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To not want to pay £25+ for a pair of Clark's children's shoes?

(110 Posts)
ophelia275 Fri 15-Jun-12 10:54:52

My son goes through shoes quite quickly but I cannot afford to spend £25+ on Clark's or Startrite shoes each time. I always get the guilt trip from the other parents at my ds school that if you don't get your kids feet properly measured and don't buy "fitted" Clark's or Startrite shoes, your kids feet will fall off or they will become horribly disfigured social outcasts.

Anyway, I normally buy Mercury brand which are cheap but have lasted longer than any pair of Clark's. But I am actually eyeing up a pair of slightly worn Kickers shoes on ebay that new would cost £45+ but are less than £5. Is buying used shoes the ultimate in bad mummying?

TuftyFinch Fri 15-Jun-12 11:48:01

DS (5) is an E fitting and our last shoe shopping trip ended in tears. Clarks. Russel and Bromley and Jones refused to sell us any shoes because they weren't happy with the fit. Previous to this and now he has had Kickers with velcro straps. They last until he grows out of them. I wouldn't buy them second hand as he'll be in them alot but look on Javarri as they've got some Kickers reduced at the moment.

amicissimma Fri 15-Jun-12 11:49:50

Get them one size larger and put insoles in. I've done that with my DCs and never had any problems.

Scholes34 Fri 15-Jun-12 11:50:49

For the amount of walking my secondary school children have to do in a day, I always ensure I buy good quality shoes. I wouldn't buy second hand and I would be reluctant to buy "cheap" shoes. TK Maxx, outlet stores and the sales are good places to go for the quality at a good price.

equinox Fri 15-Jun-12 11:53:35

I have to say Clarks aren't very hard wearing in my experience. I have still been buying them but twice they didn't last the course so not all they are cracked up to be!

valiumredhead Fri 15-Jun-12 11:56:14

I'd love to pay £25 for ds's shoes, we are into the £40 plus range now he is 11 <gulp!>

We always have to get Clarks shoes, nothing else fits!

Mama1980 Fri 15-Jun-12 12:02:10

I only buy Clarks for my ds about 2-3 pairs a year in my experience they wear well he is super active and the only time i bought some trainers from tescos they fell apart in weeks whereas the Clarks last. I shop jn a Clarks outlet though half the time prices there are very good got 3 pairs of doodles for the summer for 30£.

minko Fri 15-Jun-12 12:03:21

I had a shocking Clarks experience the other day. Girl measured DS's feet on the machine - said he was a 13. Brings out shoes and tries them on, declares that they fit. Taking them to the till I realise they are 12s. So we start again. She says that 13s far too big - the ones we chose 'come up large'. Surely if Clarks pride themselves on the science of shoe fitting all the shoes should be exactly the same!? We left without any shoes, though admittedly we then headed off to Startrite...

LoveHandles88 Fri 15-Jun-12 12:29:17

Get their feet measured at Clarks or Startrite shops and then search the shoes you want on ebay or similar? And hit the sales when they happen!!! YANBU

AKE2012 Fri 15-Jun-12 12:37:49

I buy Clarks for school n cheap shoes for everything else. My child goes through shoes like she is eating them. I dont think theres anything wrong with cheap or second hand shoes. As long as they are washed before wearing.
I dont think cheap shoes always ruin your feet.
I always wore Clarks shoes up til i left school 8 years ago and i have a bunion forming. I very rarely wear high heels, mainly trainers, boots and pumps. A lot of the time i believe its genetics and not down to footwear.

poppy283 Fri 15-Jun-12 12:43:45

You can print off a size gauge from the startright website. They also have an incredibly complicated-looking system where you take loads of photos of your child's feet on a grid and it automatically tells you the right size.

I'm going to use the printed one today, I get Clark's shoes from eBay, as long as they're hardly worn (ask for a photo of the soles) then I don't see the problem.

poppy283 Fri 15-Jun-12 12:45:37

... Sorry make that I will get startrite shoes from eBay as that's the measuring system i'll be using!

TalHotBlond Fri 15-Jun-12 12:56:26

I've always been told that children have to have properly fitted shoes and mine both wear Clarks but we live near an outlet which is about £10 cheaper per pair than the shop in town so I don't mind so much. They also have sandals from high street shops which they wear occasionally. Second hand shoess are usually a bad idea.

albertswearengen Fri 15-Jun-12 12:59:07

I bought one of the gauges from the Start rite website and use that. MY DS has funny shapped feet - narrow foot but broad toes as well as an insert for hypermobility. We used to go to a specialist kids shoe shop but the v expensive shoes they recommended the last couple of times gave him awful blisters and didn't take into account his weird feet. We ended up getting him shoes from Sainsburys that fit him better. We also had to return Clarks shoes within a week as they were hurting him and when they remeasured them they found it was the wrong size and width.

