Out of the whole of the Clarks and Startrite ranges for dd's size there is only one closed girl's shoe that is not a pink trainer - and it doesn't fit her. But it's England in the winter - it rains. And we walk to and from school. Grrrrrrr.
And, while I'm on the subject of shoes, ds1 has been able to tie his shoelaces since he was 6.5y...but there aren't any shoelaces for him to tie, because you can't get lace-ups until secondary-school sizes.
Of course, were I to stump up for Continental shoes, we could get closed shoes in winter, lace-ups at age 7, beautiful styling - but we wouldn't be able to wear them to school, because they don't come in boring black or navy.
[where's a raspberry emoticon when you need one?!]
Thanks for those, TMMJ. The Clarks one is the one that doesn't fit dd, and the Startrite ones don't come in her size - even if she could do her laces yet.
Ds1 and dd have wide feet, high insteps, and narrow heels: they are very difficult to fit for shoes. With lace-ups you can get a better fit than with velcro. Besides, lace-ups don't rip the cuffs of school trousers to shreds, nor do they wear out and stop working (or if they do you can just replace the lace, rather than the whole shoe).
Isnt' it ironic, Burpie, that we worry about making sure their shoes fit well, and then have to have them walk to school - the longest, most frequent walk that they take - in wellies?
Clarks and Startrite need to get their collective acts together imo. My dnephew has had to have a note from my sister to get permission to wear black trainers to school, because they do not make proper school shoes in a small enough size for him (he was v poorly when he was born and so has always been little for his age, but he's not, like, teeny weeny or anything).
My dd is a fairly average size, and began walking properly at a fairly average age, but when we tried to get proper walking shoes for her, we were told in three or four different stores 'oh we only make one style of walking shoes in that size, and we haven't got any in stock and we can't order any and we can't say when we will have any more in' (thanks for that) before being told in Clinkards that neither Clarks nor Startrite make any walking shoes in her size, and made to stump up £47 for Baby Bottes. God knows what it is like if you have an early walker or a smaller than average child.
The problem is there is no incentive for them to improve, they ahve the kids' fitted shoe market all sewn up between them, and they know we guilt ridden mums will put up with crappy choices and conflicting advice every time cos what else are we going to do?
Stead and Simpson do a good range of closed shoes for girls.
I've always been a Clarks worshipper but this yr (dd is 8) i had exactly the same problem as you. Wandered into Stead and Simpson and found a great pair straight away. They measured her and they fit lovely. Only £14 as well.