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Why do you buy new shoes for your children?

54 replies

fisil · 02/10/2004 18:33

Before I start this rant, I'd better come clean: I hate shoe shopping.

Took DS to get checked out today to see if he needed a new pair of shoes. The fitter said something which was just weird, like "well they fit OK, what new shoes do you want?" So I asked her very simply "You are a trained shoe fitter. I want to know if my son has outgrown these shoes and needs new ones." She said "Do you want to buy him some new ones?" So I repeated - only if he needs them. "Oh, you want a second opinion, do you?" !? So I agreed. The manager pummelled his feet and said "do you want to get him some new shoes?" So again I said "only if he needs them." It turns out no he doesn't, he has plenty of room for growth.

I pushed them on this (I'd had the pleasure of a 1/2 hour wait for this info) and was told "it is always up to the customer to decide whether they want to buy shoes." Sure, but surely most people only buy new shoes for their children when they need them, not when they want them?

Rant over. (but I would be interested to know - do you just buy new shoes or do you wait until they need a new size?)

OP posts:
blossomhill · 02/10/2004 18:37

School shoes when they have outgrown them. I buy trainers, boots etc when they have outgrown them or start to look scruffy!

misdee · 02/10/2004 18:37

i get my dd's feet checked every 4-6 weeks (dd2 feet grow really fast) and only buy them new ones if they need them.

MeanBean · 02/10/2004 18:39

Always wait until they need a new size. Simply can't afford to buy unnecessary shoes.

I had a crap experience at Clark's in Bluewater where we had to wait about half an hour for the kids' feet to get measured and by that time, they were of course almost hysterical with boredom, so played up like mad. So the assistant didn't measure DD's feet properly. Two weeks later, she grew out of the shoes I'd bought her. I was livid as they're supposed to measure so as to provide growing room, and they cost about £30.

Every time I've gone there, I've never had to wait less than 10 minutes, and the kids start acting up because they can't cope with the boredom level. You almost feel like buying new shoes so you don't have to come back, but I resist...

coppertop · 02/10/2004 18:41

I usually keep an eye on things by checking to see how far down the shoe their toes are. Shoe-shopping is a nightmare at the best of times so I only do it if they're outgrowing their shoes or if the shoes are in a bad way.

fisil · 02/10/2004 18:57

Good - so I am not mad. The lady really made me feel like I was stupid, insisting that it was always the customers who chose when to buy new shoes.

meanbean - I know exactly what you mean.

BTW anyone want to get me started on shoe sizes? I can rant on that subject too!

OP posts:
Cam · 02/10/2004 19:14

fisil, I drop into shoe shops when passing just to get dd's feet measured sometimes, if I haven't done it for a while (and no-one has ever minded and if I have asked their opinion they tell me). I only buy new shoes if she needs the next size. However she does have school shoes and "best" shoes which she wears everywhere except school. I must admit I buy new shoes even if she's only gone up half a size, I know some people wait till its a full size.

unicorn · 02/10/2004 19:17

fisil... how about trying 2 different shoe shops,and getting 2 different shoe sizes!
now that gets me going!!

zubb · 02/10/2004 19:19

I always wait until they have outgrown them. We have a good Clarks shop in town where the assistants actually tell you that you don't need new shoes.

popsycal · 02/10/2004 19:20

I only buy new shoes for ds when he has out grown them...

I hate shoe shopping and for myself i only buy new shoes when the others are ready to crawl off my feet by themselves.....

LIZS · 02/10/2004 19:31

Only when the seasons change or they are outgrown. Personally hate Clarks - they measured and fitted a pair of shoes for ds and when I got home realised that they were the same dimensions as his existing Startrites,just sized differently, so took them back and got a refund.

nutcracker · 02/10/2004 20:25

I now never take my kids to Clarks in fitted shoes, I always take them in their trainers as the assistants always ask what size they were when they were last measured, and if you tell them you can then garuntee that their feet will have grown (or so they say).

