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School shoes - continental brands?

(31 Posts)
FuckOffJeffrey Wed 04-May-16 13:25:27

Would you mind sharing your experiences of different continental school shoe brands with me please?

DD is 6 and in P2. So far we have tried Ricosta and Lelli Kelly.

The Ricosta shoes were great and lasted a full year. She had the full shoes similar to boys ones but with some flowers on them and some of the girls in her class made fun of her 'boy' shoes. She has begged me not to buy that style again. I would consider the Mary Jane style Ricosta but not sure if they would be as hard wearing.

The Lelli Kelly shoes were also nice and have worn well (we had the plain navy patent ones with no bling or changeable strap nonsense). They have now been out grown and she is in a cheap (but still leather) Tesco pair that have held up surprisingly well so far. I had initially bought them as stop gap until I could afford better ones but I think they might see the school year out as we only have 8 weeks left.

I am now planning my budget for next the school year and shoes are always the biggest expense so I would like to get some ideas on quality, fit and durability. DD is not a toe scuffer or particularly hard on her shoes.

I have been looking at Geox, Superfit, Noel, Petasil and Pediped. I am happy for recommendations of other brands but would like to avoid clarks as I find them quality poor for the price and startrite make her feet look like boats (long skinny feet that are disproportionally large in comparison to her petite little self).

I would prefer the shoes to be leather inside as well as out (another thing clarks don't do)

GreenMarkerPen Wed 04-May-16 13:27:14


TeenAndTween Wed 04-May-16 14:15:30

I refuse to have Petasil again as it's the only brand I've ever had for DD2 that have worn out before she out-grew them (twice).

Can't help you otherwise as we go with Startrite if shop has suitable which are fine for DD and last well. (DD generally only goes up a size once a year).

noramum Wed 04-May-16 14:23:29

DD wears either Ricosta or Ecco since she started wearing shoes. In her whole school career from Reception to Y4 now we only ever had one pair where the sole suddenly got a crack after 3 months, otherwise DD outgrows them before she outwears them.

I can't see a difference between her shoes and the ones her friends wear. She had these type until last Summer when she suddenly wanted laces:

Ecco is a bit plainer but similar hardwearing despite a very soft shoe. Both need a lot of thorough polishing and they last the whole year. I buy when DD outgrows them so we only bought twice in Summer so far.

situatedknowledge Wed 04-May-16 14:27:26

DDs all have skinny feet, so startrite, clarks etc no good for us. petasil, ricosta and superfit have all been good for us. It is never a choice though, we just take what fits.

AuntieUrsula Wed 04-May-16 14:36:15

Ricosta has done well for us over the years, but as well as the brands you mention, we've also had Richter and Bisgaard (pricey, though).

saltysquid Wed 04-May-16 19:40:36

Vivobarefoot pally, expensive but extremely comfortable shoes

lavendersun Wed 04-May-16 19:42:11

Geox here - very good for a narrow foot. The last ones went on for a year.

Patry Wed 04-May-16 20:22:55

Campers? Not cheap though

TrainBridge Thu 05-May-16 07:21:26

I've had good (lasted the full year) experience with Vivo Pallys, Bibux black t-bars and vatiois Pediped Mary Janes apart from the patent one. The new Pediped with rubber toe bits is brilliant.

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 05-May-16 08:58:22

But Vivobarefoot are not a "continental shoe brand", they're a British company... Great shoes though, and it seemed an odd restriction, although DD wears Neo's not Pally's, but they've also lasted so far since reception start without a problem on some very hard use.

Only1scoop Thu 05-May-16 09:00:10

Pediped here and Garvalin.

Supposedtobeworking1 Thu 05-May-16 09:11:14

I get DS shoes from Cool Boys Shoes website after a friend recommended them to me (they have a Cool Girls site too!). You have to measure their feet at home though and order online and the shoes are all apparently made in Portugal. I've now used them for three years and they are a really good price for the quality, look beautiful and last until outgrown without fail. They are also leather lined. smile

imip Thu 05-May-16 09:15:01

Bisgaard. I don't use them as school shoes, but my 4 dds use their boots and Mary Janes got weekend wear. In nursery, I had a pair of gold boots all 4 DCs have worn throughout winter every day. They have now been handed to a friend, the goth child to wear them and still going strong. Only pair that has worn out is winter boots ( used in winter as school shoes also) they lasted 2 dc.

