I received products, services or tickets to an event mentioned in this post free of charge in return for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I would use personally and any opinions expressed are my own.
Back to school shoe shopping is quite a big deal in our household, with 4 pairs to buy along with any additional trainers, plimsols etc, it’s quite a major expense. Having said that when it comes to school shoes, I don’t mind investing a bit for a pair that will last. My eldest has always been the hardest on shoes and taught me from the word go just how flimsy they can be regardless of price point or promises. I am still clueless what it is he does, what weird and wonderful way he walks but he’s very quickly put them through a rigorous testing process which has seen soles worn through by the Christmas holidays.
One of the brands that have stood up well to his abuse time and again is Start-Rite and we were recently sent some pairs from their newest line to try. Whilst we’ve always found them to be robust and reliable this AW18 shoe collection they’ve raised the bar by doubling industry standards on stitch strength, D-rings and super strong nylon bonded threads. The shoes are also tested on 13 different surfaces that reflect children’s modern-day school life when only two is the current industry standard.
Just handling the shoes out the box they feel good quality, with a nice weight and strength to them and the soles moulded onto the shoe in a way that looks set to stay together and not be gapping like it’s smiling at me in a few months.
However before I go into detail about the shoes, I have to tell you about the measuring process because it changed my world! Nowadays it’s so convenient to be able to buy everything online and doing this for back-to-school items has saved me so much time. Unfortunately, when it comes to shoe sizing there’s still that misery of needing to get them measured. So like everyone else we take a ticket and wait in a crowded shoe shop. Well not any more because Start-Rite have developed an app that can measure your child’s feet and it works!
All you do is download the app and print off the grid for measuring on. Place the grid on a flat surface and your child’s foot on top and the app will guide you through taking pictures of each side, outside, inside and across the top of your child’s foot. It will then tell you their length and width measurement and save these details into the app. The app can then recommend shoes for that particular child and you can order them straight from there. I did these measurements straight after having them measured the old-fashioned way so know they are accurate. I am released from the chore of standing in crowded shoe shops!
My youngest daughter chose the Start-Rite Pulse from their classics range which are a pretty traditional style shoe with bow, made with modern technology. As I mentioned before the sole is moulded right up around the base of the toe to protect the feet and make them more scuff resistant. Inside the sole is cushioned and ankle padded and they have a very slight wedge to the heel which is good for posture. Fastening with a simple velcro strap, even the decorative bow has a protective purpose and has been made with reflective material for nighttime visibility.
My son has the Start-Rite Extreme shoe from their Pioneers collection, it is a sports style and looks as robust as I hope it will be. This is their toughest boys school shoe and more than just a moulded toe it has a full on bumper with grip and when you have a child inclined to climb over every possible obstacle too and from school, this is what you need. They’re padded, breathable and look enough like a shoe and not a trainer to pass our school’s uniform policy. The look and feel of this shoe gives me confidence it can actually stand up to the abuse hurled at it which is a rare find indeed.
Start-Rite are a British family business who have been specialising in little feet for 226 years, every shoe is made with an understanding of how children live and move. With innovation at its core, the brand works with biomechanics experts to ensure shoes are made to support the developmental needs of a growing child.
I also like their ethos and the way they do business with even their current offer being 30% off selected plimsolls or trainers when you buy school shoes. One that actually seems helpful and to make sense to a parent back to school shopping.
They’ve also partnered with Ben Cohen’s StandUp Foundation an anti-bullying charity to support the #KidsWalkTall campaign. The campaign aims to empower children and encourage self-confidence as part of their journey through school. For every share of its campaign film with the hashtag #KidsWalkTall, Start-Rite will donate £1 to the charity. In the short film, children share their thoughts on school life, the friendships they’ve made, the struggles they face, and how it’s good to be different. I’ve added it here so you can share it straight from the post.