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Shopping

aaaargh children's shoes

52 replies

hattynewyear · 03/01/2005 22:20

ok I'm after chapter and verse from all of you. I'm opening the floor to all comments but answers to the following would be particularly welcome: Am I the only person who can NEVER find shoes that I really like? How many do your kids have and where do you get them from? Are "school" shoes deliberately so horrid to con us all into buying our 5 year olds two pairs when one would do? Does anyone actually like nubuck (that fake swede effect stuff that seems to be on every shoe and that looks grand for about two days then looks -permanently - filthy. Is nubuck perhaps another retail conspiracy to get us to buy more shoes than we need? How can they possily justify charging £40 for a pair of kids' boots? And, most importantly of all, does anyone know where I can buy a pair of shoes that are a little bit pretty, but definitely no sequins or anything tacky, but simple enough for school, suitable for winter (ie not Mary-Janes) and that look good with both trousers and skirts? Or am I living on another planet? I don't want much out of life but I would like to stick to the one season one shoe (or rather one pair) principle if at all possible.

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lockets · 03/01/2005 23:47

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clary · 04/01/2005 07:58

We always go to clarks as we have a lovely independent shop near us where the staff are really nice and they even have a regular customer discount scheme (buy 10 pairs and get one free...we've had two free pairs so far!).
But i do agree that the range is tricky, esp for girls; boys shoes are realy nice but for some reason girls under 5 are obliged to have shoes with lots of pink flowers etc. I only get the kids one pair so thay have to go with everything and DD doesn't even wear that much pink (a lot of her stuff is DS1's cast-offs, poor baby).

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hattynewyear · 04/01/2005 08:13

possibly Denmark Road then - just round the corner!

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Furball · 04/01/2005 08:34

I go to Jones now after Clarks sold me an odd pair of trainers!! For some reason I checked the size label and was quite astounded when they had been so called fitted correctly but DS's biggest foot was in a 1/2 size smaller than his left?? I've also discovered that trainers should be 1/2 a size bigger anyway, so I was completely mis-sold them. Another thing that gets me, is it's difficult to buy shoes that are actually for the season we are in, come July everywhere has sold out of sandals/doodles and all you can get is winter shoes. It's the same with clothes, all the shops now have spring summer stuff in, Do manufacturers not realise that children grow so quickly that we might actually want to buy a jumper in February or shorts in August!

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Bozza · 04/01/2005 08:52

I go to a shop that sells several brands because more than once in Clarks they have not had a single pair that have fitted DS's feet. Last time out of the Clarks, Start-Rite, Kickers and Elefantine ranges we had a choice of one pair of start-rite shoes that fitted. Neither DS nor I were particularly enamoured and they were about £35 (NB these were shoes not boots because none of the boots fitted) but we had no choice.

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marialuisa · 04/01/2005 10:13

Have never had any probs getting DD shoes, but then i'm also happy for her to have several pairs. She has to have navy/black leather shoes for school (always Start-rite) but usually buy italian makes for home (boots in Winter, sandals in summer). She has some really gorgeous boots from Naturino (admittedly a little pricey) and Primigi (average price). Have you tried a chain called Instep? They definitely have branches in London.

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yoyo · 04/01/2005 10:53

If any of you are in within reach of Swansea the Start Rite shop on the Kingsway is closing down and ALL stock is on sale . They also do some Elefanten. Bought some there last week and was surprised at how much stock they had. Really excellent prices.

Sad to see this shop close as it has been thre for as long as I can remember.

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lockets · 04/01/2005 11:25

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MrsBigD · 04/01/2005 11:29

hate clarks they never have anything for dd, 3 years old and size 5 d/h. Her feet are just too dainty. Have a brilliant shop nearby in Pitshanger Lane though. It's a bit pricy, but the sales assistants are very good with kids and very thorough to make sure the shoes fit. The shop offers anything from startrite to little botte etc. DD only has a couple of pairs of shoes at the moment due to budget restraints. But that's no problem as she only wants to wear her pink ones with the fluffy fur on top...

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starlover · 06/01/2005 16:37

this thread caught my eye because I work (am on maternity leave) for Clarks.

Yes, people often have to wait to be served, because it takes time to fit a child with a pair of shoes. Also, with the ticket system, some lovely children find it hilarious to take several thousand tickets at a time, making it look like there are many, many people waiting when in fact there are not!
My top tip... never come in during the last 2 weeks of August/ 1st week September!
BTW furball... trainers do NOT have to be 1/2 a size bigger. We used to fit them slightly bigger because they were made for Clarks by reebok, and the sizing was slightly out. They are now made by Clarks and the sizing has evened out (although it does vary depending on the style). In fact, trainers should not be fitted with as much room in the toe as shoes because the padding settles down a lot and the shoe will become bigger.
All shops make mistakes sometimes... and I am sure that had you taken your odd pair back they would have been replaced with a brand new pair.

