Advanced search expect to be able to buy sensible shoes that fit my child?!?!

(63 Posts)
scarymamma Tue 17-Aug-10 21:35:37

Aaaargghhhh! It's one of my least favorite times of year. The 'let's get new school shoes' time. For the past 8 years I have had to sit and smile whilst some numpty shop assistant measures my childs feet and then gasps in amasement and then informs me that she has 'very narrow feet'. Really! Gasp! Shock! Surprise! D'oh - I'm her mother dya not think I know that? They then go on to ask 'have you seen anything you like?' From experience I now know to just say 'Why don't you just go see if you have anything to fit her, and we'll take it from there'. I reckon that 60% of the time they come back empty handed. So you have a child that has shoes that are a)worn out b)too small (delete as appropriate) and you have just been told that the shop can't help. The number of times we have been forced to buy ill fitting shoes with multiple innersoles JUST so the shoe doesn't literally 'fly' off her foot when she walks is shameful.
What is even more annoying is that the limited number of D fitting shoes are always open, pump style. My children have and will, for the forseeable future WALK to school - even in the rain. The poor thing has cold, wet feet all winter. There are shops catering to AA and AAA womens shoes - so why don't they stock children's shoes? Did these women suddenly turn 18 and their feet suddenly become narrow - NO! It was bad enough when DD was little - she's now 12 with size 7 feet, 5'10" and like a bean pole, so clothes buying isn't much fun either. She hates shopping for clothes and shoes. She see's all the other girls buying fun, fashionable things. I try to get her to try things on and she just says 'There's no point - it won't fit' and sadly she's generally right.
Sorry Ladies - just had to get it out of my system. Wish me luck for tomorrow. Ho hum - Clarks and StartRite you've been warned - here I come.

Firawla Tue 17-Aug-10 21:38:20

can you not buy her some from the adults shoes if she is now size 7, if they have the narrow ones? or do they not have suitable?

CMOTdibbler Tue 17-Aug-10 21:38:56

Find an independant shoe shop that stocks european brands, and they'll help you - we have to go to one as ds has very wide and high feet, and there are always people in there for narrow shoes too

deaddei Tue 17-Aug-10 21:39:07

Oh I sympathise.
We went shoe hunting- dd is 13, 7and a half feet, E fit but high instep. She had a choice of em...ONE shoe in Clarks.
Also went to get jeans in Uniqlo- where she got 3 pairs last May. But they've changed the sizing on this seasons so they don't fit.
And I have had a shit day with them both today- so good luck tomorrow. grin

tyler80 Tue 17-Aug-10 21:39:48


As someone with very narrow feet I used to dread this time of year. Being dragged to four different towns, measured width as a C/D and the shop assistants going to the back room and returning empty handed, or with one pair of vile shoes. All I ever wanted was some magic key shoes... sad

deaddei Tue 17-Aug-10 21:41:50

And I am narrow of foot and size 9-10....

KatyMac Tue 17-Aug-10 21:42:52

Me too

Wide(ish) flat feet with a narrow ankle


I hate it

letsblowthistacostand Tue 17-Aug-10 22:04:18

First time for us and dreading it. DD1: small + narrow + flat + tiny heels + itty bitty ankles = aaaargh. Am positive there will be only one ugly pair available and that will need insoles. Is bad enough getting regular shoes for her, luckily she's refused to wear anything but crocs this summer so all I've had to deal with is them flying off her feet constantly. A small price to pay, my friends.

hellymelly Tue 17-Aug-10 22:14:48

I have a tricky time too,my dds have the opposite sort of feet,wide with a high instep and its the instep in particular that causes the problems.I have the same sort of feet,unsurprisingly ,and in a small quite rural Welsh town in the 1960's and 70's I was able to get shoes without a problem,so what has changed? We have often had to leave a shop with nothing because nothing they have fits.

Horton Tue 17-Aug-10 22:15:39

D fitting shoes! You're lucky (joke), DD is only 3 and measures as a B fitting when they only make F or G in her size and probably only F or G for the next few years. I know I will be buying industrial quantities of insoles and heel grips for at least the next ten years. I do wish more shops were prepared to cater for narrow feet. For us the only option which gets DD (tiny feet, narrow ankles, minuscule heels, narrow fitting) shoes that fit her is to pay ££££ and go for a foreign brand. Even then, they tend to be a bit wide but at least not like actual boats on her feet.

I also remember the hell of always having to go for the ugly brown pair of lace ups every time when all my friends were getting lovely red or black patent pretty shoes. It is a real shame. YANBU.

PfftTheMagicDragon Tue 17-Aug-10 22:22:47

Fuckign nightmare- DS is very wide. I got him measured and said "bring whatever will fit him AND I don't want anything that is actually a trainer pretending to be a shoe"

ONE PAIR> and they looked cheap.

NonnoMum Tue 17-Aug-10 22:27:19

Tis v poor.

Someone once linked to a lovely European site for those of us with children with dainty ickle feet.

onebadbaby Tue 17-Aug-10 22:35:59

My dd is a d fit- we have just found some school shoes in our local shoe shop- lovely slim fit- called Superfit!

