I love and hate buying shoes for N. Winter shoes are worse because even though he’s only 3, sometimes all that’s available when you want them is boring black. I want something with a bit of colour but not too trendy or too garish. And preferably no gimmicks like squeaks, flashing lights or toys inside the heel. But summer also proves hard when you have an idea of what you want (ie boys sandals) but need to find the item in store.
For summer N tends to have a couple of pairs of shoes. Some canvas pumps…if I could find some cheaper ones that would fit properly and he’s comfortable in, I would buy those, but I always struggle. They seem to always be too tight or rub. So we end up having to spend a bit more to get a decent brand that are fitted properly.
When the weather’s a lot warmer and definitely going to be dry, then I love him in sandals. And this is where I find it hard to get the right ones.
Not only do you have to find
- · The right style
- · The right fit
- · The right size
You also need to time it so that you find the perfect sandals at the start of the season when there’s more in stock…often before the weather’s improved, otherwise leave it a month or so and there’s no choice left. N’s feet also never seem to time their growing stages with the seasons. He needed new winter shoes just as all the shops were running down stock for summer season, but it wasn’t dry enough to go straight for summery styles. Damn those children for feet growing at the wrong times. In an ideal world you want to buy sandals (especially when you’re spending over £30) at the start of the season, but typically that doesn’t work out!
I always struggle as I prefer the leather sandals. Not only that, but closed toe leather sandals. Now for girls, they have sandals galore in stores, but for boys, it always seems to be sports sandals, with maybe the one token leather pair. Clarks had none, my local Startrite stockist in town didn’t have any in, but could order them. I tried a nearby little town’s shoe shop as they stock a good range, but they had one pair of Startrite in…the lady pulled them out of the box and they were purple. Well, to me they looked purply-pink, definitely not red which I could have lived with. Apart from the style, they looked like girls shoes.
As a back up I knew they fitted, so I could always order online a different colourway if available. But I decided to do a quick visit to a shoe shop we usually visit in Chipping Norton. The last time we did shoe shopping N didn’t play ball, but luckily it was the usual lady there doing the measuring so he was better behaved, and did what he was asked.
Although this shop is great for measuring feet and getting the right shoes for the child’s feet, you’re very much at the mercy of what’s available, and they didn’t have much in that weren’t sports sandals. What they did have was Pediped, a brand I’d not come across before.
They didn’t have their blue version of the sandals in, but brown is fine. Being in sandal form, it means it’s not as heavy a colour for summer as it might be in a normal shoe.
The sandals were a perfect fit for N. It’s easy to tell with these shoes as there’s a line guide to show where the maximum length of the foot should be for the correct toe space. There’s a memory foam inner sole which I’ve not come across before in children’s shoes. I was a bit wary of the ‘lighter’ sole as most shoes N has are a really chunky sole – thankfully as he wears through them quickly. But Pediped have the rubber barefoot sole, which are really good for young toddlers are they’re learning to walk.
One feature I liked was the the velcro fastenings are both sides of the foot, instead of just on the outside. It means you can really get the fastening at the right tightness. We quite often find there’s not quite enough velcro on one fastening shoes, so these are working well with us. N also undoes both sides when putting them on which makes it easier for him.
I love these shoes. They look really comfy, N likes them and says they’re comfortable with and without shops, and they don’t look too clumpy. They seem really well made with strong stitching. The only downside is the price – I’m always horrified that a pair of children’s sandals cost around £35. However, if they’ll last him all Summer, then per wear it works out as good value.