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School shoes... Are Clarks crap?

(63 Posts)
MayDayChild Fri 03-Jun-11 21:51:09

I'm waiting a few more months to buy PFB her first boring black school shoes.
BUT
I have read a few reviews that Clarks are crap.
Can anyone clarify? Are they crap as in they are the same quality as say Next or even George shoes but thrice as expensive ? Or not worth their money?

What are good shoes? Startrite, lelli Kelly or the other Euro brands like Ecco or Geox.
If I'm gonna spend £32 in Clarks then might I be better spending £40 on something else?
She has flat skinny feet so I've only ever really bought Clarks before.

thenightsky Fri 03-Jun-11 21:52:35

Clarkes are ok... they did my two kids just fine throughout their school years to about size 9 (wide) for DS at 16.

ceebeegeebies Fri 03-Jun-11 21:54:13

I bought DS1 a pair of Next school shoes when he started school in September - within a matter of weeks, they were falling apart.

Had to buy a new pair in the Christmas holidays - bought some from Clarks and they are still going strong now (a little bit tatty but that is just DS1 and his shoes grin)

LynetteScavo Fri 03-Jun-11 21:56:32

I like Ricosta for my boys and Startrite for DD (especially school shoes).

AgonyBeetle Fri 03-Jun-11 22:01:00

Get measured in Clarks and/or start-rite, then buy the shoes from Shoes for kids or ebay. Loads of BNIB school shoes on ebay, come the tail end of the summer holidays.

quality is randomly variable ime -- I bought ds a pair of start-rites and they fell apart within 6 weeks. So I bought a pair of £8.99 ones from Shoe Zone and they lasted a whole year. But the next lot of Shoe Zone ones fell apart really quickly. Some Clarks shoes are ok -- I've had them last a full year, and other ones that have lasted half a term. But don't get the ones with the toys in the heel, they do fall apart. And Lelli Kelly are the work of the devil.

The ones that really last best are the continental brands -- Angulus and Bisgaard are scandinavian ones (best for wide feet), Ricosta is German and a bit narrower. I like the look of the Petasil ones on the Shoes for Kids site, but haven't tried them.

Beamur Fri 03-Jun-11 22:01:08

Clarks are in the main, fine. I've had one pair that were rubbish but they were fine about taking them back.
I take DD to an independent shop which sells Clarks, Startrite and other brands too and see which fits best. I like Startrite shoes, but they just don't fit her feet. She's just got a new pair of Geox which I haven't bought before.
Lelli Kelly are very pretty & girly, but I have no idea if they are any good - but they are really expensive!

MayDayChild Fri 03-Jun-11 22:24:33

Thanks all certainly will avoid the very cheap and lelli Kelly. Thankfully she doesn't know what they are as we don't have sky grin

DontCallMeBaby Fri 03-Jun-11 22:54:30

Second not getting the ones with the toys in the heel - no problems with the damn things being got out and played with, fortunately, but the little compartment for the toy has made the inner ruck up. DD is I swear going to get through this year on the one pair of shoes, but it's been more touch and go with these than the previous two years' pairs of Startrites.

Rangirl Fri 03-Jun-11 23:57:27

I always buy Ricosta or the like from local independent store Cost about £46 a pair but not somethin I want to cut corners on

vanessasmum Fri 03-Jun-11 23:58:44

i was in shoe zone the other day to get dd some sandals, and noticed they had not a single sandal in size 12. i mentioned it to the sales assistant who said "it's a very popular size: kids tend to stick at that size for ages" so perhaps its worth forking out for shoes at that size, as they might then last the whole year....

sunnyday123 Sat 04-Jun-11 07:40:28

i got my DD lelli kelly and they were fab and still looked great 6.5 months later. The leather on them is so much softer and they are less bulky than most school shoes. New clarks lasted 4 weeks before looking scruffy. John lewis own brand are good.

pinkgirlythoughts Sat 04-Jun-11 10:23:13

Clarks and StartRite are both good, StartRite slightly more expensive. I also like Hush Puppies. Petasil are cheap shite... only not particularly cheap! When I worked in an independent children's shoe shop, Petasil and Buckle My Shoe were the brands that always seemed to get returned after they'd fallen apart after a few weeks.

