First up… apologies. This post is seriously overdue. I teased you with it probably a month ago and lots of you have been asking when it might materialise. Promise less and deliver more has always been my motto – could do with reminding myself of that!
So…shoes. More specifically baby and toddler shoes. You see they are supposed to be cheaper, the government has made them exempt from VAT so that hard working families are not having to work overtime to buy the endless pairs of new shoes that little ones need as they grow so quickly. A recent trip to Clarke’s to buy the Bébé’s first pair left me £28 lighter and as I walked back through Cheltenham high street I couldn’t help but notice that many of the fashion shoes in the trendier shops were a lot cheaper.
I popped in to Jones the Bookmaker on another visit and was astounded to find the cutest pair of Nikes I have ever seen in the sale for just £8. The chap measured the Bébé and turned out the gods of little sneakers were looking down on me that day as they were a perfect fit. But as I left the shop, though really chuffed with my bargain hunting skills I had a nagging feeling that I’d chosen style over suitability. I’ve always assumed that babies need those pliable rubber soles on their shoes that only Startrite, Clarks or maybe Geox provide but I’d not done any real research on the subject.
We all know that mum guilt is an inescapable part of motherhood but do I want to add deformed little feet brought about due to really cool mini Nikes to my list of parent fails? No. I don’t.
So I asked and those of you who know, or know someone answered and guess what… it seems it’s great news!
I asked Natalie Kenny, Foot Health Practitioner at the Sandford Foot Clinic for her opinion…
‘I believe every child’s teeny tiny feet should be cherished. Correctly fitted shoes are vital to allow our children’s feet to develop and grow. However that doesn’t mean to say we need to spend a fortune on well known high street brands. As parents we should have the common sense to ensure our child’s footwear is comfortable and appropriate for their growing feet. There are many reasonably priced shops which sell good quality shoes.’
In addition two separate podiatrists advised after my Insta shout out that it’s not the brand that matters more the fit and the support. Turns out a snug fitting lace up is a great choice, whether it be from Sainsburys, Converse or Startrite. Velcro is back in fashion and again offers great support. You’ll know from how your baby walks in a shoe if the shoe is too heavy or the sole too thick (which on reflection I feel may be a problem with our Nikes.) The worst kind of footwear you can buy a small child would be a ballet slipper or anything that doesn’t properly close or support the foot arch. (So save the princess shoes for dressing up.)
Science over I can now safely turn my attention to the part my shallow brain finds more interesting… shopping! Here’s a few of our favourite baby/toddler spring shoe choices for tearing around the park and causing mayhem!
- Silver Superga! These shoes actually belong to the Bébé and her Gran loved them so much she has bought a matching pair. They are from Superga and we were lucky enough to snap them up pre loved from Carousel boutique in the Montpellier area of Cheltenham (you must visit if you’ve not been before!) I bought them because they are things of beauty and I didn’t hold high hopes for them being worn all that often – however she walks/runs so happily in them that I wouldn’t hesitate to get a full price pair when these are outgrown. For those of you with tiny babies keep your eyes peeled at Carousel as these will be heading back there when we are done with them!
- A traditional StartRite sandal. There’s something magical about these. They are old school and old fashioned but there is something nostalgic about dressing a child as a child and these are probably shoes you can only carry off under the age of five. Use the code GURGWX20 for 20% off all StartRite shoes orders by the 31st March. Oh and you can also download and print their special measuring grid, take pictures of your child’s foot on them and upload to their website for a digital fitting – pretty clever hey? No more queuing for someone to tell you what size their feet are and then tell you they don’t have any shoes you like in that size!
3. Converse… you just can’t go wrong with these lace up (tick in the good shoe box) Chuck All Stars – everyone looks great in a pair of Cons. At £27 not much cheaper than the Clarks standard trainer but don’t they look prettier?
Also for bigger kids I found these in the sale for £24.99. Love em!
4. These sneakers from Marks and Spencers are pretty cool and by my calculations should provide a decent amount of support. At £16 they are also pretty supportive of the fact that bringing up children is not a cheap pastime!
5. Again at a more reasonable £16 these kicks from John Lewis fasten tightly and should be ok for little feet. Nice girly option!
6. At just £10 I couldn’t not include these light beauties from Next!
Which ones are your favourite?