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To think I am NOT going to damage my DS's feet forever just because I don't get him 'fitted'?

(125 Posts)
angel1976 Tue 27-Oct-09 21:55:58

Ok, so DS is PFB. When he first started walking, we took him to Clarks to be duly fitted and my parents bought him his first pair of shoes (costs £28! shock). Since then, he's had two more pairs of Clarks shoes and now I just cannot be arsed bear to do the whole shoe fitting thing again...

So he has one pair of shoes now - they are very cool Adidas Superstars trainers (he's 20 months old btw) that I bought on sale so not expensive at all. Thought they seem very comfy. And I have bought him a pair of fake Converse canvas sneakers from Next during the sale for when he goes into the next size.

My MIL (whom I do like mostly) was appalled when I happened to mention that DS has only one pair of shoes that he wears everywhere (including nursery) and they were the trainers (so not 'fitted' professionally). Well, once a week, I put his bare foot against the sole of the shoe and as long as they look like they fit, I think it's fine. It's not as if he is coming home with red marks on his feet or he's complaining his feet are sore.

Honestly, I want to know how many mums here take the whole shoe fitting thing seriously? I may now take DS to get his feet measured just so I don't feel so guilty but I hate the look of leather shoes and trainers just look so much more comfy. Am I seriously going to be damaging his feet for life just because I don't get his shoes 'fitted'? I also throw all the shoes he has outgrown off into the washing machine and dry them so that DS2 (due anyday!) can wear them and I think MIL's jaw hit the floor for a second time when I said that... I do come from another culture (my parents, when they visited, couldn't believe it when we did the whole Clarks shoe fitting thing! grin) where this is a fairly foreign concept and I am sure we haven't suffered from it.

Help me NOT feel so guilty! Thanks!

pigletmania Tue 27-Oct-09 21:58:31

You could always get his feet measured in clarks and not buy them and go somewhere else.

CuppaTeaJanice Tue 27-Oct-09 22:02:38

DS has had one pair of Clarks shoes, only because we were going to a wedding and there were no other shoe shops in town.

I think if your childs feet are an average shape, i.e not really wide or with a high instep, then there's not really the necessity to spend £30 a pop on Clarks shoes.

Or you could always get him measured in Clarks then buy the shoes elsewhere.

defineme Tue 27-Oct-09 22:02:58

I'm not sure really. I don't think the holding the foot against the sole is the best way.
Can you remember what they do in the shoe shop- feeling across the topfor movement, looking at them when they walk and so on. I don't think it's impossible to fit your own kid's shoes, but kids bones are soft and growing - it could be an issue if it's wrong.
If he was an average width then it's better- I think all kid's shoes are an F width in general shops-so If they're an g or h like my kids then you have to go to a specialist shop like clarks for the right width.
Sorry not to be more supportive, but you should see my mil's feet and it was all down to shit shoes when she was a kid.

Ewe Tue 27-Oct-09 22:03:24


I usually buy my DD's shoes in France and they don't seem to do this weird measuring thing. They have size 2,3,4,5 (or 18, 19 etc) and that is it, you try them on and buy the ones that fit.

I just don't see it as necessary and they aren't even particularly accurate in my experience, had DD measured, duly bought shoes they said were perfect and they cut into her feet.

I don't think it is that hard to find and buy shoes that fit a child, if a 15yr old sales assistant can do it then I rate my chances.

diddl Tue 27-Oct-09 22:05:15

Can´t help you-I loathe trainers unless for sports!

Are Clarks the only shop that measures, then?

RubberDuck Tue 27-Oct-09 22:06:09

Absolutely not unreasonable. Startrite's site have a great set of videos showing you how to measure and fit shoes correctly. I don't buy any 'fitted' shoes for my kids now, just measure at home then check for a good fit myself in the shop.

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 27-Oct-09 22:07:30

Message withdrawn

allaboutme Tue 27-Oct-09 22:09:39

I'd take him to a shoe fitting shop (doesnt ahve to be Clarks, there are loads of independents). Get the size checked, but also the width and instep etc too.
IF he has normal width feet and everything else normal/average then go ahead and buy shoes in correct size from wherever takes your fancy!
DS1 is average joe with his feet so I do that with him.
DS2 has wide feet and even though his foot would look ok on a shoe if I held it on the bottom to check the size, it wouldnt be wide enough to fit properly. I get his shoes properly fitted in shop.

Also I never hand down shoes. Its the only thing I havent handed down tbh. Shoes mold to the wearers feet so its better to have new cheap shoes than expensive handed down ones I think.

curiositykilled Tue 27-Oct-09 22:12:21

You shouldn't re-use the shoes, especially if they get a lot of use, because they'll have moulded to your older child's foot. There is more to checking the fit than what you describe but well-fitted shoes are necessary for growing feet, I feel. Children's foot bones are flexible and bear the weight of their entire bodies, they can end up mis-shapen in poorly fitting shoes (would be better to be bare-foot) just think of foot-binding practices (clearly you are not binding their feet but it's a clear if extreme example of what I mean).

