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School shoes

(50 Posts)
Bonsoir Tue 27-Aug-13 14:23:44

Last week I was in England with DD and, as is our custom, we went to buy shoes for her at Russell & Bromley - the same branch that my mother took me and my sister too when we were little.

Only that same morning had I been reading the newspaper headlines berating the lack of exercise taken by British schoolchildren. Yet in R&B the appalling footwear that goes by the name of school shoes shouted out a large part of the problem. Even the shop assistant volunteered, when I explained that DD did not require black leather footwear, that DD would be able to run so much better in the leather trainers we were buying her.

BackforGood Tue 27-Aug-13 14:29:22

I don't know the shop that you are talking about, but my dc have all managed to run in their school shoes, in the playground.
For sport of course they put on their trainers or pumps but for all day wear, I'd much rather my dc had the support offered by school shoes before we even get on to looking smart to go to school.
Not sure why you are linking school shoes to lack of exercise though confused whether you take part in lots of exercise is in no way linked to whether you have 'proper' school shoes or not.

ShatnersBassoon Tue 27-Aug-13 14:32:10

You have never passed a British school at playtime if you think children can't run in school shoes. Obviously they're not designed for playing field sports in.

Bonsoir Tue 27-Aug-13 14:34:08

The black school shoes were not all giving proper support at all. FWIW I know quite a bit about proper shoe support as all three DC have inherited a foot condition from DP and all four of them need specialist soles and supportive shoes. That does not include thin soled shoes of the sort sold on England as school shoes and such shoes are not suitable for walking long distances (eg to school), much less running in a playground.

Bonsoir Tue 27-Aug-13 14:35:31

They may run in them, but they will run much less far and do their feet, ankles, knees and hips far more harm than if they wore trainers.

Technoprisoners Tue 27-Aug-13 14:37:47

I don't think it's so bad for younger children - girls' and boys' school shoes can be very supportive, but I've noticed that older girls' school shoes seem particularly flimsy. Slip-on, ballerina style pumps with a single thin strap across seem to be the norm. Definitely not something to walk to school in in bad weather.

What is the choice in France for school shoes, Bonsoir?

ShatnersBassoon Tue 27-Aug-13 14:38:11

You should have looked in other shops if Russell & Bromley only sold impractical shoes confused. There are definitely sturdy school shoes available in Britain.

Bonsoir Tue 27-Aug-13 14:40:03

R&B sold the shoes I was looking for (trainers) but in the town I was in it is THE destination for school shoes so all the local DC are wearing their "uniform" shoes.

Technoprisoners Tue 27-Aug-13 14:40:43

Trouble is, it's a Clarks/Start-Rite monopoly.

Bonsoir Tue 27-Aug-13 14:42:52

In France DC can wear whatever they like as school shoes though many schools ban open toes and ballerinas for safety reasons. In practice, most DC wear thick soled trainers unless it is very cold when they wear leather boots ( possibly fur lined when it is cold as most DC walk around a lot outside).

ShatnersBassoon Tue 27-Aug-13 14:43:04

So the moral of your story is that trainers are better for running in than shoes? I can't argue with that. It has always been the case.

Bonsoir Tue 27-Aug-13 14:45:49

I agree, Clark's and Start-Rite are everywhere and a lot if their shoes are very flimsy. I used to buy DD though classic Clare or Louisa Start-Rites when she was little - they are standard school shoes in the UK but she only wore them for parties as they were so rubbish for running (her choice).

Bonsoir Tue 27-Aug-13 14:47:52

So why does the UK insist on flimsy school shoes while recognizing that DC do not take enough exercise? Anything that helps them run or walk more and more easily should be encouraged, surely?

Technoprisoners Tue 27-Aug-13 14:52:48

I'm dreading the ubiquitous black ballerina school shoe when dd is older - she will want them if they're the norm.

Clark's often fall apart after a term, and there is a boy bias with the more 'sporty' styles. There seems little difference to me between them and the really cheap things you can find on eBay, certainly not enough difference to justify the price.

Technoprisoners Tue 27-Aug-13 15:02:04

The true, independent foot retailers which I was taken to as a child are becoming a thing of the past, and where they do exist, the majority of their children's stock will be Clark's and Start-Rite. There are many insidious marketing ploys with 'pester power' to get the parents to buy x shoes. Children want what their friends have. I think it's also seen as the schools' job to get our children fit, not so much the responsibility of parents. We have been moving away from the culture of walking to school for years now.

BackforGood Tue 27-Aug-13 15:21:07

The UK doesn't insist on flimsy school shoes.
As I say, I've 3 dc, eldest now 17. None of them have ever had 'flimsy' school shoes. They have all been sturdy, supportive, strong, well made shoes that they can walk and run in.
As Shatners said - go elsewhere if the particular shop you were in doesn't sell proper shoes, and that's what you wanted, but it's a big of a ridiculous leap to then say "the UK insists on flimsy school shoes" confused

TheSecondComing Tue 27-Aug-13 15:25:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sparrow8 Tue 27-Aug-13 17:39:39

Here in WA all kids that go to public schools wear trainers.. Not expensive ones but $30 pairs. I have never known so many children with foot problems that have to wear orthotics! Including my dd. the podiatrist says its so common as trainers are the worst shoes to wear unless you pay for expensive ones like acer and asics that have great support. Podiatrists recommend the sturdy black lace up Clark type shoes that my kids now have to wear to school!

meditrina Tue 27-Aug-13 17:49:12

"Uk" doesn't "insist" on flimsy shoes.

If you would stop living in the past (why on earth do you need to go to only one shoe shop when you like neither their attitude nor their stock?) and go to a decent independent shoe shop, you'd find a much greater range include properly supportive styles.

Or just try one of the supermarkets - they have a huge range of trainer style black shoes (and they're made in the same factories as R&B).

Theas18 Tue 27-Aug-13 17:53:41

Meh. My kids don't wear trainers or flimsy none supportive school shoes. Neither would either sort be tolerated by uniform policy at school.

AChickenCalledKorma Tue 27-Aug-13 21:48:50

I can see both sides of this one. Yes, there are some lovely, supportive shoes available for active children. But they are often from the most expensive ranges. And there is also a lot of thin, unsupportive dross sold in the name of "school shoes" especially at Clarks.

I will never understand why schools are so allergic to trainers - they seem to me by far the most practical shoe for active children - particularly at primary school age.

chauffeurmummy Tue 27-Aug-13 23:18:13

My daughter is 6 but since going into uniform at nursery at not quite 3 years old she has always had very sensible, sturdy, start-rite buckle (well actually Velcro) shoes. I don't in any way think they are remotely 'flimsy' and she has absolutely been able to run around in them - and is extremely active.

She has trainers for the appropriate times, however I would not wish her to wear trainers all the time as aren't they awfully hot?

BackforGood Wed 28-Aug-13 00:23:21

AChicken - see Sparrow8's post at 17:39:39. Trainers are not supportive enough for developing / growing feet to be wearing all day, every day.

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 28-Aug-13 00:43:20

This year, I bought DS boot type trainers from the hiking shop. His coat was bought there too as I'm tired of all the shote being sold out there. He has to wear plimsoles inside though. I would love to get him something more supportive and useful, but the school insist on fucking plimsoles.angry

Bonsoir Wed 28-Aug-13 07:18:23

Obviously unsupportive, poor quality trainers exist too.

Surely it would be better for DC to wear shoes that were both supportive and enabled them to walk and run with great ease, on a daily basis? I don't think trainers have to be especially hot - DD has very different trainers in the summer to those she wears in the colder months.

Boots are best in winter.

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