Buying school shoes – Here we go again!

Every time. Every flipping time we have to buy school shoes it’s a hassle.

Because my younger son has wide feet. Really wide feet. Above an H. Which means he has to go up a half size or a size every time. And they only make one or two flipping awful styles to fit him.

With football boots and trainers, we just literally make the sizes up as we go along. So he had size 8 football boots in year 5 (have you seen how narrow football boots are?!) and we recently bought him a pair of trainers in a 9.5. Just half a size smaller than his dad – 30 years older and a whole lot taller.

But with school shoes, they’re actually supposed to fit.

Last summer, in total exasperation at the lack of styles for a boy with stupidly wide feet, I bought him men’s shoes. I was feeling pretty smug. They were smart and no more expensive than boys’ shoes.

But, as it turns out, men’s shoes are not hardwearing.

My son plays football every lunchtime. In his school shoes (apart from when he played in his socks and broke his toe). Boys’ shoes are built for playing football at lunchtime. Men’s shoes are not. They were already looking pretty knackered by October half-term and after Christmas I was feeling pretty ashamed to be sending my son to school in those shoes.

So in February half-term, we bit the bullet.

We went shopping for school shoes.

The good thing about February half-term is that nobody else is buying school shoes, so the shops were at least quiet. Which is a good job, as we had to go in so many of them.

We started with Clarks and I was shocked to discover that my son’s feet are actually only a 7.5. We add so many sizes on, that I had literally no idea what size they actually are. But of course we had to go up to an 8 or 8.5. And the selection was worse than ever. Not just horrible chunky lace-ups, but horrible chunky VELCRO. Seriously, what 13 year old boy with size 7.5 or 8 or 8.5 feet wants to wear velcro to go to school?!

Would we have to buy men’s shoes again and watch them fall apart in a matter of weeks?

No, we would try another children’s shoe shop!

In the next one, I didn’t bother getting his feet measured, I just explained the scenario.

They could offer us slip-ons.

Slip-ons?! Seriously?!

So we headed for the next one. Where there were 27 people (OK, maybe six) gazing over a customer-free shop full of beautiful overpriced heels with matching handbags. And two kids being served in the children’s department, seemingly trying on every pair of shoes in the shop.

Twenty minutes we waited. TWENTY! Why couldn’t those lazy arses/ assistants downstairs leave the peace of the heels and matching handbags to assist my son? And why the flip couldn’t they turn the flipping irritating music off the telly?!

I was SO close to walking out. Because I knew it was just a box ticking exercise. We were there merely to confirm that none of the shoes in the kids’ department fit my son, before buying men’s shoes, which would fall apart before Easter.

When we were finally served, I explained our predicament – no point wasting time with measuring – and then something strange happened.

The assistant appeared with a PILE of boxes. Four pairs of shoes. OK, so two of them were horrible chunky lace-ups, but at least they weren’t velcro or slip-ons. And two of them were smart lace-ups. The sort of shoe a 13 year old boy at grammar school actually wants to wear!

Yes, they were a bit big (he had to go to a 9), but they were wide enough and they were smart enough. And they weren’t from the men’s department. And I won’t have to go shopping for school shoes for my son again until August. Thank flip for that!

(They were also £68, but we’ll gloss over that bit.)

School shoes, Son

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Sometimes you find the right thing in a surprising place. Glad you managed to get some that he’s happy with. Did wince a bit at the price though.

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    • The price is horrendous! I don’t mind if they last him until the end of the school year, though. And I know where I will be looking for shoes for him next time!

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  2. What a great find….I hope they last! Eek! They better for that price. hehehe

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    • They weren’t in great shape after one day of wear 🙁 Yes, he played football in them, but that’s what boys do and boys’ shoes should be designed to withstand that!

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  3. It feels like only a couple of weeks ago you were buying shoes. Glad you found a good pair. They look very similar to ones my OH have!

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    • We last bought them in August ready for the new school year. They look very similar to ones my husband has too, although he gets his from Hotter. I might actually go there for my son in future as these didn’t do very well after only one day at school 🙁

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  4. Don’t get me started on school shoes – and yes I was school shoe shopping yesterday for yet another pair for my 9 year old – who tries to insist that his feet are bigger than they actually are!

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    • Ha ha, my daughter does that! She’s forever telling me her feet have grown when they haven’t! I’ve told her she will DEFINITELY have new shoes when she goes to her grammar school, whether or not her feet have grown. Can’t look scruffy on her first day!

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  5. £68!!! Oh my god!! I thought £45 was expensive. I haven’t been able to get my youngest son into a shoe shop for nearly two years as he hates having his feet measured, so I printed off a foot measurer from the internet which was not particularly reliable but seemed to do the trick. I think all of my kids hate having their feet measured but it is easier with my daughter. It is scary how expensive kid’s shoes are but also the availability for wider feet is a nightmare too, my two have wide feet and so we are always up a size.

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