I bought my twins’ first shoes a month or so before they started walking. They were cruising around the furniture and suddenly seemed too grown up to be going out shoeless. I’d been in a massive rush to get my eldest daughter’s first shoes, but second time around I was a bit more laid back. Toddlers actually don’t need proper shoes until their walking is well-established; after about six weeks.
We went to John Lewis and were advised that they needed ‘cruisers’; these would be fine for now and would be good for six weeks-to-two months after they started walking. The girls were professionally measured and then we were brought out several different styles from Startrite and Clarks that were available in their size (Maria was half a size bigger so sadly no shoe-swapping just yet!). The Clarks were a really good fit, and even better we were able to get two different styles that were equally nice; something that is surprisingly difficult to achieve when you like dressing your twins differently.
Maria and Gabby probably had their cruisers a little longer than they should, but when we had them measured a few months ago there was no change in size. However, recently I was finding it harder to get their shoes on, so having been really happy with the style and – more importantly – the durability of their first pair, we headed straight to Clarks in Sutton this time. I was armed with my Twins Trust membership card so that I could get the 10% discount that Clarks offers members.
The twins and their big sister LOVE shoes and were rather excited and started running around the store and touching displays. Thankfully, we were seen very promptly and order was restored quickly. Clarks have trained shoe fitters who know all about the development of childrens’ feet. The assistant that was fitting the twins’ shoes also seemed to have a way with children as both girls behaved and sat really still whilst they were being measured.
I mentioned that their existing shoes had fit them for a long time and was reassured when I was told that they are fit with plenty of growing room. It made it feel like, what I thought were quite expensive shoes, were more cost-effective. I was also confident that I was getting good quality pairs for the money with good support and suitable for their stage of mobility. I was also surprised by the honesty of the assistant when she said that the actual length of their existing shoes was still ok. However, she (and a senior member of staff that came over to supervise the fitting) took time to show me the areas that were a little tight. All to say, it didn’t feel like a hard sell! The shoes cost £32 a pair, so I paid £57.60 with my Twins Trust discount. I had already bought Sofia a lovely red pair when Clarks were doing a special 20% off weekend for Twins Trust members.
It was a very stress-free experience and we were really happy with the shoes, which are summery and delicate looking but good quality and sturdy.
A few days later I also bought them a very cheap pair each (£6 a pair) from ASDA. They are not for prolonged use as – unlike the Clarks shoes – they don’t offer the support that is needed for growing feet. However, for messing about in the garden for short periods they are great and save the ‘good shoes’, which were getting scraped on our outdoor steps.
Although nothing seems to feed their shoe fetish better than mummy’s Jimmy Choos!