Friday, 7 September 2012

The best school shoes

With my son now in his fourth formal year of education I have become very specific in the footwear he goes to school in.

He’s an, err, abrasive young man and any shoes I, or we, choose have to be able to withstand his toe dragging nature.

For that reason I like a shoe that is well protected at the front.  And, by that, I mean all the way around the toes.

I’ve tried shoes from various manufacturers and styles, but none have measured up to the ones I have chosen from the Clarks school shoe range.

We were lucky enough to be sent a store voucher from Clarks, in return for a review of their shoe buying process.  But – and don’t tell them – that’s where we’d have been headed to for school shoes if I’d been paying for the shoes myself.

I’ve been consistently impressed with the staff in all the Clark stores I’ve visited.  We’ve been to some of the bigger shops, as well as the concessions they have inside other retailers, and always left satisfied, even if without shoes.

And that’s one of the things I’ve liked the most, the lack of pressure to buy shoes.

It’s one of the few stores I’ve been in and where their sales assistants – in this case, shoe fitting specialists – have advised against a purchase.

When Max was crawling and learning to walk they advised me to wait till he was on his feet, advising it was better that he just wore decent socks with a grip until then.

And since there have been occasions where they have measured him and said his feet still fit in the shoes he already has.

I guess it’s an approach they adopt with a long-term view - a child is going to go through a lot of school shoes - and it works with me.

They also now offer booked appointments, so you don’t even have to take a number and wait for your turn.  Particularly useful if you are visiting at a busy time.

Being organised (for once) we went early in the school holidays without booking, and so as they didn’t know I was reviewing them.

The service was again great, Max was quickly measured and choosing shoes, but sadly the only pair they had in Max’s pick had some colour fade in a little part of the plastic protector.

So instead they arranged to send us another pair to our home, a service that is free of charge.

They arrived a few days later, and such was my lackadaisical nature confidence in Clarks I didn’t even unwrap them from the courier package until the night before school started again.

And sure enough, my son put his new shoes on, and everybody smiled.

* Share/Save/Bookmark