I always think that N’s shoes last ages and his feet grow really slowly compared to the speed of other children’s. But his last pair of shoes were getting a bit loose and misshapen, and didn’t really have the structure and warmth for winter weather. So it was time to get him measured.
I have invested in one of the Clarks shoe measures (who knew you could order these yourself!?!) so measured him myself and checked his size online on the calculator. Size 6F. I quite fancied seeing if I could get hold of any more barefoot style shoes but wanted to see them and get N to try them on as a lot only seem to be available online and tend to be a bit ‘hippyish’ for my liking. A friend had recommended a local independent shop in a nearby small town so we trekked over there one day last week to see what was in store.
Having been a SKEANIE rep for a bit, I know something about shoes for children, but the lady in the shop (shame they’ve not got a website) was brilliant and extremely thorough. Nothing like Clarks or our Charles Clinkard shop where you might get a trainee who isn’t that confident, spend ages queuing (…although Clarks have a pre-book appointment system), have to leave a buggy/shopping downstairs and traipse upstairs (whoever thought putting children’s shoes upstairs with no lift was a good idea?).
She measured N’s feet with him standing (unlike in Clarks where they still measure him sitting down) saying that as strong walkers/toddlers they need to get the width with their full weight on their feet and got him as a just about 6G. I asked how much kids feet should grow and was told that the average is going up a full size in summer as bizarrely (at any age) that’s when they tend to have a growth spurt) and half a size in winter. So from him being a size 3 in January when he had his first pair of shoes, he’s actually grown quite a lot. Luckily we’ve always had shoes with the correct 12mm growing room (a thumb width) which should give 3 months worth of wear.
N then had to stand while she had a good feel of his feet, deducing he had a bit of a raised instep. Then it was into the cupboard to work out which styles and makes of shoes they had which would suit his feet. They stock the Livie & Luca barefoot range but I didn’t want boots and they’re not really my cup of tea, and another brand I wasn’t keen on the styles either. So we were limited to Hush Puppies. Interestingly, Hush Puppies provide 2 different insoles for their shoes so the right one has to be used for the feet.
N tried on 3 pairs – one pair didn’t suit as he walked really oddly in them, another pair I wasn’t that keen on, so we opted for a pair of red & blue shoes. They really did make sure we had the right shoes for his feet, and were satisfied before we made our final choice.
I was expecting the Hush Puppies to be more expensive than Clarks & StartRite, but they were cheaper so that was a bonus too. I’ll definitely go back there for more shoes for N and would recommend anyone trying out their small local independent shoe shops (if you can find them).
I did wonder how N would take to his new shoes. He’s obsessed with his new wellies (who wouldn’t be when they’re red with bright vehicles on and when wearing them means a trip down to the farmyard?), and disliked his spare casual holiday shoes (shakes his head, says no and goes to get his normal leather shoes when I suggest those ones). But he’s taken to them really well and seems to be comfortable wearing them. The only disadvantage would be that they’re not a leather insole which means sweaty feet if he’s wearing them most of the day at nursery.