If you buy Clarks shoes from the internet, do take them to a Clarks shop to have them fitted properly before your child wears them, as the fit can differ between different styles, so for example, they might measure 12f, but actually need a 12g in some styles. Clarks shops will check the fit of Clarks shoes even if they were bought elsewhere, but independent shops may not.

redskyatnight Sat 04-Jun-11 10:57:24

We've had no problems with Clarks - this is the 3rd year running that DS will get through the whole school year on 1 pair of shoes. DD has had 2 pairs of school shoes this year - but that was due to her feet growing rapidly, not to shoes getting worn out.
One has very wide and one very narrow feet as well.

mumoverseas Sat 04-Jun-11 11:11:37

I have turned into my mother as all 4 of my DC have always had Clarks shoes. They all have very wide feet so I know that I can get proper fitting shoes from them and they are good quality and last.

Agree about not getting those damm dolls though. DD lost the arm from one of hers the first week she had them and was traumatised!

mrz Sat 04-Jun-11 11:11:57

I've never had any success/luck with Clarkes apart from the doodles in the summer

dikkertjedap Sat 04-Jun-11 11:23:08

Ricosta is much much better than Clarkes IMO, I would try to find an independent shoe shop if I were you given how many school shoes they go through over the next years so well worth the effort.

dikkertjedap Sat 04-Jun-11 11:24:23

My main problem with Clarkes is that they look so scruffy so quickly. I have to thoroughly polish them EVERY DAY, I do not have that problem with Ricosta.

JemimaMop Sat 04-Jun-11 11:30:34

I buy Clarks but they don't last my DC very long. The soles tend to wear through, I have come to the conclusion that they are designed for children who are driven everywhere and not those who walk to school everyday!

I tried M&S last year but they were even worse, the sole actually fell off one of DS2's shoes within less than a month.

This year I have ordered Chelsea Boots from Boden for the boys (they get away with wearing boots in the winter at their school) as the soles look pretty sturdy so hopefully they will last a little better.

rabbitstew Sat 04-Jun-11 12:33:48

Ricosta are fantastic - I have a ds1 with very thin feet and pronating ankles and these last ages, are really supportive and good for narrow feet. Superfit also good for the same reasons. Try to find an independent shoe shop - I could almost never find shoes narrow enough for my ds's feet in Clarks - he'd look like he was walking around in little boats. Also, Ricosta and Superfit seem to be scuff-proof and last as long as your child's feet can fit in them.

rabbitstew Sat 04-Jun-11 12:36:05

ps my dss wear their "school" shoes all the time, not just for school, so they must be long-lasting and wear well, since they've been on all sorts of long walks over mucky terrain and still managed to look OK for school again on Monday...

JemimaMop Sat 04-Jun-11 13:21:21

I think I will have to look out for Ricosta then, especially as my DC are C/D/E width fittings. How widely available are they? We live about 2hrs from the nearest city.

rabbitstew Sat 04-Jun-11 16:46:10

Not sure how widely available, tbh - there's an independent children's shoe shop in our (small) town, run by a lady who got fed up never being able to get shoes to fit her child's feet. She stocks all sorts of makes that are good for particularly narrow or particularly wide feet. If it weren't for that shop, I'm not sure how far I'd have to go to find an appropriate place to buy my children's shoes.

crazycarol Sat 04-Jun-11 17:20:43

It really depends on your kids feet what make will fit them. My dd has been in clarks since she was little, she has medium to narrow flat feet and now a size 8 1/2 can still get clarks to fit. We went through a few years when due to the styles available only a lace up would stay on her foot but we got through that.

I remember dd's first day at school. We walked there with some other local kids. In the playground several of the kids with new shoes were complaining of blisters. My supply of plasters disappeared. One mum insisted that the pair of shoes from M&S was going back as obviously they didn't fit properly. What is a size 12 in one make is not the same as a size 12 in another.

Make sure that the shoes are fitted and checked - particularly the slippage at the heel. You only get one pair of feet!

pointythings Sat 04-Jun-11 20:10:17

I second Ricosta and Ecco, and have found the Petasils my DDs have worn very hard wearing too - they're not much more than Clarks and last much longer. The DDs have awkward feet - narrow heels, high arches - and have rarely found Clarks to fit them anyway. Startrite has been very mixed in terms of quality, but in the independent shoe shop where we go they have all the continental makes and so the DDs always have a choice of 3 or 4 pairs that fit well.

mrz Sat 04-Jun-11 20:14:46

My two wore Elefanten when small then moved onto Startrite and Ecco

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