For all the people who can't get nice shoes in smaller sizes... PLEASE PLEASE WRITE TO CLARKS! We do get a lot of people in wanting smaller sizes in plain colours... but nothing will change unless the people in head office know about it! (they pay no attention to us drones who work for them!)

Anyway, I just wanted to stick up for Clarks, because we do our best and it's just as annoying for us when we don't have the one style in stock that you like as it is for you!

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starlover · 06/01/2005 16:39

oh, and for the people who get measured in Clarks and then buy shoes elsewhere... there's actually not much point.
Our sizing system goes with our shoes. You will find that shoes from other shops vary greatly , plus most places don't do varying widths... so it's a waste of your time (and ours).

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lou33 · 06/01/2005 16:43

i've stopped using clarks now, as every time they measured my kids the shoes never fitted, either were too big and slopping about or too tight. Blisters etc, and more trips returning shoes i had spent a fortune. One sales assistant told me that when they were measured for shoes, it didn't mean that was their size, but merely a starting point for them.

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Clayhead · 06/01/2005 16:47

starlover, I wrote to Clarks recently about the lack of availability and plain shoes in smaller sizes, they wrote back saying they don't have an availability problem and no one wants plain shoes in smaller sizes. I was disappointed and haven't been back since. To be honest, I was expecting more from them.

Do you think it's just a head office thing?

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starlover · 06/01/2005 17:04

lou33... the measurement IS only a starting point because kids all have different shaped feet, and so some styles work better than others.... also the measurement can't take things like the instep into consideration so it does happen that the size you are measured with isn't always the size you take home.
If the shoes you are fitted with cause blisters or anything you should take them back to your store and demand them to be refitted and replaced... perhaps it is just the store I work in, but we are always happy to do this for people who have had problems with shoes.

clayhead- i do think it's a head office thing. It just needs more and more people to complain. We aren't able to order our own stock, we just get what they send us and we inevitably run out of the more popular styles early in the season. I think we need to start a mumsnet campaign to make them see sense!
Our other most common complaint is not having sandals and winter boots in different widths (no iedea why!) and the lack of narrow fits for boys and wide fits for girls

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lockets · 06/01/2005 17:13

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MrsBigD · 07/01/2005 17:58

just been down to the shop in pitshanger lane and they're great! DD's got very narrow and small feet so very hard to find shoes that fit properly. The staff there really took their time, were really good with her and even kept the shop open longer because we weren't done!

Found the perfect brand for dd now... babybotte... the seem to be especially designed for her tiny tots

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Clayhead · 07/01/2005 18:11

MrsBigD, my dd (3) has narrow and small feet and I have stumbled upon a make called 'Verde Oasi' in a local shop. They seem to fit her feet perfectly. They cost about £30 a pair at the shop we go to and dd is on her third pair since we discovered them, the lady goes straight for them now as they fit her so well.

I can't believe I'm discussing shoe brands! I have never been into shoes myself but dd's little feet have forced me to shop around to find something that fits her.

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MrsBigD · 07/01/2005 20:18

CH I'm not one for shoe shopping myself, I don't like fashionable shoes as I think they're either hideous or uncomfortable. but with dd I'm turning into an Imelda Marcos in lieu

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NewbarnsleygirlWalliams · 07/01/2005 20:45

O M G Starlover I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I used to work for Clarks, I left in Jan last year after having dd. Thank you for sticking up for them.
I'd also like to point out about the odd shoe problem. Sadly at sale times things get a bit manic and accidents do happen like putting wrong sizes back in boxes. Which branch were you at Starlover?

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NewbarnsleygirlWalliams · 07/01/2005 21:09

Is this another thread I have killed or are'nt there many here tonight?!

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hattynewyear · 07/01/2005 21:41

lockets - there's one in Sheen too which I went to the other day. Loved the shoes but unfortunately got a very duff assistant - measured for size then forgot, brought smaller shoes when dd had distinctly said they were too narrow, said a pair was ok, then got someone else to check who said they were definitely too small. Hasn't put me off coz the shoes are great and assistants come and go. If Iget a duff one second time round though then I'd start to blame teh shop

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hattynewyear · 07/01/2005 21:44

thanks for your post starlover, very interesting

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wheresmyfroggy · 07/01/2005 21:44

Try the Putney one hatty.
Although the assistant was annoyingly beautiful too.....

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wheresmyfroggy · 07/01/2005 21:44

Sorry should explain am lockets dh...........

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NewbarnsleygirlWalliams · 07/01/2005 21:48

For those of you who don't like Clarks there is Kids at Clinks. They have trained fitters and sell a range of different brands from Startrite to Timberland.

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