Saturday, 14 January 2012

Back to School 2012 with CLARKS

In just over 3 weeks my babies will start their formal schooling. I can’t believe they have gone from


Though I have been through it all with Mr 18 it still makes me teary and anxious.

There has been much excitement in the air,  in between the chaos of moving, preparing for the big farewell their first day. This last week we have purchased uniforms, socks and shoes.

When looking for school shoes there is one trusted name that comes to my mind instantly Clarks.

My eldest son took his first baby steps in Clarks (so did his twin brothers). Then many times over , during Mr 18’s school years, he tested them to the limits of strength, flexibility, stitching and  durability scuffability . I know Clarks test all these components rigorously before the shoes hit the shelves.

As a parent I want the best fit and comfortable shoes my sons will wear , without compromising on style and quality. I am happy to pay a little more because I know that, most years, my eldest son’s shoes lasted a full year.

Clarks also have wide range of fittings - 6 widths for the hard to fit wide or narrow feet . I like to know they are fitted properly ; with 18 styles and 184 sizes you are guaranteed  - one perfect fit. They have ½ sizes too.

Clarks understand the importance of finding quality shoes for children that withstand the rigorous wear our kids throw at them. The 2012 Back to School Range has many new styles and new Platinum range.

The Platimum range include the kid’s active air technology-

They are moisture wicking and quick drying which helps to keep kid's feet feeling cooler throughout the day. It all means they make them super comfortable to wear during long, hot school days.

As Joel can tie shoe laces but Sam cannot I debated about giving him the independence of slip on boots instead of lace ups.

I asked Brenden Brown, Podiatrists and Clarks Ambassador about lace-ups vs boots.
"School shoes with laces are the best option for growing feet as they cradle and support the foot. Boots are often quite loose so one can slide their feet in and out with ease; while this is ok for adults I don’t recommend that children whose feet are still growing wear boots for a long period of time." - Brenden Brown, Podiatrists and Clarks Ambassador
I personally dislike Velcro for black leather shoes because over the year it loses it ability to stick except to fluff and to carpet and looks less stylish plus the distraction factor , rip ! I expect Sam will learn to tie laces quite soon anyway.

Tuesday, I took my boys to experience the 10 step fitting process at Clarks' Parramatta store. We met Quzon who explained in detail the 10 step fitting process. Quzon was also very friendly with my fidgety little chatterboxes.

After their feet were measured - Sam was 12.5 F, Joel 12 G - we only needed to try one pair of shoes for each boy.

We chose 'Player' style for it’s

•    Removable Active Air Innersoles
•    Full grain Aniline Leather Upper Leather Lining
•    Lightweight PU Sole

Plus, I didn’t want any deep tread/heel I had to clean out [...since we have new puppies too :-) need I say more ]

I was very surprised to hear each Clarks retailer (major retailers included) has specialised fitters who must attend a minimum one day training/instruction course run by Clarks. They then must be overseen fitting shoes x 20 times to be approved as a specialist fitter. There is no mistake, your child’s feet will measure exactly the same when measured by any Clarks fitter.

Quzon told me they usually restock what has been sold (each day) within two days but if the style and size your child needs is not available at Parramatta’s Clarks store they will post the shoes out when they come in stock (no extra charge)

Most Clarks shoes are also suitable for Orthotics.

For more information - browse the entire range on the Clarks website.

Clarks Parramatta have combo specials buy 1 pair get 2nd half price or buy 2 get 3rd pair free and they price match {Conditions apply of course}.

Most major retailers currently have great Back to school specials with 20 – 25% off . Some [Platinum] styles are only available at Clarks and specialty shoe stores.

Sam & Joel love their new shoes, I have to stop them from wearing them now.

I am sometimes dismayed that parents will pay $100 + for their own comfortable shoes but put their child’s growing feet in cheap, uncomfortable shoes. While I know we all have a budget it's important to me, that since they will wear them on average 28-30hrs a week, that they be well fitted and comfortable.

Remember - Eligible persons who receive Family Tax Benefit Part A, are eligible to receive the Education Tax Refund ETR and it covers black leather shoes as part of the school uniform.

Each day now we will start preparing the twins so they experience a smooth transition into school . I  still think the teacher isn’t going to know what hits her !

Thanks Clarks for taking the stress out of school shoes shopping for me !

Please tell me your top tips for starting school ?

Disclaimer: I experienced the Clarks 10 step fitting process and received school shoes for purpose of this review.  No financial payment was offered nor accepted for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.