Friday, 28 February 2014

Toddler shoes: because apparently girls don't go outside

This morning, on our way to Eleanor's music group, I noticed she was walking funny. Then she asked to be carried when we'd only just reached the end of our street. It suddenly occurred to me that we hadn't had her feet measured in over three months.

I know, I'm a wonderful mother aren't I?

So this afternoon we took her to our local shoe shop and, sure enough, she's gone up half a size. Time to part with some cash. The shoe shop stocks Clarks children's shoes so we had a look at their girls' range.

Every single shoe in Eleanor's size had big open bits in the top. They were either Mary Janes or T-bars. (Yes, I had to Google shoe styles to find the proper names!) When we got home we looked at the Clarks website to see if there were any other options, and they did have some trainers, but they were all canvas.

Now, that would be fine for indoor wear, or for walking down a clean, dry path. But my daughter likes walking on grass and splashing in puddles and going to places that tend to be muddy. Because she's a child. Children like exploring the outdoors.

Obviously Clarks knows that children like exploring the outdoors because the boys' range is so very practical - lots of trainer styles and leather. So how come girls don't get the same options?

To be fair, we have previously had some much more practical shoes made by Clarks, but that makes their current range all the more disappointing. They've actually taken a step backwards in the choice they offer to young girls. Yes, I know this is probably their spring/summer range, but do you know what? We live in the UK. It rains here in all four seasons, and grass and mud exist all year round too. So children need shoes that will keep their feet dry for more than five minutes. That's why the boys' range is full of leather trainers.

Perhaps Clarks are expecting girls to stay inside until the weather is dry enough for them to go out without fear of messing up their pretty little shoes. Well my girl doesn't. She'd go outside in her pyjamas if I let her. And she doesn't much care about keeping her shoes pretty. She just wants something that fits so she can walk and run and climb just like any child.

Looks like I'll be buying from the boys' range then.

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