Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How do I choose my shoes?
We suggest that you start by measuring your child’s feet. We always recommend measuring and buying your shoes using the cm measurements of the foot and shoe rather than going by any designated size. Sizings does vary tremendously between brands, measuring devices and shoe shops so using the cm measurement is the only way to ensure consistency. Have a look at our Advice section for full details and a step by step guide on how to measure your feet and choose your shoes.
When should I buy my little one their first pair of shoes?
Children do not need shoes until they are walking confidently outside. Pram shoes and ‘pre-walkers’ should only be used for special occasions if you think it’s absolutely necessary. When your little one is ready for their first pair of shoes, they should only be worn when necessary to protect their feet and keep them warm. Even when they are wearing shoes it is essential to ensure they spend as much time barefoot as possible.
Why are barefoot shoes better for my child?
True barefoot shoes do not have heel cushions, arch support, stiffeners or any other moulding features. They are made from natural, breathable materials with an ultra flexible sole. The idea is to enable the foot to behave and grow more naturally. We firmly believe that the foot is perfectly well adapted to the business of walking and little feet do not need support or structure but freedom to move. It is only through natural movement that muscle strength in the foot can be developed to support the foot the way nature intended. The importance of being barefoot for children’s foot development is well documented and respected around the world. See our section on Foot Health for more details.
Measuring and Fitting
How do I measure my child’s feet?
We suggest that you always measure and buy your shoes using the cm measurements of the foot and shoe rather than going by any designated size. Sizings does vary tremendously between brands, measuring devices and shoe shops so using the cm measurement is the only way to ensure consistency. Have a look at our Advice section for full details and a step by step guide on how to measure your feet and choose your shoes.
What if I have a UK size for my child?
There are alot of different size structures on our site as each brand measures and sizes a little differently, we know it’s a mine field, especially if you’re buying shoes for the first time. That is why we always recommend using the cm measurements to buy your shoes. UK sizes are not standardised and therefore vary from brand to brand. They also don’t always fit exactly when converted from the US / EU / age sizes that many of our suppliers use. We’ve standardised our UK size conversion and always give the converted UK size for each shoe in brackets. See our Advice Section for more details. We have put our UK size conversion table here where you can convert your cm measurement to the recommend UK size. However please do be aware that you might want to size up or down depending on the style of footwear you are buying. For example sandals need less space than Wellington boots!
What about width fittings?
All of our shoes are designated as Narrow, Medium or Wide with detailed fitting notes to help you choose the right style. Width fittings vary from style to style and brand to brand. See our Measuring Width section for more information on how to choose the best width for you and your little one.
How can I check that his/her shoes fit correctly?
The most important thing to check is that your child walks as easily with his/her shoes on as he/she does barefoot.
See our section on How to fit your shoes for more details
What would you recommend for a really wide foot?
Barefoot shoes are by their nature wider and deeper than traditional shoes so lend themselves well to fitting a wider foot. We have a variety of width options on the website and categorise each shoe according to the width. We have a filter on the website on the left hand side to allow you to filter all of your selections by width. We try all of the shoes ourselves and include detailed fitting notes on each shoe under the 'More Information section'.
What would you recommend for a narrower foot?
Again we recommend filtering your selections on the website for narrower shoes and using the detailed fitting notes to choose the best options. Even with a brand on the same sole unit some styles will be more suited to narrower feet than others and this will be identified under the 'More Information' section on each shoe.
For a narrower foot we don’t recommend adding more than 0.8cm of growing room.
Is it OK to put my child in 2nd hand shoes?
Young feet are very susceptible to external influences and second hand shoes, even from within the same family, will have subtly shaped themselves to the previous wearers foot which won’t suit the new wearer. This could cause the new wearer to stand and walk slightly differently to counter the existing moulding. This can then affect the permanent posture of that wearer. It is highly recommended that children always wear new shoes.
Can I return them if they don’t fit properly?
Of course! See our hassle free returns policy under Returns for more details.
Why is the sizing on the box different from that on your website?
We measure all of the shoes we sell ourselves using a special internal measurer to give the length in centimetres (cm). We then convert this length to the UK size equivalent (given in brackets) using our conversion chart. Sometimes this conversion will differ from the manufacturers as stated on the box. We do this to try and standardise the sizing across all of the brands we sell. We do recommend that you buy the shoes based on the centimetre measurement rather than relying on the UK size as this does vary so much between brands. Please see our Advice Section for more details.
