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!
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.
It is best to allow your child to go barefoot as often as possible in the early stages of walking. This allows the feet to breathe and to feel the floor for stability. However, make sure there are no sharp objects that might cause injury and pop some shoes on when they’re walking outside or in public places.
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 80% of children. Where possible we always state what widths our shoes are suitable for.
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.
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.
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.
Again, there are no hard and fast rules but you should allow some growing room and as a general rule shoes should have 12 – 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.
Kids’ feet grow very quickly. During their first three or four years, they can grow as much as two whole shoe sizes each year. By school age, this slows to about one whole size each year. Have your child’s feet checked regularly to ensure they always have a shoe that fits properly and that this period of rapid growth progresses normally.
Once your child reaches school age, it will slow to about one size per year. All feet stop growing at different times, but by the age of 10, most girls have completed 90 percent of foot growth. A boy completes about 80 percent of his foot growth by the time he is ten years old. The feet have stopped growing for most girls at age 14. Foot growth stops for boys when they reach 16.
We sometimes get emails asking if our Clarks shoes are genuine – the answer is…yes they are! We have never come across any fake Clarks shoes on the market, let’s be honest…why would you fake a pair of £30 Clarks shoes when you can fake a pair of £200 Nike trainers? (I know, my son bought a pair!)
We buy all our Clarks children’s shoes direct from Clarks.
Agatha, Gabor & Garvalin – standard F width
BMS canvas can be a little on the big side
Richter, Primigi & Ricosta tend to be good for a narrower foot (ie E-F width)
Buckle My Shoe tend to be good for a standard to wider foot (ie F-G width)
Geox are good for F-G widths
Chatterbox, Chipmunks, Beppi & Character brands are great for F-G widths.
Any questions? Just ask!