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to be more than a little pissed off with purveyors of children's shoes

(42 Posts)
MagdaMagyarMadam Sun 25-Sep-11 12:17:14

I've just been looking at on-line shops including Clarks and Startrite and cannot believe the stark gender divisions in what is on offer. In Clarks, for girls it is bloody pink, more pink, oh hold on, there's a pair of ankle boots, no they're "violet" - still on the pink spectrum for me.

Start-rite to be fair doesn't have an abundance of pink but the shoes look like those worn in the 1950's, very girly and the price of them is eye-watering especially as I have twins.

All I want are some reasonably priced, gender neutral shoes/trainers for knocking about in, not some bloody sparkly pink confection costing the same as some adult footwear.

So, AIBU? <hides behind sofa as it's my first aibu>

pearlym Sun 25-Sep-11 12:22:27

No BU.
As they get older it is worse as all you can get is really dull black girls' shoes with strap across whihc is no good for skinny feet. Why can't they do good colours like green, blues, reds etc, whihc as you say are reasonably neutral

MagdaMagyarMadam Sun 25-Sep-11 12:29:54

Pearly - last year I went into our local long established independent shoe shop, girls were measured and we were directed to the usual range of white, pink and mauve. I pointed to some pairs of blue and red kickers only to be told these were for boys confused. I asked in what way was the fit different and was told it didn't -just that the colours were for boys. Guess what I bought? Still smarting from the price though. shock

Oh and there were some lovely green one too.

blackeyedsusan Sun 25-Sep-11 12:30:22

would love blue shoes or red or darkish green. difficult to get polish though and we have to have black for school now and can't afford 2 pairs. just spent £65 on 2 paiars of shoes for the childrena dn one of them won't even wear them.

MagdaMagyarMadam Sun 25-Sep-11 12:30:50


MagdaMagyarMadam Sun 25-Sep-11 12:47:41

I try to buy the DTs different shoes so that shoes are specific to them but they always want what the other has, fighting breaks out so I end up buying 2 pairs the same.

Rosa Sun 25-Sep-11 12:53:31

As we live abroad and dd has skinny feet we tend to buy from Clarks or statrite in the Uk. However now she has grown out of the fun coulurs it is black , black or black. We had in the past , purple ( startrite- no sparkles), blue,red, now in her size not a hope. The black are all school shoes and the trainers IMO are not worth the money as they don't last- The doodles are still ok for as long as they do her size!

UniS Sun 25-Sep-11 12:57:21

How about Geox? At least for trainers they seem to major on grey/ blue/ red combinations.

Zimm Sun 25-Sep-11 13:00:59

I hate them for a different reason - they bang on about children 'needing shoes for support'- which is just utter rubbish, the human foot is perfectly designed through years of evolution to support a baby learning to walk through to an adult running a marathon. In modern society shoes are needed to protect the soles of our feet from glass etc. This notion of support cons money out of parents who put children in shoes too early/often.

MagdaMagyarMadam Sun 25-Sep-11 14:11:59

Uni - I'll have a look at Geox. The girls are usually in skinny jeans and teeshirts during the week so need footwear that suits this.

Zimm - I agree. The looks I got because I didn't put them in baby shoes. As long as the shoes fit comfortably, don't nip or rub and allows them fully mobility then I'm happy. The girls hate anything on their feet in the house so slippers are out and bare feet in - just like me!

whackamole Sun 25-Sep-11 14:14:01

Magda we are in the same boat - but twin boys here. Went to Clarks yesterday, and to be fair I liked most of the boys selection - dinosaurs and the like all over them. The boys gravitated towards the sparkly ones though!

averageyorkshiremum Sun 25-Sep-11 14:24:24

totally agree. My Ds is not even 2 and is a size 8 already and has grown so rapidly it's cost me £28 nearly every 8weeks ! That's way more than I spend on my shoes. Also agree with the lack of gender neutral shoes but like you whackamole my Ds asked for a pair of Lelli Kellys?? because he liked the strawberries on them

MagdaMagyarMadam Sun 25-Sep-11 15:05:37

On the few occasions DTDs have seen the Lelli Kelly adverts they have been more interested in the puppy! Just shows the tactics of the advertising companies.

Whackamole - the girls love dinosaurs and cars but ignore a lot of the sparkly dressing up stuff friends and family have bought them - maybe your DTs and mine should meet up and share! Yorkshiremum - bring your DS too.

I find it's hard to try not to influence them; I don't want them to be laughed at or marginalised when they start school for not being into fluffy pinkness but I just want them to be able to follow their own preferences IYSWIM.

