Back to school. Clarks home fitting service review

Clarks foot measuring guage

I absolutely love the idea of this: You buy your own foot measure gadget, measure your child’s foot size, order your shoes online, safe in the knowledge that you’re still getting the expert length and width sizing and then NEVER HAVE TO VISIT THE STORE during the hellish back to school few weeks when every store is like human soup.

However, it didn’t quite work out like that for us.
This is the Clarks Foot Measuring Gauge. You follow the simple instructions, get a length and a width measurement (in millimetres), then log on to the Clarks website to tap in the numbers and get your child’s foot size. Simples.
There are loads of instructions online and a leaflet sent out with your gauge, or you can even opt to have it delivered to a store and have one of the staff members show you how to use it properly.

We opted for the deliver to home version because I love the idea of being able to buy their school shoes totally online from the comfort of my office chair.
We measure, we tap in the numbers, we get our sizes. We order both pairs of shoes from the really quite extensive range. Both of the kids are really happy. Mummy is even happier.
The shoes come. AND THEY DON’T FIT. By a country mile.

Gnashes teeth.

At this point you can send them back free of charge or return them to a Clarks store. I just want to get the right shoes so I return to a store.
And at the store they measure both kids’ feet on the machine and both of their feet measure a whole size bigger. Dan goes from 3.5F on the home measure to 4.5G in store. I can’t have got it THAT wrong, surely?

clarks school shoes

So they exchange the shoes easily, a trained fitter checks them for fit and both the kids – and me – are happy. Again.

So here is the moral of the story from my experience. You simply cannot replace the store experience. Different shoe styles fit in different ways. Your child could measure a 4 but need a 4.5 in the style they want. And the fitters will be able to bring out as many pairs of shoes as you can bear to try on until you get it right.
I’ve actually remeasured both of their feet with the gauge since returning home and got two different measurements! You need to be really really careful when using it – check and check again. And read the instructions. Then read them again.
OR, arrive at the store as it opens to avoid the rush. And get the shoes you really need!

Back to school Clarks shoes
* We tested the shoes out thoroughly with the aid of their Micro Scooters!*

This is a review for the Clarks measure and fit at home service. I was sent the gauge free of charge (it usually costs £8) and a pair of shoes for both Dan and Mia. 

Tomorrow: Testing out school uniform


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5 Responses to Back to school. Clarks home fitting service review

  1. MelkshamMum says:

    I'm so glad this turned out the way it did as I was all geared up to say no way can it work! I love in store how they measure the kiddies up, get out the shoes, then realise nothing fits. It's always "well in this style they need a wider fitting blah blah blah!" I am currently psyching myself for THAT dreaded visit – yes, I have left it until the very last minute. Gah.
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  2. iotamanhattan says:

    I'm really fed up with Clarks. Went to my local one towards the beginning of the summer. The machine was out of order, and the hand-held measuring gauge was missing the strap, so they could measure length but not width. I said I'd come back another day. Went back a couple of weeks later. Machine still not working, and still only one, defective gauge in the shop. Talked to a frazzled shop assistant (long queues, clearly under-staffed), and when I said I'd like to talk to a manager, she suggested I contact the company via the website. For "suggested" read "strongly encouraged". So I did. I got a reply, but it was very much a standard reply. Didn't address my points.

    Also (and I've checked this out with a podiatrist), their school shoes range have VERY low heels. Most are either totally flat, or – like Mia's – have a very low heel. For good foot health, children should be wearing heels with a bit more of a heel. I speak as one who has been suffering from painful inflammation of the Achilles tendon on both legs, brought on by too much wearing of flat flip-flops in my summers in America. I raised this with Clarks, but it was one of the points they chose not to reply to.

  3. we experienced this in-store – we were buying our first ever pair of school shoes (sob) and my daughter chose the same shoes that your daughter has on (good taste!) and I picked another pair and both were about a half size different once tried on even though they were meant to be the same size.
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