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Clarks shoes are ruining ds feet!

(41 Posts)
puddingz Sun 17-Nov-02 17:03:05

Please help me! I find a multitude of small blisters on ds feet. I finally worked out that the problem were his Clark's trainers. I usually get his feet measured every 6/8 weeks. Because of the blisters I took ds to get his feet measured. According to the lady who measured his feet his feet had grown two sizes (from a 8 1/2 to a 9 1/2!!) since the last fitting. As far as I was concerned that was very likely and it was more likely that the last fitting/measurement was incorrect. I complained to Clarks but because I didn't have the offending trainers(after seeing the blisters I was so upset that I threw them straight into the bin) or the receipt there was notghing I cvould do. I thought that that was a one off but this week I noticed the his latest trainers (brought last month) were giving ds hard skin and the rubbing off his skin. I took the trainers and receipt (yes I kept them this time) back to Clarks for an explanation. Ds feet were measeured by a sales assistant and the manager (who seem to remember me ranting in the store the last time) who assured me that the trainers were not too tight. In the end I brought another pair of trainers (different style) dor ds.
My question is - sorry it's taken this long - has anyone else had problems with Clarks shoes?
And can I buy G fitting shoes for sprogs from somewhere different then clarks?
Thank You.

jac34 Sun 17-Nov-02 18:40:29

Don't talk to me about Clarks!!!!!!
I feel they give poor service at inflated prices. They manage to do this by playing on the idea, that you are doing the best for your childern, by getting their feet measured at a repected childrens shoe shop.
I started shopping there when my twin ds's had their first shoes.As they are identical, they seem to have the same size, and width fitting, everytime. Unforunately, Clarks ( in their wisdom ), only stock one pair in each size, in each width fitting, in each style.Which is usless to me!!! As I live in a city, there are two shops in the city centre, so I have them measured and fitted in one shop,ring the other shop to see if they have a pair, if they do then, I have to trudge across town to buy the second pair in the other shop. I once asked if I could order 2 pairs of the same shoes, the assistent rang HQ, but was told they will only supply one pair of exactly the same shoes to each shop,even though I was prepared to put a deposit down.Startrit operate the same policy but are prepared to order them for you.
Puddingz, I think the problem you have experienced, comes from them employing,pt girls on Saturdays or perhaps they are not trained properly to measure feet.
I don't think they give the service, they used to, and I'm not prepared to pay their prices, when I could do the same job of measuring their feet myself. M & S ,will measure their feet(a bit hit and miss though),I've started going to the larger shoe stores eg.Brantano, and doing it myself. However, I don't know how I would feel about this if they were very young.
P.S. Sorry for the rant, I realy thought I had overcome my hatred of Clarks.

PamT Sun 17-Nov-02 19:27:49

DD was never comfortable with her new shoes and moaned everytime we went out in them so after 2 weeks I took her back to the shop. They measured her again and she was a full size bigger - we got some more free of course. Other than that I've not had any problems, apart from the usual lack of choice.

helenmc Sun 17-Nov-02 19:38:42

We've had a pair of shoes that streched - they rubbed raw twin I's heels. It was a trite embrassing as twin I was wearing twin II shoes when I went in to complain, so it looked like I was a mad woman.But the co-op were very good and replaced them. Is there any chance of finding a small independant where they will get to know you and really look after you ?

glitterbabe Sun 17-Nov-02 20:06:11

I remember seeing a documentary about clarks shoes on watchdog a few years ago. The complaints ranged from childrens feet being measured incorrectly from store to store within the same town, blisters and shoes wearing out after only a couple of months wear. The range for boys is apalling with caterpillars and bug motifs on them at rediculous prices. To make matters worse is the incredibly long wait on a busy saturday for a clueless sales assistant to tell you that they are out of stock of sad chosen shoe. With modern technology why don't clarks come up with an instore monitor to tell you if the item is instock and when the next delivery date is saving customers a lot of hassle. I have bought my ds shoes in Ravel since the age of 3 they have a good range of shoes in traditional and fashionable styles that last a good 5 months at realistic prices.

MandyD Sun 17-Nov-02 20:43:07

I like your Freudian slip of "sad chosen shoe"

I haven't had any problems with Clarks shoes not fitting correctly at all as it goes so maybe I'm lucky...but my son's feet have always grown really slowly so far, about half a size every 6 months so that cuts down the margin for error I guess.

Puddingz, my son is a G fitting and I find that most styles of Next toddler boys' shoes come up around a 'G'.

