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Frequently Answered Questions
When do babies need shoes?
Babies don’t need “shoes”. Perhaps a strange thing for a shoe maker to say, but our ‘originals’ are not shoes, they are slipper socks, designed to be loose fitting and offer protection from the elements, and a degree of grip as infants make their first attempts to stand and walk. Even so, if you are indoors and nice and warm then bare foot is best.
When should babies wear shoes?
Once a child starts ‘cruising’ the furniture, learning to stand and taking those first steps, then they may need something. Modern homes often have slippery surface floors like woods, laminates and tiles. Baby shoes can help with grip but they certainly offer protection from the elements outside and also for those tentative steps out of the house. They also look great with the right outfit… just look at Prince George and Princess Charlotte!
How accurate is the sizing?
All sizing is done on an average scale according to old fashioned Imperial measures or modern metric ones. UK sizes are still usually quoted in Imperial but famously Clarks and Startrite cannot even agree on exactly what constitutes a given size! We prefer metric because our boss prefers to count in 10’s and not change scale somewhere in the middle. For baby and toddlers the most important thing is not rigid support as their bones are soft and still forming. Regardless of what it says on the shoe, be sure your child has plenty of room. You will probably find it useful to measure the length of your baby’s feet and use that measurement, but volume is also important.
So who can help with fitting?
There are a number of independent children’s shoe shops scattered around the country who are usually well qualified to measure and advise. http://www.shoefitters-uk.org/ can help if you are struggling to find one in your area. As a rough guide we have a conversion chart that will give you some guidance. Click here to view
My DD/DS is starting to walk, what should I be looking for?
First get their feet measured professionally! Then we recommend an intermediate shoe, that is to say essentially soft soled but with some substance, say a rubber plate stitched onto a leather sole (see our handsewn moccasins for example). This gives a little more support but is completely flat so their arches and Achilles develop properly and their toes and metatarsals can still curl and crunch up. They may venture outside, but they are not going to be covering miles so it is light protection and grip rather than endurance you are after.
Why are baby shoes so expensive?
They are not really. You can buy baby shoes in the supermarket for the same price as a sandwich, but ours cost more because of the materials we use. We don’t pick them because they are expensive of course, we pick them because they are high quality, natural products, domestically produced where possible but always sourced in Europe. The leathers are tested and certified to ‘high norm’ standards (greater than that required by the UK or EU as minimum). Plus they are made in the UK by skilled craftspeople.