wide fitting ones too. At least he is also 5' 8" now so the feet don't look too big for the body, though if you ask me the body is far too big for someone who isn't 12 until next April grin.

Tuhlulah Wed 25-Sep-13 13:44:47

Are we rearing a generation of giants?

cls77 Wed 25-Sep-13 14:31:01

I feel your pain too! No ds here, a DD instead and shes just started Year 7 with a size 7 1/2. Mind you, im her mum and I was an 8 at the same age, and am now an 11 sad. Still find it highly depressing to this day to buy shoes, and I fear my dd will have the same problems. Either totally unsuitable design, or huge cost, and never get the wear out of them as they grow too quickly!!

mushroom3 Wed 25-Sep-13 15:05:32

Some Clarks Bootlegs go up to 10, so you may squeeze one more pair out of them! I would suggest you go to your nearest Clark's Factory shop as the shoes are arranged in pairs by size and therefore your son can try on pairs (ie finding lightweight narrow ones) without asking the assistant to go behind to find your son's size (also you can have his feet measured before you start. I know in South London, there is one inside the Elephant and Castle shopping centre and near to Peckham Rye Train station, but I don't know where else they have factory outlets (they also are around 30% cheaper).

I know shoes are a good fit for him when he looks clownish. Oh yes, clown feet. When I took DS2(15) for school shoes and he found some that fitted and were comfortable (size 12) I truly had to stifle a laugh and stop myself uttering the word clown.
Oh and not that I have shares in Brantano, but they do sell all brands including Clarks, Hush Puppies etc as well as more stylish ones.

Frikadellen Wed 25-Sep-13 16:06:47

for my daughter with size 9 we use hotter shoes might be worth a look?

bigTillyMint Wed 25-Sep-13 21:02:51

DS takes size 91/2 and wears Kickers. Barratts have a good reduction on them ATM!

LadyEdith Wed 25-Sep-13 21:39:38

M&S airflex - lasted my ds a whole year, which includes playing football every lunchtime, he finds them blissfully comfortable.

steeking Wed 25-Sep-13 21:42:53

What about TKMaxx??

3rdnparty Wed 25-Sep-13 21:44:43

not particularly cheap but Ricosta go up to 44 and are vgood for ds slim foot high instep...

steppemum Wed 25-Sep-13 22:04:56

I'm another one, ds year 6 and size 8-81/2
He is another one with long slim feet, and a high instep, if they are the right length, they are too wide.
Clarkes is good because they do width fittings, sigh

It depends on how fussy school is. ds this year ended up with plain black nike trainers, very subtle outline tick on the side only. They are just scraping in under the school uniform radar, but they won't next year in secondary.

Shazy123 Wed 25-Sep-13 22:23:15

This sounds exactly like my son. He also has long narrow feet, but has also got flat feet. My other 2 children have expensive shoes like 'clarks' but my son who is in year 9 (size 12) has his shoes from brantanos. These fit him better than the clarks shoes that seem too wide. Hope this helps!

exexpat Wed 25-Sep-13 22:28:36

Some of the Clarks mens range look very school-shoe-like and have thick soles - DS has some very similar to these, and they also seem to come in a narrow fitting (F) though they may not be narrow enough for your DS.

AtiaoftheJulii Wed 25-Sep-13 22:51:19

My y8 was measured at 9.5 this summer in Clarks, and I bought him men's shoes in the sale, cheaper than the bootleg ones :-) The ones he has have very flexible soles actually, not clompy at all. So if you look at adult shoes you might find some better than you expect :-) Good luck!

Tuhlulah Thu 26-Sep-13 16:28:28

Thanks to everyone.

I have just found a Clarks factory shop on Seven Sisters' Road, may do a recce tomorrow before dragging along the reluctant man cub.

We need winter boots/shoes/out of school shoes. His black school shoes are so ugly i don't want to be seen in his company wearing them without a uniform.

So Ricosta is out, too small (yes, we used to have them, lovely inside and out)

Next -good to know they come up narrow, am filing that snippet away for possible future reference.

Kickers -I seem to recall they come up very wide, like G minimum, and DS is D or an E (yes, it's that bad).

But thick socks may be an option too.

I can't buy online, his feet are too troublesome, so Brantanos would need to be a physical visit at some point. Never tried TKMax, there is one at Brent Cross, only I can't figure out how you get to it from the bus park. Plus DS hates shopping, so getting him in there will be interesting. Bit nervous about trusting my own judgement on what fits, but I guess it's as good as the usual lippy 16 year old with attitude we seem to get in Clarks on a Saturday afternoon.

HmmAnOxfordComma Thu 26-Sep-13 17:21:00

Ds's best friend has large feet (size 11 - they're both in yr 8) and they both have the same Start Rite shoes (ds is a 7).

HmmAnOxfordComma Thu 26-Sep-13 17:21:48

Oh and ds is a C width fitting officially. But we have to go with D/E and wear insoles. Just like I had to at school, too.

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