Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


To feel that Clarks are taking the pssss?

67 replies

IdreamofClooney · 01/10/2007 11:17

I am inclined to lose perspective when I feel I am not getting good service so any input would be appreciated...

I bought DS (2) a new pair of clarks shoes six to eight weeks ago. He;s actually had very little wear of them as he wore cheap canvas shoes on holiday for two weeks.

On saturday I noticed that the stitching was coming away on the front of both shoes so took them back to the shop and complained.

The assistant's response was that his feet were too big and were causing the shoes to split and she said he needed to be remeasured and that to avoid that problem I should avoid shoes with seams in future

She duly measured him but before she told me what size he was she asked what size his shoes were - I told her 6G (I should of course have asked "what size is he now" but anyway) she said he was now 6 and a half G

She then went and got the only two pairs of shoe in 6 and a half G. DS tried them on and the pair we liked were too big - the assistant told me they were so big they would slip off!

At this point I felt like I was being done. I was certain that his shoes still fitted him (ok I am not a trained shoe fitter but his toes were no where near the top of the shoe) and that the shoes I had paid £26 for a few weeks ago were falling apart and yet clarks were trying to sell me a new pair that were too big as opposed to re-placing a faulty pair.

Surely shoes for toddlers should withstand general wear and tear? I would not expect a pair of shoes to fall apart after six weeks and I walk five miles a day.

Any one had a similar experience with Clarks?

OP posts:

preggersagain · 01/10/2007 11:22

this is why i refuse to buy shoes from clarks for my kids- talk about a rip off!! they will do anything to get you to spend more money- and never have anything in stock.


IdreamofClooney · 01/10/2007 11:25

I feel like I am being ripped off and do not like it.

Where do you get your children;s shoes from then?

I sometimes wonder if I have been brain washed into "having" to buy clarks to protect little feet etc etc.


OP posts:

MaryBleedinPoppins · 01/10/2007 11:27

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Twiglett · 01/10/2007 11:28

no you're being done .. go back and talk to manager


preggersagain · 01/10/2007 11:28

russel and bromley for school shoes, and most casual shoes etc i get from brantano- they measure the feet properly and have a far better range- they tend to be better with kids as well, try to make it into a game rather than the usual sour faced old bag in clarks


WinkyWinkola · 01/10/2007 11:29

Clarks are rubbish.

Start Rite are much better.


maisemor · 01/10/2007 11:30

I refuse to buy anything at Clarks. They are a rip off and they never ever have the right size shoes anyway.

You see a pair of shoes that your child likes and you ask to get one a pair in their size and you get a long story about how your child's shoe size is a G and this shoe is only made for shoe size F.

Never once have we been "allowed" to get a pair that our child actually wanted.


IdreamofClooney · 01/10/2007 11:33

I was considering going into another branch of clarks and just asking for his shoes to be checked for fit.

They usually do that anyway - just feel the shoes rather than measuring and see waht they say. Then if they say they still fit I would then say - ah they are falling apart and see waht happens.

I really did feel like they were taking the piss.

I hate being done not to mention the fact that I did not budget for buying DS new shoes this month as he is still referring to these ones as his "new shoes"


I feel a letter of complaint coming on!

OP posts:

TheDuchessOfNorksBride · 01/10/2007 11:33

DS1 went through 2 pair of Clarks (tiny size 5 brown leather/suede bits, velcro strap sort) in less than 2 months due to poor stitching. They did change the 1st time and I had a refund 2nd time. The staff couldn't be less interested though.

I much prefer Startrite and we go to Russell & Bromley too - the staff are lovely and they always get the manager to check fittings.


jenjins · 01/10/2007 11:35

i always try to buy my ds, who has just started school from anywhere but clarks mainly because none of their shoes are fully leather inside. they always tend to have a canvas type of material which makes his feet sweat and for the price they are they should be all leather. start rite or ecco etc.


chopchopbusybusy · 01/10/2007 11:35

I don't like Clarks. Try an independent shop if you have one nearby. The one I go to stock Start Rite and some other makes too. Always a good choice of about six pairs.

I'd insist on a refund from Clarks. The shoes are supposed to have a half size of growing room anyway so it's complete b*llcks to say they are too small. In my experience toddler shoes never wear out because they always outgrow them first.


woodenchair · 01/10/2007 11:36

I refuse to go to Clarks for DS as last time his feed had shrunk 1/2 size in a day.

On closer inspection the assistant wasn't measuring his big toe. Although she had some poor excuse, I did feel it was slightly on purpose so that we would be back sooner.


Sunshinemummy · 01/10/2007 11:37

Where do you like IDC? We go to a lovely shop called Trotters on the Kings Road, who sell Start Rite, Ecco etc. and the staff are wonderful.


TinyGang · 01/10/2007 11:37

Poor customer service in Clarks? How very unusualNot!

I would speak to the manager, or if no joy write to their Customer Service.

I don't hold out much hope for you though. They really do not give a stuff and I suspect you will be fobbed off. They are very very good at that.