Bozza Sun 17-Nov-02 20:55:45

I would never go to Clarkes on a weekend other than first thing on a Saturday morning (ie before 9.30 am) after experiencing what it is like. I have to say though that due to trying to find something at Clarkes outlet, or not having anything suitable in the available size I have had his feet measured twice a number of times at different shops and they have always been consistent. My DS is a H fitting and one niggle is that there are fewer styles available in the extreme sizes. In fact when we first took him he measured as a 3H (and had been walking for weeks and at 14 months was not particularly young) and we had to get 3.5H. However he is now a 4.5H and we got him some size 5 Adidas trainers from an Outlet and he wore them twice before we realised they were too narrow. So its either not trainers or Clarks for us I'm afraid. In the end I bought him a pair of Clarks wellies instead.

mears Sun 17-Nov-02 21:10:21

I always got Startrite shoes initially because the small shop had excellent staff who you really got to know. All sorts of minor adjustments could be made for individual feet. However it has since been 'taken over' and has lost that intimate feel to it. Startrite do have shoes for the very narrow and very wide fittings.

janh Sun 17-Nov-02 21:26:04

Agree with helenmc about trying to find a small independent shoe shop - we have one here which sells a variety of brands including Clarks, and also have their Bootleg shoes for older children, up to at least size 8 in the full range of width fittings (and even with a large 13 year old playing football every 5 minutes those shoes last beyond being grown out of!)

I have had problems in the past with smaller childrens' shoes but not Clarks particularly, I think it's been more with Saturday girls as someone else mentioned - going on a weekday probably is safer.

lou33 Sun 17-Nov-02 21:31:24

I hate Clarks! Hate them hate them hate them! I have never had the correct fitting from them, and now do the measuring myself at the many cheaper stores around, and lo and behold my children don't get blisters any more. I resent the prices they charge, for something that will only last a few months. Just because it's expensive doesn't mean it's any good imo. I also hate the way they make you feel that you have to spend that amount of money or else your children will suffer you bad bad mother!Grrrrrrr.....

Dd1 and dd2 have v narrow feet, ds1 has pretty wide feet, but they never have anything that will fit, even when they have "measured" them and brought out the corresponding size. Ds2 is wearing the ones ds1 hasn't wrecked , and they are all ones originally fitted by me.

SueDonim Mon 18-Nov-02 07:34:31

It's Startrite shoes that do my head in!! The sides are cut too high and rub at my dd's ankle bones, plus they are even more expensive than Clarkes. I almost always go to John Lewis shoe dept, although as dd has very narrow feet the choice is limited.

A tip for checking whether shoes are outgrown in length is to put talcum powder inside, making sure the inner is completely covered, then put the shoe on the child and get them to walk up and down. Take off the shoes, look inside and there will be an imprint of where the foot has been.

CAM Mon 18-Nov-02 12:50:47

I have never been able to buy Clarkes for dd as they never fit her - wrong shape for her feet entirely. The best things for her are Start-rite shoes (I pareticularly like the very classic shoes for school) and Jones for boots every winter. The main gripe I have is that because dd is tall her feet are long for her age and the styles can be too old for her (especially at Clarkes with too hogh heels etc).

CAM Mon 18-Nov-02 12:51:31

excuse typos, I'm a brilliant speeler, honest!

tigermoth Mon 18-Nov-02 18:44:44

There's a thread on children's shoes called 'do children's shoe designers live in cloud cuckoo land.' Clarkes come in for a lot of bashing.

I tried to get a representative from their customer service department to reply online. Apparently they read the thread but declined to comment here.

Must dash, so can't say much, but this is what I do now - get my sons feet measured at Clarkes and Startrite several times in one shopping trip. Just to be sure. I know I stand a snowflake's chance in h*** of any shoes of my choice being produced in a wide fitting.

As I understand it, most of Clarkes shoe designs only cover the common middle width sizes. Just one or two styles per season are produced in the extreme widths. Personally I think this should be taken up with the trades description people. How dare Clarkes say they cater for a wide range of sizes?

I can feel my blood pressure rising and I have said all this before.

Back to what I do now. Get my sons feet measured at Clarkes and Startrite, see if they have any shoes of my choice for my sons - the answer is always no. Then I head for the nearest branch of 'shoefayre' or the like, choose from a wide range of cheap shoes that magically fit. No blisters, no problems at all.

ks Mon 18-Nov-02 19:30:01

Message withdrawn

jasper Mon 18-Nov-02 21:35:56

I am from a family of four and there was never much spare cash to go round but one thing my mum always insisted on was properly fitted Clarks shoes. This rubbed off on me and I have never abused my feet by wearing fashionable may recall I have just had two months off work following bunion surgery. Yes, I know a sample of one is not scientific but I hold the same view as Lou33 and have given up on Clarks (last shoes I bought for ds were a tenner form Barrats and the assistant spent a lot of time measuring his foot and fitting the shoes)
I just don't believe the hype.I just think they make parents feel they are being good parents because they are spending a fortune on shoes.
And in the past when I did occasionally buy their shoes they never seemed to have the style I wanted in the corrrect size and would suggest trying on a different width fitting "because the width fittings vary between styles and a narrower fitting might be okay in that style" Oh really? Doesn't that negate all their insistance on the right measuring?
Also the boys' styles in Clarks are hideous and clumpy.
My sister has NO spare money and always buys proper Clarks shoes - she just bought her four year old girl a pair of ankle boots (about £40) and the zip keeps falling down.

