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to not buy my children Clarks school shoes?

(123 Posts)
MrsSocks Fri 29-Jul-16 10:15:30

I have always used Clarks for my DS as he has very wide feet and I struggle finding shoes elsewhere that he is comfy in and I believed them to be of better quality and durability than elsewhere.....however, he has completed 2 years of school and in that time has gone through 4 pairs of shoes, not because he has grown out of them but because they have literally fallen apart around his feet. The last pair in particular looked tatty and old almost as soon as I purchased them. I have also had to resort in buying half a size bigger than he measures each time (at Clarks's suggestion) as their widest width is still too narrow for him so feel the 'made to measure' advantage of Clarks shoes is somewhat defeated.

Now here I am again, looking at £40+ for Clarks school shoes for DS and DD, who starts in September, thinking there must be better and cheaper options! Where does everyone buy their school shoes from and how have they found them? I really want something of a good quality, good for their feet, that will actually last more than 5 minutes! I've been looking at Next, Marks and Spencer, Matalan, Asda, etc but would really love some idea of how they fair.......

Thank you smile

scaryteacher Fri 29-Jul-16 10:17:40

Strategies are the best. I wouldn't touch Clarks as they tried to se me shoes too large to accommodate the width. Ds was an h width, and Startrite does shoes wide enough in the correct size.

BerriesandLeaves Fri 29-Jul-16 10:22:12

Start rite do width sizes. I'm not sure who else. I don't think it's a cheaper option than Clarks though.

Atlas15 Fri 29-Jul-16 10:23:45

I've neve Ben in a clarks in my life.
Sainsburys do good school shoe.

Enkopkaffetak Fri 29-Jul-16 10:26:36

Did not find Clarkes shoes worked well at all. Oddly enough the longest lasting ones were LellieKellies. (wont work for your ds I know)

Personally I prefer independent shoe shops. So may be worth a look around?

Missgraeme Fri 29-Jul-16 10:30:37

Asda =3 week lifespan
Tesco =5weeks
Brantano =2months.
All girls shoes.
Boys Tesco = from Xmas until broke up July!!

tshirtsuntan Fri 29-Jul-16 10:33:32

Hush puppies are great for wide feet and lasted ages (10 months still fitting and looked like New)

Sofabitch Fri 29-Jul-16 10:35:12

No they are shit. And they mostly do crap dolly style shoes for girls.

CastielsClevererBetterSister Fri 29-Jul-16 10:36:19

Wyndsors. Pretty robust but cheap enough to buy 3 pairs for the same as one lot of Clark's.

champagneplanet Fri 29-Jul-16 10:37:18

M&S girls shoes I have found are good, lasted us September to Easter and, only bought new as they'd gotten too small.

Replaced with new ones from from Asda as they were only going to be for one term and they have lasted surprisingly well.

I personally am not fussed on Clarks, they scuff easily and I've found the sizes come up completely differently to everywhere else. Also the width fittings are never consistent on each shoe so therefore pointless getting measured!

monkeyfacegrace Fri 29-Jul-16 10:37:21

My son has killed Clarks, Startright, Timberland, and supermarket shoes. He even killed Regatta walking style black trainers.

Then we found some Kangol ones at sportsdirect for £18. He gets 12-15 weeks out of them which is amazing by his standards! I just keep buying them over and over....

MotherOfGlob Fri 29-Jul-16 10:50:53

I agree, Clarks are not robust enough. We converted to Start Rite Hat Trick, not a cheaper option but did last loads longer due to the rubber toe bit.

DS1(5) has wide feet and they're fine for him. Lasted loads longer than supermarket school shoes (we tried ALL of them when we realised Clarks were rubbish).

Pengweng Fri 29-Jul-16 11:01:07

The DTs can wear black trainers to school so that's what they are wearing next year for Reception. But someone recommended Doc Martin shoes as school shoes and said they last the whole year (unless they are grown out of). My two have really slow growing feet. They have been a size 7 for about a year so i think i would be ok paying the money for them if they got the whole school year out of them.

They are about £50/£60 so not much more expensive than clarks especially if you only have to buy one pair a year instead of 2-3 pairs.

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 29-Jul-16 11:04:28


I'm still struggling to find a shoe that lasts ddw more than a term before the heels wear right down or they look like she's been dragged behind a bike

MrsSocks Fri 29-Jul-16 11:10:44

Thanks for the replies. It seems I'm not the only one that's fallen out with Clarks. Its mad that they recommend buying a size bigger than they measure confused

Enko DD will love you for recommending Lellikellies! She so far failed to convince me into buying a pair because she likes the free gifts

Its such a shame that school shoes these days seem completely unfit for purpose!

PatMullins Fri 29-Jul-16 11:11:23

Dr Martens do school shoes smile

Boosiehs Fri 29-Jul-16 11:13:13

Russell and Bromley have been brilliant for my 2 year old. Lasted amazingly despite nursery wear and tear. No more expensive than Clarks either

teacherwith2kids Fri 29-Jul-16 11:18:49


DS has weird (and large) feet - wide front, very narrow ankle, strange high bony lump on the top. He plays playground football, walks mile to school, and is very, very hard on his shoes.

Startrite, then their Rhino brand once they're into adult sizes. You want Warrior /Sherman - the type where an extended sole comes up over the toe, and then a teflon-type material does the next cm or so.

TheRealKimmySchmidt63 Fri 29-Jul-16 11:20:18

good post - I like the look of startrite

Daisygarden Fri 29-Jul-16 11:21:10

To be honest it's probably his age and nothing will last that long. Kids will scuff their shoes almost the instant you put them on. I get by with the liquid squeezy polish to colour in the scuffed patches and keep them looking neat in the mornings.

Four pairs of shoes in 2 years is not actually that many pairs though? His feet would definitely have grown at least one if not two sizes in one year? I would say they need 2 pairs of shoes per school year just for size growth let alone scuff/wear.

I have found my DC's shoes last longer (as in look better and not as battered) as they get older (as do trouser knees!)

Always bought Clarks but tried Tesco as a cheaper alternative. They are cheaper but they lasted far less than Clarks. Also DS said they were clumpy and heavy. (that could just be his feet though).

Also tried Marks & Spencer. They were OK. Still didn't last though and being leather they still weren't super cheap.

Startrite are good but no less expensive, sometimes a bit more expensive than Clarks. Have personally found them narrow fitting.

Hockeydude Fri 29-Jul-16 11:22:22

Four pairs of shoes in two years is reasonable imo. Constant day in day out all weather and playing with 6 months life is fine.

memyselfandaye Fri 29-Jul-16 11:23:15

Ive bought two pairs of leather Pod's from 24 studio, they were on sale for £10.

I gave up on Clarks too.

teacherwith2kids Fri 29-Jul-16 11:23:38

Choices for girls are AWFUL, but again Startrite are more robust. You want their 'higher up the foot' styles like Emily, Samba, Charlotte, maybe Scissors - and once girls get bigger, their Burford lace-up style is almost as robust as boys' shoes.

Banana99 Fri 29-Jul-16 11:24:18

I also vote for hush puppies - DD has wide feet and she destroys her shoes. Clarks shoes are just not up to the job

Scoose Fri 29-Jul-16 11:25:45

I have always bought start rite for dd I did branch out and bought a petasil pair from a shop in Harrogate they lasted well then I bought a pedi per pair which were expensive and only lasted three months! So I'm sticking with start rite in future

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