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No polishable school shoes = no school

(71 Posts)
Runningforfun Wed 11-Jun-14 23:12:26

ds has been home edded for the past few months whilst we sort out a school that is right for him. He is in year 7.

We found a school, it has places. We bought the uniform and at the final interview we got a start date.

But then after spotting what he had on his feet I was told that he needed to wear polishable black shoes. He wears all black trainers. A particular style that he has worn for school since he was in reception. these are the only things that fit him. He has a very high instep with a H+ width fitting. He is off the scale in Clarks. His feet resemble rectangular blocks with toes on the end. We even looked at and tried on Men's size 7 shoes, ds is a 5.5 but because men's shoes do not come in width fittings, the standard width fitting is too narrow.

The problem is the school refuse to let him in if he wears his trainers but no normal shoe fits him. I have spent days going up and down Oxford Street, and around every shoe shop in various shopping centres and I am at a loss as to what to do.

Any one else know what to do in this situation. Can a school really stop him from going to school because he physically cannot get a particular style of shoe on his feet.

whatchutalkinboutwillis Wed 11-Jun-14 23:14:08

Have his feet stopped growing? Can you get some made?

Runningforfun Wed 11-Jun-14 23:15:20

No his feet have not stopped growing. He has just turned 12.

5madthings Wed 11-Jun-14 23:16:20

My boys have feet like this and we have to get ricosta Shoes for school as they are the only ones that fit.

soaccidentprone Wed 11-Jun-14 23:17:13

would these fit?

AuntieStella Wed 11-Jun-14 23:20:19

I was going to suggest Ricosta too.

ReallyTired Wed 11-Jun-14 23:22:19

Have you tried an independent shoe shop. If you can get to potters bar then this shoe shop has a range of shoes for exceptionally wide feet.

my son has feet wider than H width feet. He wears half a size too big and wears startrite shoes at the moment.

Shoe laces make it easier to get a foot over a high instep.

When ds was younger he wore orthorics and that was a real nightmare finding shoes.

I don't know of any secondary school that allows a child to wear trainers.

5madthings Wed 11-Jun-14 23:34:51

We go to an independent shoe shop as Clark's and startrite are too small. My bboys are also off the scale for width and have high instep. It is a pita and makes for very expensive Shoes! All four of my boys have chunky feet.

When they were younger geox were good but for Hugh school ricotta are the ones acceptable to school and though expensive they do last.

I think it's a style called 'harry' they have?

5madthings Wed 11-Jun-14 23:37:21

Yep it's the ricosta harry ones they have, they go up large enough to fit my tall 14 yr old.

Runningforfun Wed 11-Jun-14 23:40:31

The startrite ones wouldn't fit.

The shoes he wears from the toe to the start of the tongue is 2 cm. Then his foot starts rising at an angle of about 75 degrees. The problem with the startrite ones and all the polishable shoes we have come across is that from the toe to the tongue are nearer 4 cm and we have a problem with his foot rising at 2cm as normal shoes are still running along parallel to the sole. IYSWIM.

I have also been down the road of spending a small fortune on shoes that he said rubbed or were a bit tight but told the leather would stretch , only for him to wear them once and take the skin off the top of his feet and for them to eventually be given to the charity shop.

Where abouts are Ricosta shoes sold. There is a particular pair that may fit.

5madthings Wed 11-Jun-14 23:42:06

We get ours from independent shoe shop, if you Google you should be able to get a list of local stockists, good luck it is a nightmare!

UniS Wed 11-Jun-14 23:44:07

I have a DS with non standard feet. K width at the toe box, narrow heel, high instep and approx size 1 length, some standard trainers in size 2.5 fit but not all.We get his triangular wedge shaped leather, polishable, school shoes made by a boot n shoe maker in the next city.

I'm in Devon, there are boot n shoe makers in Exeter, Totnes and Mortonhampstead. While a lot of their wares LOOK like hippy shoes they will make pretty much any design a customer wishes to pay for and is physically possible to fit on their machines. Teh good news has been that even through primary school one pair of shoes a year has worked OK, they get re-soled at least once during the year and the maker can and will stretch them or reshape them to fit as the boys feet have grown. The cost per year has been equivalent too between one and two pairs of clarks school shoes. lists some of the countries independent shoe makers.

threepiecesuite Wed 11-Jun-14 23:47:48

It's polishable shoes at our school only too.
We've had lots of parents complain that the £150 pair of quilted pump type things they've bought are not allowed. Its been a nightmare.