Bozza Tue 19-Nov-02 10:30:02

Tigermoth you are so right. I am 29 and have wide and high feet and my parents always bought me Clarks shoes and I had a choice of two styles if I was lucky. We were not well off so sometimes these were bought with the aid of clothing vouchers. I always had the most untrendy shoes at school. And now I find the same thing happening with DS. Although at 21 months he is not that subject to peer pressure just yet. But it is annoying that they can't be bothered to provide a choice in his H fitting.

However as mentioned in my earlier post trying to deviate by buying Adidas trainers didn't work for us either. And that was an idea I got from the other thread which suggested that sports branded trainers were a good buy.

tigermoth Tue 19-Nov-02 11:21:47

Bozza, Addidas, puma, nike - we've tried them all. They are always too narrow for my son. Forget them.

If you want sports trainers that are wider and cost a fraction of the price, AND wear just as well, if not better, head for your local cheap shoe shop. Unbranded ones are usually wider IME.

Also look out for Hi Tech, Mercury and Gola trainers - these makes are often found in cheap shoe shops.

FYI if you want shoes, Gola's black shoes are the only shoes that fit my wide-footed high instep son's feet.

Bozza Tue 19-Nov-02 11:35:41

Tigermoth in the end I decided at 21 months he doesn't need trainers in the winter. So I bought him a pair of red wellies instead! He loves them so much I've had to hide them in a child proof cupboard in the utility room.

tigermoth Tue 19-Nov-02 11:52:05

ah yes, the power of wellies. My 3 year old fell in love with a pair of action man ones when we visited our favourite cheap shoe shop. I was trying to interest him in new trainers for nursery (can't wear wellies there) and what a tantrum he had!!

In the end I said I'd buy him the wellies only if he tried on the trainers. Luckily the combined cost of his footwear was £15.99, so this compromise was affordable for me.

helenmc Tue 19-Nov-02 12:01:27

Some-one told me you're feet aren't fully formed until you are 18 ...

bundle Tue 19-Nov-02 12:45:50

I think it's luck of the draw. in the summer the only sandals I could get to fit dd were startrite - v wide, adjustable straps front & back, nice cushioning sole - but most startrite/clarks are too narrow unless i can get a G fitting, although Doodles are ok and as they're fabric they're washable. thank god for wellies! (currently: pink cat face ones..a bit pricey but she loves them). we also bought a pair of leather lace ups in France for about £20, more of a shoe than a boot and very strong, easily wide enough.

Indie Tue 19-Nov-02 13:05:18

Not really a Clark fan but we do have their factory shop up here in the Lake District and so you don't pay more than £15 for a pair of their shoes! In fact last month I bought 2 pairs for £20 for ds - all current designs and actually not too bad - no insects or tractors to be seen!

They are also well trained in the fitting department - taking time to check once the shoe is on throughly.

But then again I have nothing to compare with - we can't buy children's shoes except from there or ASDA!

Indie Tue 19-Nov-02 13:47:08

Not really a Clark fan but we do have their factory shop up here in the Lake District and so you don't pay more than £15 for a pair of their shoes! In fact last month I bought 2 pairs for £20 for ds - all current designs and actually not too bad - no insects or tractors to be seen!

They are also well trained in the fitting department - taking time to check once the shoe is on throughly.

But then again I have nothing to compare with - we can't buy children's shoes except from there or ASDA!

SueW Tue 19-Nov-02 14:12:10

DO Asics do kids trainers? IIRC they do wider fitting trainers?

Would a good sports shop do a better fitting? There are a couple here in Nottingham that do adult fitting of running shoes to ensure your feet, knees, etc are protected during exercise which seems kind of weird seeing as it is IMPOSSIBLE to ge adult shoes properly fitted!

My dad has had problems with his feet all his life in spite of going to good shoe shops and ordering expensive shoes which were then fitted.

Eventually, when he got into his fifties he could bear it no longer and coincidentally went to work near a shoemaker. He now has his own last and has his shoes made-to-measure - a luxury most couldn't afford but it makes him spit when he thinks of how much he forked out over the years thinking he was getting decent shoes and the pain was his fault when in fact it was the shoes all along.

Mind you, I'm not advocating this for your average 2yo!!!!

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