When I was a kid, getting school shoes for the new school year always involved going to Clarks and getting my feet professionally measured. It was almost a rite of passage and it's one that I've kept going with the Madhouse kids. We have shopped around, going for cheaper alternatives from supermarkets and high street competitors, but we always end up grumbling that it's a false economy because they never last as long as Clarks shoes. We were therefore delighted when Clarks asked us if we'd like to go down to the Hastings branch, get the kids' feet measured and check out their core collection.
It was actually a great time to go and investigate because there are some bargains to be had in the January sales.
I must admit, I always associate Clarks with boring black and brown "sensible school shoes", so I was impressed to see a whole shelf full of fashionable and funkily coloured trainers.
Juliette excitedly headed off with a very smiley sales assistant to stand on the machine and have her feet digitally measured. She came back to inform us that she's a 1 and a half F. You never get such a precise measurement in other shoe shops. Juliette decided she'd like some boots, pointed out a few that she liked and was presented with a selection of styles and colours in her size to try on.
The pair that she ultimately opted for - black mid-calf length boots with a star design on the side and a lace-up detail at the back for £54 - were actually slightly too big when she tried walking in them, so the sales assistant added insoles for free.
Pierre had been patiently waiting and enviously watching Juliette getting all the attention, so I said that he could choose a pair of trainers in the sales. As he's smaller, he had his feet measured by hand rather than on the machine - he didn't grumble though ! - and I was impressed to find a pair in exactly his size and a style that he liked on the sales shelf (reduced from £30 to £20).
These are the ones he chose (and he proudly put them on by himself so they're not really done up properly - the Velcro strips should be a bit tighter and a lot straighter!). They seem to support his feet and ankles more than than the trainers he had before and the sales assistant had him running around the shop (literally !) to make sure that they were a good fit !
While I was sorting out the kids, Madhouse Daddy had found a pair for himself for work in the sales racks too, so it's not just kids' shoes at Clarks !
If you don't want to spend ages hanging around instore with over-excited kids, you can phone to book a timeslot for the measuring machine. You can also call in to check your kids' feet haven't changed sizes without being under any pressure to buy new shoes, or if you prefer checking at home, you can buy a foot gauge just like the ones instore to measure your kids' feet at home.
for more information : http://www.clarks.co.uk/
Disclosure : We received some vouchers in order to write an honest review of the whole Clarks experience.
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