Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features

Welcome to Mumsnet's shopping board. Whether you are after a new family car or a great new coffee machine this is the board for you. Share product recommendations and reviews here. Related: Discuss clothes and fashion on our Style and beauty forum. Check out Swears By to find the products Mumsnetters love and our reviews section to see the best baby and child products put through their paces.


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:

edam · 03/10/2004 11:32

Oh, I still remember the agony of shoe shopping as a child when you've got feet at the extreme end of the scale. Mine were C and always had to be ordered ? but only after we'd spent ages measuring and trying on. And they only ever did really awful styles ? spent my childhood in those damn T-bar things. My mother even tried to make me wear them when I was 13, FFS! Stayed at the back of the wardrobe, I can tell you...


JanH · 03/10/2004 11:33

"Mated with", fisil? LOL!


tallulah · 03/10/2004 12:30

Our local Clarks shop would always tell me that there was still room in the shoes.

My four have all got wide feet, with the complication of a high instep & narrow ankle! If you had to invent a foot that was the most difficult to fit, that would be it! While we were at the stage of frequent shoe-buying we always bought them at Street (Clarks factory outlet) because 4 pairs at once at normal prices was out of the question. It always involved 2 hours of tantrums from various people (particularly DH) & just one pair that would fit each child (usually the same style for all 3 boys grrr) I got so used to the "this pair is all we have in your size" that I've been amazed to be offered a choice in recent years.

Now we are on the 3 sizes a year rapid growth-spurt with teenagers, so shoes are once again costing a fortune. DS2 is now a size 8 H (I didn't know they made children's shoes so big).

Meanbean, as your DD's shoes only fit her for 2 weeks, take them back. My DD once had a pair that only lasted 3 weeks & I took them back. They are supposed to have growing room. Clarks exchanged them without arguing (I did have the receipt). They also exchanged some I'd bought at the outlet where the sole came away after 6 weeks.


misdee · 03/10/2004 12:45

dd2 has wide feet (G). i always ask them to bring what they have out. i actually had to go to 3 clarkes shops in 2 different towns before we found some velcro strapped trainers that i liked and dd2 liked. i remember onw young lad telling me dd1 was a D fitting (always been e/f) and he tried to force these pretty shoes onto her feet. they were far too tight. i told him to forget it. 2 days later she was measured in a different shop and was sized as a F fitting.


Ameriscot2004 · 03/10/2004 12:50

I buy as few pairs of shoes as possible, yet we are still overwhelmed. I only buy when needed (ie outgrown or falling apart)

All the girls' shoes get handed down, with only DD! getting new ones. The boys's shoes aren't capable of being handed down, so they both get new.


nikkim · 03/10/2004 13:03

because I like shopping and my dp has told me I have too many shoes so I have started on dd!


edam · 03/10/2004 13:21

Ameriscot, it's a really bad idea to wear second-hand shoes, especially for children whose feet are still growing. Shoes adapt to fit the wearer's feet. If you wear shoes that someone else has worn they won't fit you properly and, in children, can restrict growth. I know shoe shopping is a pain, and expensive, but it really is necessary to buy children new shoes.


finleysmum · 03/10/2004 13:21

The foot measure from Vertbaudet is very easy to use.I don't take it as complete gospel i just use it to keep an eye on DS's foot growth.If he moves up a size i then take him to Clarks and have his feet measured and new shoes fitted.
The foot gauge is in both continental sizes and uk too!.


aloha · 03/10/2004 13:39

I tend only buy ds new shoes when a/the seasons change or b/he's outgrown his winter/summer shoes. But I am expecting a girl, and might find myself tempted more often, so might well want to buy various pairs for fun.


Demented · 03/10/2004 13:51

Only when outgrown or well an truely worn out whichever comes first. I have been told several times by Clarks that either DS still has plenty of growing room so there is no need to replace the shoes so wouldn't have any worries about them trying to sell me shoes that weren't needed.

I have bought DS1 shoes that haven't been fitted and they were fine but the last time I tried to get him something non-fitted I wasted about three hours and DS1 was getting really cranky taking shoes on and off in various shops, nothing seemed to be a good fit and I have decided that in future it's probably best just to have them measured even if that means making do with less shoes.

DS2 has wide feet and on two occasions I have had to take him back to Clarks as the shoes have been hurting him and they have been extremely apologetic and quick with a replacement, last time they even gave me £5 compensation as I had taken DS2 to Edinburgh with no buggy in his new shoes and they were cutting into his feet so he wouldn't walk and I had to carry him for miles. Obviously if you have fitted the shoes yourself you can't exactly take the shoes back and say "they don't fit properly".

I wouldn't pass down shoes for the same reasons as edam gives.


SoupDragon · 03/10/2004 14:12

I buy new shoes when they fall apart or are outgrown, depending which comes first!

I've taken DS1 into Clarkes and simply asked them to check the fit of his school shoes. They said they fitted fine and I left. No problem.