TwoToTango · 01/10/2007 11:38

I have always been pleased with Clarks shoes but have always gone to a small, independent shoes which stocks other brands as well. I have always found the assistants efficient and helpful - if they're not sure about a fit they ask for a second opinion from another assistant or the manager. I have been into proper Clarks shops a couple of times and have not been impressed with the attitude of the assistants and on one occasion an assistant meansured DS 2 sizes too big because she hadn't made sure his foot was properly positioned on the measuring machine. If my local shop hasn't got a style I like I always get them to measure, go to Clarks for the shoe and them got back to the local shop for them to check the fit before DS wears them outside so I can take them back if necessary.


lucykate · 01/10/2007 11:39

last year dd's school shoes, the stitching came apart before half term, meaning they had lasted a grand total of 5 weeks . i took them back, and given that her feet were still the same size, they exchanged them for a brand new pair, luckily the new pair lasted her until july

however, i now dislike clarks, took dd on saturday for a pair of non-school shoes. all they had in her size were 3 pairs of knee length boots, one with a heel , she's 5 fgs!, and the other two pairs were hideous. didn't bother even trying any of them on.


TinyGang · 01/10/2007 11:43

The mystical art of foot measuring they bang on about isn't rocket science though.

Anyone with a bit of care can work out weather a shoe is fitting properly.

I also find they change the rules as they go along. Dd was measured in Clarks the other day. She was a 13f but we ended up trying on size 1's in some styles and 13's in others It doesn't inspire confidence.


tizzwhizz · 01/10/2007 11:45


Just want to add another vote for Startrite, they may seem expensive but are genuinely well made shoes. They are also quite particular who they allow to stock them.

A good few years before I became a mum I was a manager for Startrite and can testify that they are very detailed in their training including fitting and aspects of foot health. (Just point out it was a good few years ago not on commission or anything like that for them)We were actually told in training that you check the shoes they are wearing before you re measure to check the fit that way you can advise if they actually need new shoes or not.

Because I didnt have a Startrite local to me I did get Clarks for the first few pairs of shoes for my ds. I thought maybe I had jsut been brainwashed a bit as had really enjoyed my job with Startrite. I was consistently disappointed with Clarks both on quality, service & fit.

I have now found a nice small family run shop that stock Startrite and other makes. I think because it is a family business they take the time to serve you. Hush Puppies are also really good for kid shoes. If you time it right aswell Startrite do really good discount in the sale got a pair for £8 the other week.

Sorry that was a long one its a topic a bit close to my heart. (sad I know)

I think you are being misled btw.


silverfrog · 01/10/2007 11:57

My local Clarks is rubbish too.

We use Russell & Bromley, the staff are really lovely, and are very patient with dd1 (ASD so we have a few problems with shoe fitting - she loves shoes, just doesn't ever want to give them back if they aren't fitting quite right )

They are great at customer service too. I recently noticed that the soles of dd's shoes had split, all the ay through. So I went back, and said that I expected her shoes to last longer than 12 weeks (she does an awful lot of walking, but still didn't expect them to wear out in 1 weeks!)

They measured her, and, bad mummy that I am, she'd actually outgrown her shoes. I was but the manager was really nice, and still gave me the new shoes ofr half price, as she said my point about them not wearing out was still valid!


IdreamofClooney · 01/10/2007 11:58

norks bride - I wonder if it is the same shoes as DS has? They are brown leather and suede too - I looked them up on the website and they are called "Morton".

I don't think I'll buy clarks again after this. I understand that children;s shoes are expensvie and I am keen to look after DS's feet so I am willing to pay for properly fitted shoes but I really feel that I got bad advice.

Is just such a hassle as I bought the shoes clarks at Cameron Toll shopping centre (which is near where I live) and all of the other shoe shops are in the city centre and as I work full time and have no spending money we don;t tend to go into town very often.

Perhaps I should get Ex to buy the shoes this time!

OP posts:

IdreamofClooney · 01/10/2007 12:04

wow silver frog - that is what I call customer service!

That is more like what I was expecting when I went back to clarks - the point was that DS's "new shoes" were falling apart after a few weeks.

He is two so travels mainly by buggy and as he wore canvas shoes on hols has barely worn the shoes so there is no way the stiching should be coming undone.

"Avoid shoes with stitching" - errrr your store designed and sold me them

"his feet are too big and are causing the stitching to burst" -- hmmmm you claim his feet are a half size bigger yet shoes in that half size bigger are in fact too big so I don;t think it is his feet - I think it is clarks shoes being poorly made!


OP posts:

melpomene · 01/10/2007 12:09

The shoes were clearly not of satisfactory quality.

There is a sample complaint letter and other advice here.

I vowed never to return to Clarks after our last visit, when they measured dd1's feet as being smaller than the (Clarks) shoes she had been wearing for the previous 9 months, and actually tried to sell us a pair of shoes in the smaller size. We have also had 2 incidences of shoes rubbing and causing blisters/bleeding; in those cases we got them replaced with different styles.


IdreamofClooney · 01/10/2007 13:56

Thanks Mel

I;ve written to them - lets wait and see what they come back with.

I bet more fobbing off.

I certainly won;t be wasting my money at clarks, I thought Russel and bromley were a bit posh but if I get better service maybe I;ll be brave adn go in

OP posts:

hanaflower · 01/10/2007 14:10

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

newgirl · 01/10/2007 14:15

i got nice clarks shoes for dd this am - and far cheaper than start rite - however - there was only one pair that fit - no choice whatsoever - why on earth?!

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?