I live near an outlet centre and I'm now getting his shoes from there where I can check the fit myself.
Fitting shoes is not rocket science and if you read how to do it online you can find cheaper alternatives.

FredFredGeorge Fri 15-Jun-12 12:59:40

At our school when I was little Clarks used to come in and measure your feet, and if they were right size, you got free shoes to wear and report back on. I never got free shoes, the lesson I learnt from that is that Clarks shoes don't fit everyone - that's probably not the lesson they wanted to give of course (they were just rigging their test so no-one with sizes at the edges would give their shoes a hard time or not fit just right)

One of the most interesting things though is how little the modern research backs up most of what you're sold in "right fitting shoes", shoes which force an arch for example are at best useless and at worst harmful. As little a structure as possible that fits is probably best, and there's no reason why that needs to be expensive.

anotherdayanotherdestiny Fri 15-Jun-12 13:20:25

I usually buy Clarks or Strartrite for school and then high street for everything else. My DD has funny feet and I do sometimes have to buy her width fitting casual shoes but it is really unnecessary if your child has average width feet. I think that the fitting is a bit of a con. On the continent there is no such thing as having your shoes fitted. I feel perfectly able to check the fitting and my children are able to tell me if they are comfortable

MammaTJ Fri 15-Jun-12 13:25:56

I have been buying cheapy shoes for my DD, none of them ever last long. I am seriously thinking about buying her a pair of clarkes but if she trashes them in the same way she has done all her shoes in the past, she would be in so much trouble!

Anyone had a child who is hard on shoes and found an improvement in Clarkes shoes?

januaryjojo Fri 15-Jun-12 13:32:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Imperfectionist Fri 15-Jun-12 13:33:55

Interestingly (to me), where I live (Switzerland) there is no such thing as width fittings in shoes, and no such shoe-fitting culture as we see in Clarks and Start Rite. Similarly in Italy, Spain, France and other European countries.

But it seems to me that continental Europeans don't have any foot problems resulting from not having had fitted shoes growing up, that we don't have in the UK. Generally, in fact, continental Europeans are usually healthier than Brits in many ways (although possible poorer). So, my conclusion is that in the UK, we worry too much about fitting our children's shoes, and part of that is because WE ARE BEING SOLD A MYTH by Clarks and Start-rite in order to buy their shoes!

(Disclaimer - I do buy Clarks and Start-rite shoes when back in the UK, as they are actually a third of the price of leather shoes compared to where I live, and I do like them in any case. But I don't feel bad when I put DD in supermarket shoes either).

Imperfectionist Fri 15-Jun-12 13:34:58

Sorry, just re-read my post. I don't know why I even mentioned economics, but clearly the Swiss aren't struggling, I was thinking of the Greeks and Spanish when I wrote 'poorer'. Irrelevant to the subject anyway, please ignore me!

MarysBeard Fri 15-Jun-12 13:35:47

Bought DD1 a pair of Startrite school shoes in Sept - cost over £40. Moaned about them from the start, very difficult to fasten and unfasten (even for me) as leather v stiff & (IMO) poor design of buckle. Thought it might change with wear but didn't. Ended up buying some Sainsbury's velcro fastening shoes for about £15 which lasted about 6 weeks before completely coming apart at the front, have superglued them and hope they will get through to the end of term, but one is starting to come apart again - gah!

MarysBeard Fri 15-Jun-12 13:39:03

By the way, you can get a Clarks or Startrite shoe gauge for £8 from John Lewis.

IKilledIgglePiggle Fri 15-Jun-12 13:40:36

DS1 has gone through TWO pairs, yes that's TWO pairs of Clarks school shoes sine September, the sole came away from the leather on the first pair and the second pair will be fit for the bin come end of term. They were both the Bootleg ones and over £30 each.

DS2s seem ok so I have begun to wonder if DS1 is dragging his feet around and not undoing the volcro properly, same with holes in his school trousers, at the knees.....and now he is in summer uniform, holes in his actual knees.

MamaMary Fri 15-Jun-12 13:45:14

Gosh, Januaryjojo, I wish I'd known about that website. I've just spent £38 on a pair of 5G Startrite shoes for my 23 month old!! I had no choice - no outlets or children's shoe shops near me - very, very little choice. sad

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 15-Jun-12 13:51:35

I used to go to Clarks because I had this idea that was where you had to go ao your child would end up with malformed feet.

I went 3 times before I saw the light. Even to my untrained eye the fitters did not have a clue.

Now go to an independent shoe shop which is fecking expensive but I completely trust that the owner knows what she is doing. Interestingly none of thw shoes in her shop are fitted by width, all European sizing...

MamaMary Fri 15-Jun-12 13:53:54

My DD's feet just won't fit into anything less than a G width, don't understand how European system works???

Equally my own feet are very narrow and there are loads of shoes I can't wear because of that.

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