Twice now i have taken them and said i can't remember their old shoe size and twice they have measured them and have been the same size.

Ds needs re measuring and i do know his old size, but i won't be telling them.

I just then say oh i think thats what their other shoe are and say i'm not going to buy anymore without checking.

poppyseed · 02/10/2004 20:38

Have just bought DD a pair of fab boots from Gap in the sale. This goes completely against my 'Clarks are the best as they are fitted properly and have width fittings' ethos to be honest. They were cheaper than clarks, funkier than clarks and thankfully she is a standard width anyway - or so they tell me. As she will wear them only at weekends I reckoned that they would be OK and made do with my experience as a mum to fit these this time. I hope that she will not be scared for life as a result of my Clarks boycotting. Anybody else have this quandry??

MeanBean · 02/10/2004 20:45

Poppyseed, totally. I hate Clarks but always go there because I've been brainwashed into thinking I have to.

HOWEVER - there is hope. Brantano stock Clarks shoes, and other brands, and they measure kid's feet as well. You can buy very good quality shoes there for about £10, as opposed to the £30 - £40 odd quid that Clark's charge.

And the wait to be measured is nowhere near as long.

Marks and Spencers also have a contraption to measure kid's feet in their shoe dept (they don't do it themselves, probably in case you sue them or something), so if you are competent about using the machines, again their shoes are cheaper than Clark's and just as good quality.

zaphod · 02/10/2004 20:56

Only when they outgrow the old ones. The last time I took dd to be measured she was wearing her Clarks shoes, and I was told she needed a half size up. Happily there was nothing in the shop that she would wear, and as this was still summer she had her sandals which would do for a week or so. Next time, she had her sandals on, and when measured she was, surprise, surprise, the same size as her old Clarks shoes, which are still in good condition, and she is therefore still wearing them.

I will buy her a pair of 'fashion' shoes or boots to wear at week-ends/with skirts or dresses, but absolutely no heels higher than half an inch.

Polgara2 · 02/10/2004 21:01

Have to admit I always feel I SHOULD be buying Clarks fitted shoes too. However, on the few occasions when I have tried to escape this brainwashing dd's have ended up with sore feet from what must be ill-fitting shoes . Either they have very sensitive feet or I am just rubbish at judging myself . Have frequently got different sizes at different Clark shops though . Never been made to feel pressurized into buying new, just take them in to get fit checked and assistants usually tell me to come back in a few weeks and check again.

jodee · 02/10/2004 21:08

Same as Zubb, I took ds into Clarks 3 times over the summer for measuring and was pleased when they told me on the first two occasions his shoes still had room in them.

As for the shop assistants in our Brantano - well I wouldn't trust them to check ds's feet. They were too deep in discussion about boyfriends or something or other to point me in the direction of the wellies, and the filthy look I got!

finleysmum · 02/10/2004 21:25

Just a quick note!!
I bought a foot measure from the Vertbaudet website and i keep a check on my kids feet every couple of weeks.
It cost about 7 GBP but if its your first order you get free P&P,5 GBP off and usually a free toy.(5 GBP off orders over 15 GBP).

linnet · 02/10/2004 21:32

My dd's feet grow really slowly. I usually wait until she's had her shoes for a while then suddenly realise that she might need a new pair as it's been ages since she had new shoes. She did say during the summer that her trainers hurt her so we went to the shoe shop and her feet hadn't grown and the lady did say that she had plenty of growth in the shoes so she didn't really need new ones unless I wanted to buy her some. Turned out dd had spotted some boots that she wanted but I didn't buy them as by winter she would have grown out of them, dd was not pleased.

We went in again just before school started in August and got her feet measured and they were the same size as they had been when she'd got her school shoes just after Easter so she went back to school in her old shoes, which were still looking ok. Went in again on Wedensday and got her feet measured and she's just scraping into a size 12 so she got new trainers and boots for school. Cost me a fortune buying both at the same time but she needed them and was over the moon to finally get the boots that she's had her eye on since July. I always go to Clarks but I know the people who work there and I trust them.

