* Prices may differ from that shown
As Little Man has special walking books for when he uses his frame and crutches, and trainers for crawling around the garden we have never seen the need to buy him 'proper' shoes. However, when he saw his friend Connor's Fun Lites he was absolutely captivated buy the red lights that flashed as his friend walked.
We are always keen to try anything that gets Little Man to try and move his stiff legs naturally, so we went to check out these shoes in Clarks. My Mum always swore by Clarks shoes for children, so she insisted on coming on his first proper show shop. He had his little feet measured and the nice man bought out an array of shoes in his size. His face lit up when he saw the Fun Lites, and he wouldn't even consider any other pair he was shown. I did blanch a bit at the price - £28 for a pair of shoes he wouldn't really walk in seemed mad to me - but his Nanny insisted that he have them as a gift from her.
The shoes are made of soft navy blue leather with red accents and fasten with a double Velcro buckle. Of course the highlight of these shoes are the two red lights that are on the outside edge of each foot which is activated by movement. The inside of the shoes are soft grey fabric, and there is space inside the tongue to write your child's name, so ideal if they attend nursery.
From the moment we put these shoes on Little Man he kept trying to move his legs to make the lights work. I started doing some of his leg exercises with these shoes on and the lights have encouraged him to co-operate better during these exercises, and have loosened up his legs too so that he has improved free movement in his legs. I know this is not really a selling point for most people, but for us they have been wonderful.
Although we don't let him wear his Fun Lites in the garden, he does crawl around inside in these a lot - we have had these since about October and they are showing very little sign of wear. Whereas some of his cheaper shoes tend to scuff at the toes, these are only starting to get a bit rubbed down on the sewn seams. There is a good grip to the soles, and he does walk beautifully with these using his brick truck in the house. I can't comment on how quick the soles wear as they are not used for walking outside. I never have trouble getting him to put these shoes on, and he always chooses these ones to wear when he can. To me they have been worth every penny, and I can see myself buying repeat pairs of these as his feet grow.
Fun Lites are available in sizes 4 to 9½ (sizes 7 plus are £30) in three widths, also available in Red which are currently on sale at £18. You can also order these on www.clarks.co.uk but children's shoes need to be fitted and collected from a store.
I think I must be starting to get old because I remember when I was a kid and my mum dragged me along to Clarks for shoes, I used to wish she would take me to one of the other shoe shops where the shoes were "trendier". However, now I strive for comfort and quality, and as such, to be honest, I don't think there is any other company that make shoes as good quality as Clarks - and as such, for my young son and his delicate little feet, I wanted the best.
The shoes my son has are part of the Clarks Fun Lites First Shoes range, but they are slightly different to that in the photo above. The shoes I bought my son are red leather rather than blue - which he picked out himself (he thought the red leather version is what Father Christmas would wear!). The sales assistant in the shop measured my sons feet - and then we checked them out. There were sizes, including 1/2 sizes from kiddy size 7 - 9.5 and so this should cover most of the toddler range. One pair of these shoes cost me £30, which may be expensive for toddlers shoes, but I'm willing to pay to get the best.
The shoes appear to be very good quality made from fine quality leather. The soles themselves are rubber and the inside of the shoes is made of a kind of white airtex material. There are rip tape strips which not only allow the shoes to be done up to the right tightness, but also mean that my son is able to do his own shoes up because he is unable to tie shoelaces yet.
So, why does my son love these shoes so much he just HAD to have them (it was like it was a matter of national importance!)? Its quite simple.....it has a flashing light in the sole that will light up as he jumps up and down. So my son goes bouncing around from place to place with the aim of getting the light to flash - and of course we have to clap every time he does so.
He's had the shoes just over 3 months and they have remained in good condition. He has found the shoes comfortable - which is not surprising as the leather is really soft - and he has been wanting to wear them everyday - if he isn't wearing his Thomas the Tank Engine wellies that is! The shoes are not scuffed (yet!) and they have maintained their shape, despite him sometimes not undoing the shoes properly and so putting them back on without undoing them and so just shoving his feet in. The shoes seem to be splash proof, although not totally waterproof. And, most importantly as far as my son is concerned, the lights still flash!
These shoes are great for a toddler - and as they are made by Clarks you can rest assured that they will be good quality and will be fitted properly.
These are a pair of shoes my son is currently wearing. These are part of Clark's first shoes range for young children that are walking.
What are they?
They are made from blue leather and have two Velcro fastening across the top. The shoes in the sole have a light up section that when my son stamps his feet or jumps up and down light up a red flashing colour.
We bought these shoes for our son a couple of months ago at our local Clarks store.. As he is now just over 2 and a half I do try to get him to help me choose a style from a selection I think are suitable. He was immediately drawn to these shoes when I showed him that they could light up, as he had never had anything like this before. The assistant in the store helped to get these fitted correctly and to get him to walk up and down in them or in his case jump up and down to see the lights flash. He didn't want to take these off so he wore them after we left the store. Once he eventually took these off I covered them in protector spray to keep them looking good. He has had these several months now and the Velcro fastening are still as sticky as they day we got them and he can fasten and unfasten these now at will. The fit remains good and there has been no rubbing on his heels or feet in anyway. They equally stay on well and don't fall off from being to loose.
The flexibility of the sole is good and stands up well to the rough and tumble of toddler life with him climbing on things at the park and running and kicking balls. The grips though they are getting worn still remain as grippy as they did at the beginning and he is still able to remain upright in slippery conditions.
The novelty of the flashing lights does appear to have worn off and he no longer jumps up and down with the same gusto to see them light up.
The leather is holding up well though there are a few scuffs and scraps around the toe area especially though not sufficient enough to have worn through the leather.
The style of the shoes I would say is smart casual and they look equally as good when he wears them with jeans to play in our if we are going out somewhere a bit more formal like a meal out or to a wedding.
I would definitely recommend these shoes to other parents they are comfortable to wear practical and stylish and my son has enjoyed the light up function. At £28 for a pair they are not cheap shoes but the Clarks quality definitely shines though with them and I would buy these again for him.