This does not mean you need clarks shoes, you are perfectly capable of learning how to fit shoes yourself and in fact, should always do this wherever you buy shoes. Relying on a clarks or start-rite assistant to fit shoes without checking them is not a good plan.

Here's a site about children's foothealth where you can learn how to fit shoes and why it's important.

angel1976 Tue 27-Oct-09 22:13:12

Argh... Not helping the guilt here. It's not just the expensive shoes in very limited designs... It's the faff of driving to a specific Clarks shop and then trying to get them to measure DS's feet while he is trying to drag half the shelf full of shoes down...

Also, he was given two different widths between fittings so I dutifully bought a different width as suggested by shop assistant and the width was all wrong (could obviously see where they cut into the top of his feet). His trainers just seem to fit so comfortably now... Thanks RubberDuck, will have a look at the videos when I get a chance! I was hoping to be a unanimous YANBU so I can stop feeling the guilt! blush

angel1976 Tue 27-Oct-09 22:15:47

Ok, guilt overload. blush

<angel1976 sits in corner to sulk and ponders the uses of a whole load of fairly good condition used children's shoes...>

RubberDuck Tue 27-Oct-09 22:17:58

I hand down sandals, wellie boots and trainers (only the latter if they're not totally trashed, which is rare - usually an occasion where eldest outgrew horribly rapidly). Never ever had a problem.

The only time we've had a problem with sore feet/rubbing shoes was a pair of fitted Clarks. Go figure.

allaboutme Tue 27-Oct-09 22:20:01

Yes, I hand down crocs and wellies too

MuGGGhoulWump Tue 27-Oct-09 22:22:41

I bought Clarks once when DD was a toddler. Stupidly I thought they must know best and bought DD a pair of shoes that were so big she tripped over her feet and then gave her blisters.

Never again, I fit them myself now and use mainly cheaper shops. I do the whole feeling across the foot, checking toes for growth, getting her to walk, and she is 8 now so quite capable of telling me what they feel like.

I couldn't afford Clarks for years anyway. I realised the other day I can now, but ordered her Converse instead.
Her Shoe Zone School shoes are still fine.

whydobirdssuddenlyappear Tue 27-Oct-09 22:22:52

If you go onto the Start-rite website, you can print out some weird graphy paper that allows you to get an accurate measurement (you take a picture of your kid's foor on it and upload it), or you can measure the length and circumference of the foot and input it into the website and it gives you the size. They also sell foot gauges. I've used it before when my kids needed new shoes, and the shoes I bought using those measurements fitted better than the ones that were professionally fitted...

MuGGGhoulWump Tue 27-Oct-09 22:31:26

Angel1976, give the shoes to a Charity Shop. I've bought DD many a pair of second hand shoes, and a kind MNetter gave me some last year when I was really struggling. Actually they were Clarks and fitted well and DD loved them because they had the toys in!

Someone will be glad of them.

pipWereRabbit Tue 27-Oct-09 22:32:04

Women's Hour had an item on this recently and the podiatrist was surprisingly laid back about fitting children's shoes yourselves from supermarkets etc.
Listen here if you want to know more.

alwayslookingforanswers Tue 27-Oct-09 22:33:37

I get the DS's feet measured in Clarkes and then go elsewhere.

My mum always did the same thing - we never had "properly fitted" shoes......

Beachcomber Tue 27-Oct-09 22:37:07

Does seem to be a particularly British thing.

I live in France and nearly everyone I know puts shoes away to hand down to younger siblings. If they don't fit or go with the season when the child is ready to wear them they will be given to a friend.

I specifically asked about this at both the doctors and the local posh shoe shop and both said as long as the shoes fit and they aren't badly worn or worn down unevenly then there was no problem.

alwayslookingforanswers Tue 27-Oct-09 22:37:15

I hand down DS2's shoes to DS3 - but can't hand down DS1's shoes to either of them because DS2 and 3 have stupidly wide feet and DS1's are average width.

Haunty27 Tue 27-Oct-09 22:38:14

Angel, used to do this with pfb and then in clarke's having been fitted they didn't have the size in the shoe I wanted so assistant offered the nearest size up.

Never did it again and dcs feet are fine. Just work it out for yourself. What can a 16 year old shop assistant offer that you can't do yourself?

piscesmoon Tue 27-Oct-09 22:41:25

It is one thing that I think essential and I always had them fitted when young.

alwayslookingforanswers Tue 27-Oct-09 22:45:31

you see I just can't get my head about it being 100% essential when so many people around the world have perfectly healthy feet (cracked heels and athletes foot aside wink) yet never had "fitted" shoes and wore hand-me-downs.

<<<<<<glances at DH's feet - although perhaps foot binding might be in order if I want to prevent having 4 sets of boats in the house once the DS's are older>>>>>>>> grin

angel1976 Tue 27-Oct-09 22:47:01

<Majorly CONFUSED but could be down to major preggers brain rather than very sound advice from other MNetters!>

I might take DS into a Startrite shop and see if they inspire more confidence than the Clarks shop... Thanks all! If anyone has any more advice, feel free to confuse me some more. grin

<Still pondering the pile of shoes that I still might keep just in case DS2 happens to be the same size as DS1!>

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