happygardening Thu 12-Jun-14 06:44:12

My feet are H+ fitting and I have an incredibly high in step and very short toes that are all the same length. One of my DS's is the same rarely can either us can get adult Clarke shoes to fit us, and we could never get StartRite ones to fit.
There is or maybe was (I haven't been there for years as we no longer live in London so have no idea if it's still there) an independent shoe shop in Chrystal Palace that sells a Richter shoes they're Austrian and they fit well. The other make to try but they'll be expensive are Church's it's worth waiting for the sale. It it pure trial and error my DS tried on 23 + pairs of shoes last summer he not only has weird shaped feet he's fussy about style as well. I was becoming exceedingly bored with the whole thing and frankly getting a bit desperate when by sheer luck we found a pair in Jones reduced to £95 I nearly brought three pairs but his feet are still growing! OP my advise don't go shoe shopping when your in a hurry or the shops are busy and try on every pair you can find often the most unlikely one fit generally expensive shoes will be better simply because there's more leather in them and therefore you can get the depth required for a high in- step.

happygardening Thu 12-Jun-14 06:50:42

Have you tried Merlin Shoes in Chrystal Palace I've not been there for years as we no longer live in London but they used to and maybe still do sell Austrian Shoes. My DS and I have the same shape feet you describe and they often for although it is trial and error.
StartRite never for the shape of foot you describe neither do most adult Clarke shoes.

soaccidentprone Thu 12-Jun-14 07:55:50

these can be personalised

lljkk Thu 12-Jun-14 08:25:45

Ricostas get resold on Ebay, too (I don't think I'm the only one who does that). Worth a browse.

gymboywalton Thu 12-Jun-14 13:44:09

god shoes are just a nightmare'-no solutions but deepest sympathy

my son's feet are narower than a child's d fitting but an adult's men size 14 in length!

Meow75 Thu 12-Jun-14 13:48:14

I think I'd be tempted to find out from CAB if you have an recourse to the Equality Act 2010 or the Disability Discrimination Act.

He's clearly NOT disabled, but there is an aspect to his body, over which he has no control - he's not overweight or has loads of piercings - and they are refusing entry despite the fact that you've done your utmost to find a solution.

Sounds like discrimination to me.

Meow75 Thu 12-Jun-14 13:51:02


No offence intended, but why should the OP have to pay £175 or so for a pair of school shoes that might not fit in 5-6 months.

OP's son has black footwear, that will fit his non-standard feet. The school needs to get a grip on itself!!!

AmberTheCat Thu 12-Jun-14 14:05:09

In answer to your final question, OP, I bloody hope not! These sorts of ridiculous rules make me so cross.

In the spirit of trying to respond helpfully, rather than just ranting, could you ask your GP for a letter stating that your ds's unusual feet mean that he can't fit standard shoes, so needs to be able to wear <insert appropriate brand> or similar? Seems rather a waste of a GP's time, but if the school is forcing you to play these ridiculous games then needs must.

LtEveDallas Thu 12-Jun-14 14:18:54

When I hear stories like this, I often wonder what would happen if the OP asked the person who makes the school rules (HT/Governor) to go shopping with them and see how easy it was to find the shoes within the budget that the OP can afford.

Maybe a 6 hour shopping marathon with a stroppy Pre-Teen may make them rethink their strategy. Does it really matter what shoes a child is wearing? Does it make them a harder worker? Better at maths? Less likely to bunk off?

Runningforfun Thu 12-Jun-14 15:47:38

Back from shoe shopping, empty handed and exhausted. Ricosta shoes don't fit him.

Having looked on richter shoes website I couldn't see anything that would be suitable for school.

Geox, his feet keeps hitting a low part of the upper shoe so he cannot get his toes to the end.

Omg gymboy that's as bad as my ds.

Doctors appointment booked for tomorrow. I also rang the local education authority who told me once I had the letter from the doctor to call the HT and try and see if he would make an exception because it clearly was not his fault his feet won't fit into normal shoes. Otherwise if I got no joy I should then write to the school governors.

Let's hope it does not come to that. I really don't want him starting school with the label troublemaker attached to his name.

rootypig Thu 12-Jun-14 15:50:32

Christ this stuff makes me so cross, the child has to have shoes that fit! I hope the HT sees sense OP. I mean, for the love of god!

Runningforfun Thu 12-Jun-14 15:56:34

Oh and soaccidentprone, the local shoemaker near me is near Bond street and charges £240 for children orthotics shoes. When he is older they start at £1400. I have told him to not bother trying to be a solicitor, accountant or anything where he has to wear a suit because he will not be able to earn enough to cover his footwear.

Fortunately he wants to be either a singer, actor or cameraman.

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