I have very narrow feet and had shoe nightmares as a child. Still do actually because loads of styles gape on my feet and the only alternative width they do in adult shoes is wide. Bah!


leglebegle · 03/10/2004 14:40

I get them checked every 6-8 weeks, but have always been told he's gone up a size. I have to confess to always being on the look out for shoes for him though as he is the widest fitting, there are never nice shoes available so I am always scouting around trying to find a different pair. I just ordered some from Clarks though which are like timberlands with lights on !! They are fab and came in 10 days (I had his feet measured at John Lewis first) x


ladymuck · 03/10/2004 14:42

The question of stock is a tricky one, especially over the summer holidays. I worked as a shoe fitter for John Lewis during my college summer holidays - we would serve 400-500 customers each day in the final week of the school holidays, and of course, even though we had substantial deliveries each day there was no way that we could have a full range of shoes available in every size. Feet seem to have widened over the years and G/H fittings are fast approaching the norm (I remember the introduction of the Clark's H fitting - how sad is that). And of course children can go through a spurt, so even ordering shoes (which can take several weeks to arrive) generally isn't an option.

Don't know about other places, but John Lewis staff weren't on a commission. But the only way of avoiding waiting was to be there within minutes of the shop opening.

From the "other side", I would try to listen to what the customer was asking - some already had a couple of shoes picked out, or were obviously looking at some, so on those occasions I would assume that the customer did want something. If a customer just asked for the child to be measured I would do just that, and check their current shoes for any tell-tale signs of mis-fitting (eg are the creases where they are designed to be, have the heels work down evenly, or are there any other unusual signs). For the latter you need the child to be wearing their main pair of shoes of course, but then you also need to have some faith in the person doing the measuring. Most children do seem to have a spurt over the summer, and many parents appeared to want new shoes for the start of the school year (and certainly didn't want to be back again within a month or so).

Must admit I particularly dislike the current season's choice of Clark shoes for toddler boys.


tallulah · 03/10/2004 14:53

Soupdragon, the wide Clarks shoes are only an E or EE fitting & I'm a G/H like my kids


SoupDragon · 03/10/2004 15:03

I have no idea what my feet are Tallulah other than they're less than the standard D fitting and size 7. Do they measure adult feet?

I can't even buy flipflops unless they come with velcro fastenings


ladymuck · 03/10/2004 15:08

Have to say that there was nothing worse than trying to fit shoes on C/D fittings... Chhildren's shoes in particulr are now being disgned to look better on wider feet IMO. And for anyone who getsds frustrated by the lack of G/H fittings (due to them flying off the shelves), you'd be more upset with the choice of C/D fittings (gathering dust from several seasons ago....)


essbee · 03/10/2004 15:23

Message withdrawn


fisil · 03/10/2004 16:20

Ladymuck, how do you cope with narrow feet? With wide ones it is easy - you go up sizes until you can actually get your foot in one, but I can't see how you can go down! I didn't knwo the thing about G&H's flying off the shelves - we've actually been shown catalogues to prove that G&H just don't exist in ds' size and that's that. It's not that they've under ordered or sold out, they just don't fit. As for comments that wide shoes don't look good on narrow feet (can't remember who said that) but there speaks the voice of a person who maybe at one point in their lives actually had a choice about which shoes to wear - something that I would never expect as it has never happened to me - I don't care what shoes look like, I just want them comfy!

Oh, and has anyone with wide feet ever been able to wear open toe shoes? Me neither. Nothing more sexy than a little peep-hole with nothing there!

Oh dear, this really is a subject I can get passionate about!

On a similar vein, yes JanH, "mate". What, you chose your life partner for love, or something? Surely it was all about reproduction. lol.

OP posts:

hovely · 03/10/2004 16:25

can anyone tell me how start-rite compare to clarks? We have ben given a lovely pair of start-rite boots in a 9E; dd measures up as & is wearing 8Gs from Clarks, but the soles of the start-rite boots look actually a little smaller than the clarks. I am paranoid about damaging dd's feet, but for the sake of not spending £30 on new ones, what do you think?


SoupDragon · 03/10/2004 16:37

Ah, but Fisil, imagine a pair of open toed shoes with a scrawly foot sliding all over the place in it. It's only Ms Average who gets to wear whatever shoe they want.


JanH · 03/10/2004 16:58

Funny you should say that, fisil - I have instructed both my daughters to look for men with large jaws (all 4 kids have had to have orthodontics), exceptional eyesight (they all need glasses too), and narrow feet (they all need herring boxes without topses).

Maybe mumsnet should set up a mating agency.


fisil · 03/10/2004 18:44

yeah,JanH I'm beginning to get a funny feeling that there have been a few nations along the way in history who have gone into this business quite seriously.

At least being short, fat, blue-eyed and short-sighted and chosing to mate with a short, fat, blue-eyed, short-sighted man we could have a fairly good guess about how our offspring would turn out!

OP posts:

JanH · 03/10/2004 19:18


Scuse shouting.


fisil · 03/10/2004 19:19

I'll tell dp you said that!

OP posts:

fisil · 03/10/2004 19:19

OP posts:
Please create an account

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

We're all short on time

Log in or sign up to use the 'See Next' or 'See all' posts by the OP (Original Poster) and cut straight to the action.

Already signed up?

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?