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Here are some of your questions answered: we have just started this new page so if there is anything you would like us to answer or anything you would like to see on this page then just let us know!
What about width fitting?
Again, there are many debates about width fittings - we are the only country in the world to have them and certain well-known shoe retailers frighten us into a panic re widths - placing emphasis on fitting - however these well-know retailers have followed suit and are now selling on-line themselves at full price! In general an F width fitting shoe will fit c80% of children. Where possible we always state what widths our shoes are suitable for.
Widths Explained
In the UK we have a width fitting system for Clarks and Start Rite shoes. Widths generally range from D to H where D is the narrowest width, E, then F is the industry standard width (fits c80% of children) and G and H are the wider widths respectively.

 How old should my child be before I buy their first pair of shoes?

There is no hard and fast answer but we would advise that your child should have been walking for a minimum of 6 weeks before you consider buying their first pair of shoes.
What type of shoes should I buy?
The shoes you do buy should always be soft leather to provide maximum flexibility, durability and breathability. The outsole should have sufficient flexibility to follow the movement of the foot.
What is the difference between Clarks and Start-Rite sizing?
There are several opinions on this one - however, in general Start-Rite tend to be a little bit bigger than Clarks (some say a half size). However, just let us know and we can measure them for you! Having measured lots of pairs up we have found that there is very little difference. Our son is the same size in both brands.
How much room do I allow for growth?
Again, there are no hard and fast rules but you should allow some growing room and as a general rule shoes should have 15mm surplus length - 3mm for the rounding at the toes, 5mm for sliding movement and 7mm for growth.

You should check the fit regularly as children's feet grow rapidly and at intervals with no set pattern.

10 Tips for Parents
  • Keep toenails trimmed straight across and not too short.
  • Keep bedclothes loose and non-restricting.
  • If your baby or toddler wears a baby-gro, ensure that it is big enough around the feet to allow full movement of the toes.
  • Buy socks made from natural materials that allow the skin to breathe. Avoid stretch socks.
  • Ensure that socks and tights fit well and check that the toe seams are not causing toes to rub.
  • Don’t force your child to walk; they will walk when they are ready.  Instead try and enjoy each special stage of development while it lasts!
  • While indoors and in a safe environment encourage your child to walk barefoot, this helps the foot to develop and strengthen.
  • Always choose shoes that are soft and flexible and made from natural materials that allow the skin to ‘breathe’. An ideal shoe should also have adjustable fastening for a better fit.
  • Polish your child’s shoes, this way they will look better and last longer.
  • Ensure baby’s feet are exercised by encouraging baby to kick and stretch.

 

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