First shoes(14 Posts)
Has anyone been anywhere other than Clarks for first shoes?
Independent shoe shop. DD hasn't yet had Clarks shoes from clarks, but did have a pair of Clarks shoes from John Lewis last year. We have a few fab children's shoe shops in the area.
For first shoes when toddling (to give a little more grip & purely for indoors use), I used Daisyroots. I think after that we used Clarks (which I wasn't 100% happy with, as they weren't that great).
Since then we found a good 'end-of-range' shoe shop that sells both Clarks and Start-Rite. DD has v.wide, wedge-shaped feet so it can be hard to get a good fit for her. Another good shop we found was Russell & Bromley. I don't know whether it is purely the Oxford branch, or whether they are all the same, but they have a great range of lots of different brands and the staff went to a lot of effort to make sure her shoes fitted properly (they also normally advise going back after a few weeks for a re-fit, to ensure they are still comfortable).
If you get summer sandals, and your child has wide feet, try to find some that have a velcro fastening over the toes as well as the ankle. A few years ago Clarks did no velcro over toes and the width only went up to an F fitting. No good for a child with an HH width.
Years ago when we lived in the Northants area, we used Shoebox. They are a mum-owned business who import nice/pretty/colourful shoes from other parts of Europe. They also cared a great deal about the fit and were well-priced. Lasted really well, too. Hopefully your child will have average feet, but we have often found that in the higher width fittings, there is often only one or two choices per manufacturer - so DD will see all the pretty shoes in somewhere like Clarks, but often find that only one
seriously ugly style is made in her size that season (according to the staff at the branch). European shoes seem to have a much better range of choice.
Totally agree about European shoes - DD has had some lovely Angulus shoes and boots (a Danish brand). The first pair were in a sale but were still eyewateringly expensive, the next pair were from ebay which was quite a risk but turned out well. Her current ones are ECCO (also a Danish brand) and they both come up quite wide. DD also had leather padders, mostly from Inch Blue as her nursery insists on slippers, even before she could walk but I am not keen on her feet being in restrictive shoes all day.
Thankyou breatheslowly and Karen
How do independent shops come in for price?
I don't know about price, I think for the same brands they are likely to be similar prices (e.g. Startrite), but the brands I mentioned are more expensive than Clarks. DD's winter ankle boots were ECCO for £45, with similar Clarks ones at £32. I think the fitting service was better though and the woman who fitted them tried the next size up to see if we could get away with them for longer (we could) so they look like they will last until DD needs summer shoes. DD is a G width, so we have the same issue as Karen, but to a lesser extent and there are lots of shoes in Clarks which don't come in DD's width, but this isn't a problem with the other brands.
Oh how I remember the whole width fitting thing - I had really narrow feet as a child, would be dragged along to Clarks and then given a choice of two pairs of shoes in the entire shop, never the really fab ones I had my eye on cos of my crap width fitting.
I bear a grudge to this day - especially since even with all of that - I STILL have shite feet!
DS had cruisers from startrite then a clarks pair (a day later he decided to walk).
His first proper shoes were clarks then he undid and lost one. Ive got him a decent pair of trainers until spring when he's walking more! At the moment he runs about the park a couple of times a week and I always take his shoes off inside (he takes them off outside...)
Dd has just got her first pair of.shoes and we did go to Clarkes. £16 doodle ones, fit well and can be chucked in the washing machine.
I'm going to clarks in the morning! No independents nearby and it's not worth a bus journey
£16 sounds very reasonable Mortified
Janey- I know that sinking feeling when baby has one shoe on... Have retraced my steps a fair bit with ds1 !
No I do not want a pair of shoes with a pirate on. I'd like some in brown please, pref leather if that's not asking too much.
What you only have three styles in the shop...
How about ordering some in?
Oh...too much trouble for you.
cheers! What a lovely experience I had in your shop this morning.
That sounds really poor. Our local independent chain will move stock between branches and order in for you, but they have a great range so we haven't needed to so far. I hope you are more sucessful in the next shop you try.
Have a look at happy little soles. Sorry can't link as on my phone. My son had a pair of Livie & Luca shoes as his first pair. The website talks about the barefoot revolution & how their little feet need to be as close to being barefoot as possible.
Ladies of MN thank you SO much for the recommendations!! DD's nursery are being very forceful that she at 15mo wears shoes all day. We are against this and have been sending her in wearing socks with grips and padders from the 80's that i wore because i was convinced that nothing like that existed anymore!! Her shoes for outside are startrights from Russell and Bromley, the service was first class! We'd gone there after going to Clarkes and being told by their specially trained fitter "we don't have anything in your daughters size but I've brought out a SMALLER pair for her to try". We walked out. That was after waiting for 50 mins to be seen with only 2 people in front of us! never going back!!
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