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When my daughter started cruising around the furniture, we started to think about shoes. We didn't know how quickly she would actually walk by herself, but coming into the Autumn, we knew she needed to have some kind of shoe on her feet, even if she was still only crawling or cruising. When my sister told me that Clarks made pre walker shoes, I thought these would suit my daughter well, so we took her to our local shoe store which stocks Clarks.
When my daughter was measured she was a size 4F and since my local show store only stock Clarks for children and babies, the assistant brought out a selection of pre walker shoes. She was able to tell us that even these pre walkers would still be supportive enough so if our little girl walked quickly (which she did) these would be suitable for her to wear until she had outgrown them, and could then move on to proper CLarks walking shoes. Obviously, being girls shoes, most of the choice that the assistant brought out were purple and pink shoes, which suits my daughter perfectly as a lot of her clothes would reflect those colours.
THe set of shoes that immediately caught my attention were these lyla pink shoes, as I loved the two little flowers at the top of each shoe, and I liked the fact that they were velcro straps. Originally the assistant showed us a few Clarks shoes that involved little buckles, which I was pretty sure wouldn't be a success for my daughter, as getting her to sit still long enough to even get a pair of shoes on is pretty difficult. Velcro seemed so much easier than trying to use little buckles. Thankfully after trying on a few different pairs, this pair and another (with a buckle) were the best fit for my daughter, and I immediately opted for these Lyla. There is soft grip around the toe and the heel which does protect the leather of the shoe a lot, and give grip as my daughter gets up or climbs on things.
These shoes, like all children's shoes aren't cheap, considering how little time they are in them, and cost me £21, but my daughter wears these everyday, and although it took her a few days to get used to wearing shoes on her feet, I really think it did help give her support for walking, as about a week after getting these shoes, she took her first steps, and she is still wearing them now. I find them very easy to get on, and even if she gets up to move when I haven't closes them, I know I can still close the velcro strap across the shoe as she moves. These shoes are very cute and very girly and my daughter seems to like them a lot, and doesn't mind getting them on everyday.
My daughter is now due to go back to get her feet re measured in a couple of weeks and I will miss these shoes. They are girly and easy to get on and they are pretty to look at and even though she has them on everyday, they have worn very well. I only hope that her next shoes are as hard wearing and easy to get on as these have been.
These were my little girls first pair of shoes and I'm getting quite choked up now writing this as she is no longer in this little pair of shoes but has moved onto bigger ones. I have kept this pair of shoes to show her when she gets bigger as they were her first pair. Clarks no longer sell this particular shoe but a year and a half ago when we first bought them for her they were all the rage as a few of her friends had this pair too. My little girl has really small feet and at the time this was the only pair of shoes available that Clarks made in her size so we basically had to go with this pair as there was nothing else to choose from, its a good thing I liked them otherwise she would have been shoeless.
These shoes were actually from Clark's cruising stage. Clarks have a number of different baby shoes for babies at different stages of their development. They have pre walking cruising and crawling shoes to first walking shoes and because her feet were so small, she was a 2 when she started to walk she needed to wear these cruising shoes. I found them really good for her though and protected her growing developing feet well. When we went into Clarks to find a pair of shoes they were incredibly helpful as they have a designated special children's section where they measure their feet properly to make sure they get the right size. We bought these shoes in a 2F, F being the width of her feet. I actually think one was a size two and one was a size two and a half as her feet a a little bit differently sized.
These shoes looked so sweet on her feet and looked really comfortable. They were quite wide in the toe section which I really liked as it meant her toes were not squished in any way and had lots of room to grow. In fact these shoes got scuffed before they got too small for her, this was after months of wearing them so I was pleased at how long they lasted.