Horton Tue 17-Aug-10 22:36:37

DD's shoes say GBB on the inside, if that's any help to anyone. They are crazily narrow compared to Clarks etc. They're still a bit wide on DD and her nutso feet but think they would be fine on a C or D fitting child. They were bloody expensive, though, about £45. Luckily her feet seem to grow v slowly so I will probably not have to buy another pair for five or six months.

reallytired Tue 17-Aug-10 22:50:51

My son has H width feet and we have similar problems.

My daughter who is 16 months old has very small feet ie 2.5. Apparently proper baby shoes start at size 3 or 4. How on earth people with 9 motnh old walking babies manage is a mystery. Surely my 16 month old daughter is not as small as a 9 month old baby.

PinkElephant73 Tue 17-Aug-10 22:58:15

IME a decent small independent shoe shop like our local one will have better trained fitters than the big chains and more unusual brands, but you may have to hunt around. you wont often find these type of shoe shops in a big mall or city centre these days.

hmc Tue 17-Aug-10 23:00:54

Dd had H fitting feet and it is a similar scenario. I read on here once someone surmising that children with broad feet are probably just overweight shock - she is lean as a whippet for the record!

I go to an excellent independent shoe shop and they generally are able to find one pair of start rite shoes to fit her!

hellymelly Tue 17-Aug-10 23:10:09

My dd's are G/H and the eldest in particular is whippety too.She has the waist size of an 18m old but the height of a six year old (she is five and a half).she just has wide feet.DH and I are both slender framed and both have really wide feet.
I buy shoes from a great london shoe shop,The red shoes,in crouch end.They post things to me now that I don't live in London and they are great at fitting wide feet.But european shoes are expensive.

Mowiol Tue 17-Aug-10 23:19:38

Another narrow foot here! I'm a AA or A depending on make and when I was a kid my mum used to get me lace-ups because at least they were adjustable. She went for Clarks or Start-Rite. I do remeber getting to my teens and never being able to wear trendy shoes 'cos they were too wide and I took an 8 so that didn't help. Nowadays I use a company called James Inglis (in Peebles nearish to the Borders). They have a website and catalogue. They do have some trendy, fashionable styles but some are more classic and some are down right old lady BUT they are catering for a wide age range. They do a range of ballet pumps and mary janes. However they are EXPENSIVE. Check out the website below and maybe, just maybe they have something to suit some of you. They import a lot from Europe and America.

Linnet Tue 17-Aug-10 23:23:34

I agree try the womens section of the shops, with clarks you can order online and get the shoes sent to the shop to try on there, if you don't buy them they just put them into stock.

I had to do this for my dd this year,opposite problem her feet are so small that all the school shoes in her size have dollys in the heels,not a good look when you're at secondary. I managed to find the one and only pair of shoes in a size 2 and a half and get them sent to the shop and they fitted first time, which is unusual for us.

I was going to link the ones we got but they are pump style shoes, which I don't mind as come winter she'll get boots anyway, but you said you didn't like them, sorry.

With dd2 I have the opposite problem, she has wide feet at the front and very narrow at the back, we often go to shops and leave with nothing,one year she spent the entire summer in a pair of trainers as they were the only shoes that would stay on her feet.

I don't get why they don't cater more for children with narrow or wide feet, I've sat in clarks with my dd1 and there were two other girls in the shop at the same time and all three of them had size 2 width E feet,so it's not as if my dd is unique, all three left with nothing.

Mowiol Tue 17-Aug-10 23:25:14

Sorry - should have made it clear the the company I mentioned is for adult women blush

pekkalaserafina Tue 17-Aug-10 23:29:13

Both DD and DS have H width flat feet but very narrow at the heel and one foot half a size different to the other its a bloody nightmare. We did the school shoe thing today and they each had a choice of exactly one thing each. The fitter in John Lewis did try every brand and size combo she could muster to be fair and she didn't try to palm us off with crap fitting shoes like they do at Clarks. Really, they always try and claim something fits when it clearly doesn't.

AngelHMum Wed 18-Aug-10 00:06:35

CMOTdibbler has the advice spot on. Independents are not franchised or tied to brands and will carry a much better range.

Clarks will only sell shoes by Clarks and Bootleg and Rhino are actually Clarks brands too so don't be fooled into thinking they are offering you choice - they are not.

pekkalaserafina Clarks try and claim something fits when it doesn't because the staff there are usually paid on commission. It is in their interests to sell volume.
Independents have nothing to rely on except their reputation and skill. It is in their interests to sell shoes that fit properly. Therefore offering a proper customer service level.

It is more difficult with a child who has a narrow fit or a wider fit. "F" and "G" fits are the most common fittings so that is why many Clarks shops stock them in huge quantity and ignore the rest of the population. To them it's not financially advantageous to have choice for D or H fittings.

Bunsouttheoven Wed 18-Aug-10 00:14:00

I agree clarks are shit & always say that the shoes fit my dd when they do not & look obviously gaping.

PainSnail Wed 18-Aug-10 00:43:16

Cheers for the numpty shop assistant comment. I can assure you, us 'numpties' don't enjoy this time of the year any more than you do. hmm

If your dd is an adult 7, take her to an adult shoe shop and if in doubt have the shoes fitted in an independent childrens shoe shop. You will get a better choice this way and it will probably be less stressful for the both of you!

Failing that, you could try looking for something by Ricosta. They do bigger sizes and are often good for a narrower fit, depending on style.

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