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My little girl recently started school and although she is only in the nursery class they like them to wear school uniform, including smart black shoes so off we went to the shops in search of some. I tried various stores such as Next but couldn't really find what I was looking for so I reverted to Clarks as I knew we would find exactly what we needed in here and we did. The only pair available to us as my little girl has such small feet was a pair of girls Ella Shine First shoes but I am very happy with the purchase as they are a really classic looking pair of shoes and very good quality.
The shoes are made of a black patent material so they are lovely and shiny. I think they look really smart and fairly fashionable and the nice thing is that because they shine you do not have to polish them and they stay looking nice and smart and not dull and scuffed like regular leather school shoes can look. My daughter has work these for quite a few weeks now everyday and they still look as good as new which is great as I am hoping they last her most of the school year, at £30, yes £30 a pair, I could buy my own shoes for less than that, they really do need to last!
Although the shoes are just plain black they do have some hearts punched out in the front to give them a bit of detail and design and I actually think they look quite fashionable whilst still being classic and suitable for school.
The shoes have a t-bar fastening that goes across the bridge of her foot and fastens in a buckle at each side. Now, because of the material the buckle is still quite stiff and it's hard for her to do this herself often. She can do them up but has trouble undoing them so at the minute I am doing them for her.
These shoes fit really well and do look quite comfortable on my little girl. They have a padded section at the back so her ankle is well protected and also they are quite thick on the soles too so it will take her a very long time to wear them down. I feel like she gets a good cushioning whenever she walks and she never complains about the shoes rubbing her feet.
The best thing about the shoes however is that they have little lights which come on when my little girl walks. I was a little bit worried at first that the school would not like or accept the lights but as these were the only pair we could find I couldn't really do anything about it and anyway, upon arrival at school on the first day all the other kids seemed to have lights too so I guess it is acceptable. The lights are red and come through a little heart shape so they are quite cute and fun and my little girl loves showing off the lights.
The shoes are available in whole and half sizes and different width fittings and once she has grown out of these I would definitely buy her another bigger pair as I think they are great first shoes!
My Mam has always insisted how important shoes are that have been properly fitted and I have carried this on with my own children, I cannot afford everything they wear on their feet to be properly measured but their main shoes always are and these shoes are the ones my youngest daughter had last.
The shoes are from Clarks and costs £30 at the time although they have quite possibly increased in price considering everything else has, the shoes are available in sizes 3 to 6.5 and go up in 0.5 increments and they are in width fittings E, F and G.
My daughter has narrow feet and we have found that she has to have a T bar style of shoes as without the t bar in the opening just gapes as she walks, we got these shoes direct from the Clarks shop and actually only picked them as it was the only T bar shoe in black at the time. I tend to go for black shoes for the majority of the year as they go with everything however if either of my daughters need new shoes near the summer months like my youngest daughters latest pair which we just got yesterday than I do occasionally go with a different colour.
The shoes are made of leather and they have a buckle fastening, the fastening is very secure and has many different holes to be able to adjust the tightness of the fit. On the front of the shoes there are little heart shaped holes cut out along with a few little pin prick holes to help make up the design, I think the shoes are pretty cute and I love the patent finish. I always go for patent shoes if I can as I find that they don't scuff as easily as matt shoes and therefore look new for longer.
The soles of the shoes are black just like the uppers and then there is a small light at the heel on each shoe which flashes red when your child walks, when we were in the shop and we showed Emily the light she kept trying to look at her heels while running around to see the flash which we found rather funny as did the assistant. The shoes do loosen a little after a little wear so we had to tighten by one notch but this wasn't an issue for us as there was a hole available to make them tighter.
I think these shoes are really pretty and Emily has been wearing the since last September so we have had a great amount of wear out of them like i said above we only bought her the next size of shoe yesterday so her feet haven't grown much in that time. The shoes still look pretty much new even though they have been worn loads of times and she has run around and fallen over in them plenty of times. The patent has 2 slight scuffs and that is all the damage that is on them so they are most certainly hardwearing.
I give these shoes 5 stars as even though they are pretty expensive considering you are meant to have your child refitted every 6 weeks so that may be all they last for I am comfortable in the knowledge that the shoes I put on my daughter are not doing any damage to her growing feet.
When my daughter goes to my parents for the weekend she normally comes back with several new items of clothing which is obviously great. On one occasion I had a call from my parents advising that they had taken her to Clarks to get her feet measured and could they buy her a pair of shoes. Obviously I know the cost of Clarks shoes so I didn't hesitate in accepting their offer!
The shoes that they bought are the Clarks Ella Shine FST and are for walkers due to the sole. Oddly enough I did already have a pair in bright pink leather but the only difference in these are the patent finish. These are black patent which do remind me a little of school schools but being black they go with most clothing so quite a versatile shoe. They start from a size 3 and go up to 6.5 and have three width fittings; E, F and G.
Being black they are not overly girly, however they have a punched heart detailing around the front of the shoe as well as a pink fabric lining which of course adds just a little bit of girliness to a black patent shoe as well as adding a little touch of colour. They do have a padded collar at the back of the shoe which of course provides support to the feet of the little walker and providing comfort.
The soles of the shoes are black to match the black patent and are a lot more durable than the pre-walker shoes that Clarks do. The shoe although slightly flexible (well flexible enough to walk in) it is also quite rigid in comparison to the pre-walkers which is needed for when a child is properly walking. The heels of the shoes have red flashing lights so of course every time a child makes a step the red lights flash for a second or two.
The shoes themselves are made from coated leather which does of course stretch a little with wear as I know from past shoes from Clarks for my daughter that they appear quite stiff to start off with but the more she wears them they do supple up. The lining is pigskin making it incredibly soft for the feet which is a nice comparison against the rigid sole. The shoes have a lovely silver buckle fastening which gives a t-bar effect over the foot. At the side of the shoe 'Lights' is embroidered in black thread so you know they are a part of the lights range from Clarks - I personally think this isn't needed on the shoe as it doesn't add any real detail but personal choice.
My daughter has had these for a while now and I do find myself refraining from her wearing them more often because of the patent finish. Clarks describe them as "pretty and dressy" which I personally think that they are and therefore they only really seem to make an appearance when we are going out for dinner with family/friends as they are incredibly smart shoes. As I have said above black does go with most outfits but I do find them quite dull for a two and a half year old and she seems to favour all of her other shoes over these!
However, the fact that she doesn't wear them day in day out doesn't mean she hasn't got good use out of them as she has. The transfer from softer soled shoes to these more rigid soled shoes has never bothered my daughter and she finds these much easier to walk about in as they do offer her much more support. She has never once complained about these shoes whether being uncomfortable or rubbing her. She seems to manage just fine walking, running and jumping so they are not restricting her feet in any way.
I do like these shoes and as I said above I do have them in a different colour which get worn a lot more than the black pair simply because they are more ideal for everyday wear. The patent finish as lovely as it is, can easily scratch and mark which is inevitable with a child. The fact that they fully support my daughter's feet is a major plus and they are a nice dressy shoe but for this reason I do find them quite limited and for £30.00 I feel is a little expensive for a pair of shoes which are worn infrequently but of course others may have these and their child is in them all day, it is my own opinion. 4 stars from me.
== Product Information ==
Sizes: 3 to 6.5 (half sizes available)
Widths: E, F & G