The shoes are designed specifically to protect and care for feet in the cruising stage. They were quite soft and bendy shoes which again was great at her age as it meant she could run, jump, crawl and get used to walking in these and the shoe would go with her and not get in her way being too stiff or too heavy. The shoes are light pink with dark pink accents on the heel padded area and on the sole of the shoe. The shoes had a bit of stitching detail on them and you know they are Clarks as they have Clarks written on the strap. The shoe strap goes over the foot, then through a little metal bar on one side of the shoe and they secure on the other side with a velcro fastening. There are two little flowers on the shoe to give them a bit of detail , a pink and a purple flower and on the rubber sole there is a non-slip grip all over the shoe in a flower pattern too. My little girl figured out pretty quickly that if you pulled the little velcro strap the shoes would come undone and this became quite a fun game but give her credit, she always did the shoes up again and they never actually came off which is great.
I loved this pair of first shoes for my baby girl. We paid £22 in Clarks for them which yes is expensive but Clarks is the only place I would go to for baby shoes as they are great quality and protect growing feet.
It isn't just my own shoes that I like to buy it is also shoes for my daughter that I like to buy! I was brought up wearing Clarks shoes until I went to secondary school as lets face it when going to 'big' school Clarks shoes were incredibly unfashionable so I was allowed to choose my own shoes within reason. However, my daughter being just over 18 months has no such say in where her shoes come from as I will only buy her shoes from Clarks even her little pair of trainers come from Clarks!
I would hate her to wear uncomfortable shoes and the comfort of knowing her feet are properly measured is a great relief. Now although the choice isn't as vast as in some stores such as Next or Mothercare I find the Clarks range at any one time is perfectly sufficient. Although I tend to have to order her size in (2.5F) the range tends to be very girly and although limited the styles do differ from one to another. A current pair she is just growing out of and that will be replaced is a pair called 'Lyla'. They come in pink and white although the white is no longer available via Clarks and the pink are on sale.
Lyla are suited for those toddlers that are finding their confidence on their feet so they are really not suitable for crawlers as the sole is a lot firmer than the pre-walkers which is softer. The sole itself is rubber and therefore offers a lot more grip and flexibility. The pattern on the sole is quite sweet as it is a little mouse along with flowers and paw prints. When I take off my daughter's shoes she always looks on the sole and feels the texture for some reason! The rubber sole goes around the top of the toe slightly giving a bit more support for those that are trying to or are actually walking.
The shoe itself is made of baby pink leather which is incredibly supple and soft which is what you would expect for tiny feet. The pattern is really simple as there are two little leather flowers sewn into the leather with some stitching as detail. At the back of the shoe there is a padded collar which again adds support for their feet, this is a slightly darker pink which contrasts nicely with the baby pink colour of the shoe. To secure the foot there is a velcro strap which goes diagonally over the foot and fastens - it is also adjustable depending on how wide your child's feet are. The insole of the shoe is made from a very soft almost squishy foam type material which I can imagine is incredibly comfortable to walk in.
Although my daughter doesn't wear them on a daily basis they have certainly been well worn for the past 6 months and they were bought when she first had her feet measured (2F) they still look in great condition. Obviously there is a bit of wear to the sole but nothing major, no scuffs or marks. Never once has my daughter made any complaints to be in discomfort when wearing the shoes so she must be comfortable as if she wasn't I am very sure she would let me know! The only thing which bothers me which is something which must bother all parents is when their children learn how to un-do velcro straps so I generally find her shoes in the footwell of the car as she has taken them off! Give me buckles on these shoes any day!
Overall, I can't complain about these shoes whatsoever. The fact that I know they fit my daughter perfectly and will support her in her walking is a big relief. The shoes are also easily cleaned (I find her shoes come home from nursery quite dirty if they have played outside) which is another plus as they can stay in great condition for longer. The fact that I am now buying them in a bigger size just shows how much I like them and that my daughter finds them comfortable to walk in. I do find Clarks shoes worth every penny and these are no different. I am now watching EBay like a hawk to try and get the white pair in her size! Definitely a recommendation from me and of course from my daughter! 5 stars!
~ Useful Info ~
Price: Was £22.00 now £15.00
Availability: In store and online (sale item so may be limited)
Sizes: 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5 & 5.5
Widths: F & G