How quickly will my child grow?
A difficult question! Children will vary in their growth patterns and growth often comes in spurts rather than slow and steady. On average a child will go through at least 3 sizes in the first year after walking and around 2 sizes a year until they start school when it should slow to around 1 size per year. However this is just a guide and it does vary tremendously from child to child. We recommending checking every 6 weeks in the first year of walking and every 3 months thereafter.
When should I replace my child’s shoes?
Podiatrists recommend that children’s shoes should be replaced regularly, ideally about 3-4 times a year. This is to prevent excessive wear and tear altering the structure of the shoe, to prevent feet from moulding to the shoe and to allow for new growth. As a minimum, you should re-measure your child’s feet every 3 months and after visible growth spurts.
How does your Loyalty Scheme Work?
When you set up an account with us you are automatically enrolled in our Loyalty Scheme. To see how many Loyalty Scheme points you've earned you can check out the points section on your Account page. When you go to check out your next order it will give you the option to redeem your points if you wish to do so.Have a look at our Loyalty Points section for more details.
Are your shoes waterproof?
Most of the shoes that we stock will be suitable for at least light outdoor use. Most shoes have a rubber sole and are either made from leather or robust canvas both of which have good weather resistance and are suitable for general outdoor use. We have also selected a good range of waterproof shoe and boot options on our website. Other than for rubber wellingtons this is quite a limited range as we often find the process of waterproofing a shoe causes a decrease in flexibility of the sole due to the glues that are used. In addition many waterproofing techniques use unnecessary chemicals. We offer a search facility to filter your shoes for waterproof options but do expect a reduced flexibility in the sole over other styles from that brand.
If you wanted to waterproof them from home, we stock the Famaco Waterstop which is a non-aerosol spray made from 100% natural ingredients and solvent free.
My order hasn’t arrived yet what should I do?
The first thing we would recommend is to go to My Account on the website to check when your order was posted and by what method. For standard delivery you do need to allow up to 10 days for delivery after dispatch. If your order has been sent via Royal Mail the next thing we would advise is to check with your local Post Office or Sorting Office. Often we find that failed delivery cards have been mislaid and your order is sitting waiting for you. If 10 days has passed and you have checked your tracking information and/or your local Post Office and there is still no sign of your order then please Contact Us and we will do our best to resolve this for you.
I think there is a fault with my shoes?
Please advise us of any suspected faults as soon as possible by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. To help us resolve your fault query please include a description of the fault, your original order number (or the name and date of the order) and photographs showing the problem area so that we can decide how best to proceed. Please ensure that the photos show the following:
- The inside of the shoe showing the label
- The side profile of the shoes
- The outer sole of the shoes
- A photo of the fault(s) – close up of the fault and the whole shoe
Once we have received this information we will seek advice from the manufacturer on your behalf and in the case of a genuine fault offer to repair or replace the shoes.
Please bear in mind that generally speaking any manufacturing defect will show up immediately or within the first couple of months of wear. Once a pair of shoes has been worn for much longer than this it is always difficult to judge what is just excessive wear and tear and what is genuinely an issue with the shoes. Some children are very hard on their shoes and it is important to take care of your shoes and ensure they are used appropriately to maximize their lifetime.
I don't think my waterproof boots are waterproof?
Please advise us as soon as possible if you think that your waterproof boots are leaking. In most cases though we find that the waterproof membrane has not failed and it is water ingress over the the top of the boot that is causing the problems. We will ask you to test the boots to see if this has happened as follows:
- Dry the boots out thoroughly
- Stuff the boots with paper
- Stand the boots in a bowl of water to just below the height of where they should be waterproof too
- Bear in mind that if the boot has a tongue it will only be waterproof to the gusset around the tongue and if there is no gusset then it will only be waterproof to just below the tongue.
- Leave to stand for half an hour or so before removing and checking to see if the paper is wet
After carrying out the above test please do get in touch if you think that the membrane has failed.
If the boots remain dry then it is likely that any wet feet have been caused by water ingress over the top of the boot. In this case we would suggest either switching to wellingtons for the activities that are causing the wet feet or using a pair of waterproof trousers over the top of the boots.