ThePathanKhansWoman Sun 25-Sep-11 16:06:49

Try a website called lillefoot (sorry can't do the copy thing blush). It's an

independent shoe shop. I've just bought my dd a brilliant pair of shoes with a

pirate motif. They have all the usual pink stuff, but a great range of different

shoes from european designers.And they have a great clearance section.

FetchezLaVache Sun 25-Sep-11 16:11:01

Oh thanks, you set of bastards, I'm now going to have the Lelli Kelly tune on my brain for the next week!! I don't have a daughter, but if I did she wouldn't ever be allowed LKs just because of how nauseous that advert makes me feel.

Sorry. As you were.

MagdaMagyarMadam Sun 25-Sep-11 16:19:26

PKW - thanks for tip - will take a look.

Fetchez - one of the reasons Channel 5 Milkshake is verboten here - every advert break there's 1 and sometimes 2 slots for the blinking things and the sugary sweet girls with their nasal high pitched voices - I imagine them being a nasty little clique.

Now I can hear the wretched tune! [needs to get a life emoticon]

FetchezLaVache Sun 25-Sep-11 18:47:27

I imagine that too! I bet they're really mean to girls with less expensive shoes.

gilmoregirl Sun 25-Sep-11 18:57:32


I have done a LOT of research into purveyors of childrens shoes so I can agree with your frustration. Clarks girls shoes are IMO cheap tacky pink awfulness. Startrite are better quality and I personally love the retro styles that are available in red and navy but I do understand that they are not to everyones taste.

Have a look at the shoe orchard they have quite a wide selection.

It is probably a bit close to winter but converse (or converse style) look good with jeans. I would happily buy brown boys boots if they were plain and simple as well rather than pink monstrosities on offer

I got DS a pair of girls snow boots from landsend and they seem to have some nice boot?

MitWho Sun 25-Sep-11 19:01:17

I'm gonna moan about something vaguely related...

My DS has been walking for months. He is confident on his feet enough to walk outside, in shops etc, not just around the house.
But because he is still only small, and only just a size 3, I cant get him "proper" shoes!!

UniS Sun 25-Sep-11 19:02:00

Having funny shape Wide high feet DS doesn't fit clarks startrite or most Geox... so He has one pair of good shoes that fit custom made ( school shoes) and assorted cheap but ill fitting trainers/ wellies etc.
The joy of custom made is that we can chose teh colour scheme. As they are for school the outers are black, but the stitching and teh inner can be any colour. Costs about 50 quid a pair but they last very well, can be re soled and can be stretched half a size. Last years shoes lasted 14 months with one stretch and one resole.

rhondajean Sun 25-Sep-11 19:02:43

Try La Redoute and Vertbaudet, they are both online and I havent looked at the ranges lately but they used to do loads of reasonably priced shoes in lots of different colours. Any I bought were well made though there is the proper fit thing with buying online of course.

If you look round the internet there are usually discount codes for both sites too, money off, free gifts etc.

Meteorite Sun 25-Sep-11 19:08:38

YANBU about the colour pink being drastically over-represented on clothes/shoes/toys.

But YABU to say "purveyors of children's shoes" instead of "shoe shops" grin

hophophippidtyhop Sun 25-Sep-11 19:15:23

Here's some links that have some non pink amongst the pink. I second lillefoot - the see kai run shoes are lovely. these look good, though mostly summer ones at present.designer shoes for kids has pink but also non pink sometimes, they have a sister site here. I haven't bought from here, but it has some contenders. I also check ebay out as well, sometimes the more expensive european brands come up a bit cheaper. I hope that helps fighting the pink!

MsScarlettInTheLibrary Sun 25-Sep-11 19:15:47

Try finding a 'girl's' school shoe for the winter term that actually covers the whole foot, you know, to protect it whilst she is climbing trees/ jumping in puddles/ running around with a whole load of other kids. I found one style which was lace up, not practical, and then was directed to the boots, but at DD's school they wear the shoes all day, including when they sit cross legged in assembly etc, so boots would never work. Apparently the boys feet deserve protection but the girls need flimsy cutaway skimpy styles.

lljkk Sun 25-Sep-11 19:17:00

Phone around MitWho, especially to smaller specialist shops. We found several fitted-size width pairs to choose from in infant size 2.5 for DS few years ago (Stompers in Norwich). I can think of at least 2 other Norwich shops that probably could have helped us.

There's Ebay, too, as you know how little wear these shoes get before being outgrown.

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