Ah school shoes. A phrase to strike a heavy blow to any parent’s solar plexus.
They can be expensive, be put through the wringer by your ‘active’ child and if you’ve got more than one young one at school you’re looking at double, treble, quadruple the fun.
We were recently asked to trial Start Rite shoes for an experiment they were doing to see just how kids shoes wear in the first few weeks of school. I was quizzed about my twos’ shoe wearing habits – see my Start Rite profile and Q&A here – and they made suggestions on which shoes might be a good fit.
I got to measure their feet at home and order through their online service (here’s my experience of the Start Rite online service) and then trip on off to school in them.
As the mother of older kids you’d think the hardship their shoes go through would lessen, but this is most definitely not the case.
Mia puts her shoes through hell. She cycles/scooters/skateboards to school. She runs across muddy fields “because it’s where the dog wants to go”. She has no concept that the things on her feet cost the best part of £40.
So yes, we were well up for being guinea pigs for Start Rite.
We did the trial, there’s a Start Rite video revealing lots of mums’s results from the experiment (mums with all ages of kids taking part) and you can see the results and comments of the bloggers on the Start Rite website.
But what about now, after 10 weeks of wear?
These are our shoes, above. I’ve literally picked them up from under the stairs and photographed them, so no cleaning, or polishing up or attending to them.
I’m really quite impressed.
Mia’s shoes are scuffed to high heaven but the integrity of the shoe itself is still excellent. The sole is quite chunky which is great as it is definitely showing signs of wear now. But the bow is (miraculously) still intact, the strap still looks clean and tidy and the insole and heel have plenty of wear in them.
Dan’s shoes are my absolute favourite. That bumper around the toe ensures all the football he plays at break time hasn’t broken the integrity of the leather down and again the insole and heel are still in top condition.
The definitely look lived in, but there’s still plenty of life in the old boys yet.
Now I just need to find a way to make them clean their own shoes every week . . .