Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How do I choose my shoes?
We suggest that you start by measuring your child’s feet. Have a look at our Sizing section for full details and lots of ideas for how to do this. Hopefully once you have been through this process you will know the size you are looking for and have an idea of the width of your little ones feet. You can then start to identify your shoes and can look to ‘Shop by Size’ or Shop by Width’ using the options available.
When should I buy my baby her 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 baby is ready for her first pair of shoes, they should only be worn when circumstances dictate that she needs protection from the cold ground, sharp objects or slippery surfaces.
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.
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.
The brand that we recommend, which has never yet let us down with fitting a wider foot, is the See Kai Run brand, they are super soft with a great wide and deep toe box. The Livie and Luca brand is also lovely and wide but you do need to check individual shoe descriptions as some styles aren’t as deep or suit a higher instep so well.
What would you recommend for a narrower foot?
For a narrower foot we don’t recommend adding more than 0.8cm of growing room. Some styles are more suited to narrower feet than others and we particularly recommend the Wild Flower Mary Janes and the Speed Racer or Up and Away Sports Shoes
Are the shoes waterproof?
We only stock shoes which are 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 options on our website. 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 Woly 3x3 protector spray which is free from PFOA and PFOS and also the Woly Natura Waterstop which contains natural avocado oils.
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.
Measuring and Fitting
How can I measure my child’s feet?
You can easily measure your child’s feet at home without specialist equipment. Have a look at our section on How to Measure your Feet or follow our quick guide below:
- Using something like an old shoe box lid, with a 90˚ bend in it, stand your child on the floor with their heel against the vertical part. (It might be an idea to stand them against a wall to help them balance).
- Draw a pencil mark on the cardboard where their longest toe comes to.
- Repeat for both feet. This is important as one foot is normally longer than the other.
- Use a ruler to measure the distance between the crease of the cardboard and the pencil mark in cms. The longest length is the one you should use.
What about width fittings?
Traditionally, width fittings were based on the 'science of the day' which suggested that children's feet needed to be supported. So shoes were made to fit rigidly to the sides of the foot. Current scientific research has now dispelled that assumption and podiatrists today recommend that children's feet have as much wriggle room in the width as the child can tolerate without becoming visibly 'baggy'. This allows the child's foot ample room to behave as it would if it were barefoot. Our width fittings vary from style to style and brand to brand, just as they do on the High Street. See our Sizing Guidefor more information on how they compare.
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. But there are also other checks you can make:
- Run your thumb over the top of the foot from one side of the shoe to the other. The material of the shoes should gape slightly above the foot. You ideally want to be able to run your little finger around to give good growing and expansion room.
- There should be a minimum ½cm and a maximum of 1½cm between the end of the toes and the end of the shoe.
- The collar of the shoe should be snug around the heel so that the foot doesn’t move around too much within the shoe.
See our section on How to fit your shoes for more details
How do I know what UK size my child is?
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. UK sizes don’t always fit exactly when converted from US / EU / age sizes, we’ve standardised our sizes and converted them all into cm for you. But if you really want to go by the UK size, the converted UK size is given in brackets too. See our Size Guide for more details. If you are unsure we are always happy to help, just let us know the cm measurements for each foot and we will advise the best UK size for them.
Can I return them if they don’t fit properly?
Of course! See our hassle free returns policy under Returns and Exchangesfor more details.
Why is the sizing on the box different from that on your website?
We measure all of the shoes we sell ourselves in cms using a special internal measurer to give the length in cms. 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 size guide for more details.
When should I replace my child’s shoes?
Podiatrists recommend that children’s shoes should be replaced 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. We also regularly update them on our monthly newsletters and emails.
You can see what you can redeem your points for here see our Loyalty Points section for more details.
To redeem your points at any point just email us with your request and we will send you a code for your preferred option.
If you are in a rush just put your order through as normal with a note in the comments box to request using your loyalty points and we can apply retrospectively via a refund.
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. Any tracking information should also be available here. 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 for you.
I think there is a fault with my shoes?
Please advise us of any suspected faults as soon as possible. If you can take a photograph of the issue and Contact Us by email with the photographs. We will always seek advice from the manufacturer on your behalf and in the case of a genuine fault offer to repair or replace the shoes.
We will always try, as a first option, to repair your shoes. You are welcome to return to us for repair or take your shoes to a cobbler where we will cover any pre-agreed repair costs. Only if it should prove impossible to repair the shoes will we consider replacement.
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.