Sunday, 1 September 2013

How do you measure a child's shoe size?

I am an imbecile.

It’s well documented.

One of the many things I’ve struggled within the mass of parenting tasks, is checking that my child’s shoes still fit correctly.

I am one of ‘those’ parents that has turned up at a shoe store with my child to be advised that my boy is a size (or four) bigger than the shoes he hobbled to the store in.

It isn’t through want of trying to understand.  I’ve always asked shoe checkerers for advice, and been taught several times how to feel a child’s foot in their shoe to see if there is enough space.

Despite this, I still struggle immensely.

More for the imbecile proof archives no doubt.

But now I may have the solution.

Clarks asked me earlier this summer if I’d like to try to use their new measure and fit at home service.

I’ve always found the service at Clarks very good.  You arrive at one of their stores, which you are even able to book appointments at now, and one of their friendly staff take over the process and advise on your child’s foot size and shoe choices.

They are very patient, with children and parents alike, and it’s one of the very few places I’ve even been actively discouraged from spending money.

When Max was a baby and a pre-walker Clarks advised me to wait until he was at least trying to walk before buying some of their shoes.  And likewise on the few occasions we’ve visited them and my son’s shoe size hasn’t changed, they’ve said “no, the shoes he is in are still fine, you don’t need any new ones.”

I would have been an easy sale on all those occasions, but I guess that isn’t their ethos, and one of the main reasons I keep returning as a customer.

Despite my previous shoe measuring incompetence, and my love of the Clarks in-store service, I was delighted to give their measure and fit at home service a try.

Not least because it meant I then didn’t need to fit to plan a visit to Clarks in the busy school holidays.

Clarks sent me one of their home foot measuring gauges.  They do a toddler gauge for little ones, and a junior version that does right up to adult size 10.  They are £6 and £8 respectively including free delivery.  It doesn’t take many trips to the shops, fuel and parking charges, to claw that money back.

The measuring gauge was dead easy to use, I barely interrupted my son’s obsession with our iPad.  And I had his measurements scribbled down in a few moments.

The measurements are simply numbers, centremetres I think, and the gauges themselves to not have shoe sizes and widths on them.

Instead you take your measurement numbers and enter them into a Clarks shoe size calculator, that then generates the size to best suit your child.  I believe you can also call Clarks at this point for advice, or if you’d rather not use the calculator.

My one perhaps criticism, is that I’d like to see the shoe sizes on the gauge, so I could see how close my son was to the next size, and width.   But it isn’t a great hardship to use the calculator, and I could download a size chart or mark the gauge if I really wanted to.

I think this is a quality addition to the Clarks regular in store service.  Especially for the busy parent.  

I’m sure I’ll still be visiting Clarks stores in the future but the gauge is much more than a gimmick, and will be something I see myself using to check my lad’s feet the night before each school term starts periodically.