I've just picked up 2 pairs of camper dpiral comet for DCs for £28 each on sarenza.

SunnySomer Thu 05-May-16 09:19:56

We just got Froddo ones which are very smart, well made and comfortable and so far very durable.

FuckOffJeffrey Thu 05-May-16 11:14:55

Thanks for all the suggestions. I am working my way through them and researching online. Quite a few brands mentioned I haven't heard of so that's good.

Our local independent shoe shop has closed down. I had a feeling it was heading that way last year when I got DD's school shoes as they only had two brands to choose from: Startrite and Lelli Kelly both in limited sizes. Hence why we had Lelli Kelly in navy as it was the only shoe that fit properly.

The nearest one is now awkward for me to get to (3 buses) so it will be that or I will need to go to clarks or John Lewis. I am contemplating ordering online. I am pretty confident on checking the fit but I hate having to do returns.

I am happy with suggestions such as vivo barefoot that are non continental brands, I just didn't want lots of posts suggesting clarks (as usually happens when you mention school shoes). I've actually had a pair of vivo barefoot shoes myself and loved them. They took a good 5 years of regular wear before they gave up so I am contemplating them for DD (I've found them online for £35) What is the width like? They look quite wide in the photos. DD is an generally and E but has occasionally been an F.

My budget would be between £40 -£60 so everything mentioned is within budget. I will also need decent indoor shoes for DD so that will be another £20 and I have promised her a smiggle backpack. Luckily we won't need to buy much actual uniform as I have quite a bit stashed away in bigger sizes.

Also thank you for not thinking I am mad to be planning back to school shopping in May. grin

imip Thu 05-May-16 11:29:30

Ha, ha!! I bought the girls shoes for winter 2016/17 in jan this year. Bisgaard boots on amazon bw £20-30 per pair! I hoard stuff like it's going out of fashion. Shoes are tricky but with 4 dds, someone will wear them, and we have lots if hand me downs!!! Due to one dc with ASD and another a regular visitor to podiatry (who do not recommend vivobarefoot!!), I get podiatrist to ck sizes and I guess with the restblush

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 05-May-16 11:45:38

vivo's are wide, they're barefoot shoes so designed to be wide in the toe box anyway than the crap that clarks churns out.

FuckOffJeffrey Thu 05-May-16 11:49:05

Glad to see its not just me imip some of DD's uniform earmarked for next year was bought in sales 2 years ago grin. In fairness I thought she might have grown into it by now but age 6 1/2 she is still comfortably in her age 3/4 (smallest size) school logo poloshirts and I'm pretty confident they will still fit come Christmas (they are big made). They have only just stopped looking tunic length on her.

The shoe shop we used previously (that has now closed) would do a home visit service for ASD children who couldn't cope with the whole shop experience. Not sure if others do the same but it might be worth asking if you needed something like that.

Interesting point on the vivo barefoot shoes. Looking into them it appears it is one of the Clarks that started the company.

FuckOffJeffrey Thu 05-May-16 11:55:10

I should have done that better, the link is to the article not the clarks shoe shop.

Is not the toe box width that concerns me but the rest of the shoe she has a slim foot and I don't want to have to pull the Velcro so tight it drags on the ground.

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 05-May-16 11:56:07

Interesting point on the vivo barefoot shoes. Looking into them it appears it is one of the Clarks that started the company.

Yes, although I think that was more related to him having the contacts and the money to take the design and concept to market that his partner had.

Only1scoop Thu 05-May-16 11:57:24

I find Garvalin best for slim fit

Samantha0623 Thu 05-May-16 12:02:56

Hi Mums,
On the subject of school shoes, I have found a great product that I wish I found earlier. My DD had been struggling to put her shoes on the right feet, and these cute little Learn Right shoe stickers have helped us develop her independence and get us to school on time! It comes with 6 sets, which are now in all her shoes.

Here is the link:*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Thank you, Good luck!
It worked for me!!!!

Enkopkaffetak Thu 05-May-16 13:06:39

I found the Lelli Kellie shoes wearing surprisingly well.

Loved Elefanten but they are hard to come by.

VocationalGoat Thu 05-May-16 13:16:35

Primigi make lovely shoes.
Both DCs 2 & 3 have worn theirs well and there are many lovely styles to choose from.
I bought them in Trotters as well as on Amazon.

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