I thought Clarks policy was not to sell you shoes if your child didn't really need them?

MeanBean · 02/10/2004 21:34

Thanks for the tip Finleysmum - is this foot measuring device easy to use? (idiotproof?)

blossomhill · 02/10/2004 21:36

finleysmum - but is that only for there catalogue? As all shoe shops shoes come up differently, same with clothes.

lulupop · 02/10/2004 21:37

God, I can't bear getting new shoes for DS. he is an H width fitting and so it's never a case of "I's like to try these ones on" - I now just tell them "Bring me what you have in his size" . It's always 2 pairs of minging shoes. This last time he's just got to an age where he tells me whihc ones he wants (he;s nearly 3), and of course the ovely little Kickers boots etc don't come wide enough. The woman in R&B was insistent I get this pair of disgusting blue shoes with a huge wide velcro strap - even DS said "Dose ones are 'orribel!" - just needed a spike sticking out of the toe and I could have called him Rose Kleb!

She was adamant I had to get them, even though his shoes at the time fitted OK. I just said "Look, I'm not spending £30 on something so vile" and left the shop feeling very disapproved of - by a 19 year old so called "shoe fitter"

A little known fact is that they (in R&B anyway) work on commission, so just remember that next time you don't want to buy something they're forcing you towards.

Got a lovely pair the next day in Clarks. Lots of my friends swear by John Lewis.

poppyseed · 02/10/2004 21:44

I think that the 'goodness of fit' is purely down to the individual who measures them unfortunately . Where do you go? You need to trust someone don't you? Can it really be SO difficult to do? Or could we be allowed to think that we are competent to do it ourselves as parents!!??

Dannie · 02/10/2004 22:15

Several years ago, when DS1 was nearly walking, I went into a very upmarket-looking children's shoe shop in Canterbury and asked if they had any first shoes with instep support. The teenage assistant looked at me weirdly, consulted with an invisible colleague in the back, and suggested I get a special appliance from the hospital.
Fortunately, our local branch of Jones is brilliant, perhaps because they know I'm a regular punter with three kids and will spend a major fortune there over the next 15 years or so so there's no need to rush me. They will measure feet and say if we don't need new shoes

Clayhead · 02/10/2004 22:20

I'm really lucky, we have an independent kids shoe shop in our small town which I walk past every day. If I think dd's shoes are getting small I get the lady to check them and she usually says there is another few weeks' growth in them. I think she is more interested in retaining long term custom than selling a pair of shoes which aren't needed. dd's feet grow slowly so she doesn't often need new shoes.

The shoes are about £5 more expensive than Clarks but I don't need to get in the car, pay parking or mither with 2 kids - I just pop in with the pushchair.

I have tried to 'save money' by going to Clarks a couple of times recently but the service has been so poor and I've waited so long I'm never going again. They repeatedly don't have the size I want in stock so I have a wasted journey and save nothing at all. Shame as I actually like the shoes.

fisil · 03/10/2004 10:07

Lulupop - snap, we have the H fitting problem too. This is my problem with sizing. There are only 6 widths, yet they never ever carry G or H, so ds has had to have both of his pairs of shoes so far in shoes 1 1/2 sizes too big - one from Bromleys, the other from John Lewis'. It was JL we were in yesterday when they were so crap.

What gets me (I knew I would rant if I turned to shoe sizes) is the people who say "yes, we have a problem because ds has such narrow feet - D!" This means that G is too wide and D is too narrow. So in fact shoe shops only stock sizes E & F! Why bother?

And yes, the reason why I was already in a bad mood is because I could hear children around me being offered a choice of shoes and I still remember how sad it was as a child to see everyone else chosing a style of shoes they liked, whereas I had to have the only pair that was made in a G or H width!

Should have mated with someone with narrow feet and hoped for normal offspring!

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