“ Brand: Clarks / Gender: Boys / Type: Shoes „
I always buy Clarks shoes for my boys as I am confident that the shoes are well fitted and durable, although they are not necessarily the cheapest. As soon as my sons started to take those first few independent steps, I took them off to Clarks so that their feet could be professionally measured and chose their first pair of proper shoes - a real milestone for all parents! To mark the occasion, Clarks also take a polaroid picture of your little one in their new footwear. This is provided free of charge and is a lovely little momento for the baby book.
The 'First Shoe' range covers a number of sizes so, as well as being quite literally a child's very first shoe, their second, third and fourth shoes will most probably come from the 'First Shoe' range too. My three year old has actually only just moved out of the First Shoe range so it covers quite a large age range, not just the very early toddler shoes at all.
Both of my older sons have quite narrow feet which can limit the styles that are suitable for them. They both measure an 'E' fitting but, as there are very few styles available in that fit, even at Clarks, we often need to buy an 'F' fit but in a shoe that accommodates and supports a slimmer foot. The 'Wibble' shoe was ideal for a narrow fit, particularly as it has a small elasticated section that helps to draw the shoe tighter across the foot. There is a velcro strip to fasten which, again, helps to ensure a secure and comfortable fit for a slim foot.
This shoe was such a good fit for my middle son that he actually had this identical shoe in two different sizes - once in an attractive burgundy colour and most recently in a rich chocolately shade of brown. When it comes to very young kids, I tend to only have one pair of shoes on the go at any one time, as their feet grow so quickly. Despite being worn on a daily basis for several months by an active and very clumsy toddler, neither pair is showing many signs of any wear and tear. A very close inspection reveals a few minor scuffs and scratches, otherwise these are in excellent condition, confirming just what a robust and hard-wearing shoe they are.
These are a very practical shoe for any toddler as they are almost entirely made from a single block of leather, rather than the multi-coloured patches of suede and leather that make up a large number of the styles in this range. This does mean they are not quite as vibrant and babyish as some other styles, which may be a good or bad thing, depending on your point of view. Personally, I prefer the design of these. I particularly like the addition of the zig-zag stitching down the front of the shoe which contrasts nicely with the leather, especially on the brown shoe.
The Wibble shoes have been well designed as the ideal footwear for a potentially unsteady toddler. The leather is incredibly soft and flexible, making these comfortable for growing feet. The other practical addition is the chunky rubber sole which stretches right over the front of the shoe, offering protection from scuffs. This is probably the reason why these shoes have remained in such good condition despite lots of use.
Until recently, the Wibble was available to order directly from Clarks online ready for delivery and fitting at a Clarks store. Unfortunately, it no longer appears to be listed on their website so it may be worth checking directly with your local Clarks stockist as I think this design is well worth seeking out. Alternatively, if you are confident of your child's size and fit, this particular style can still be ordered online from northshoes.co.uk for £30, which is only slightly higher than the price that I originally paid for this particular pair.
I'd recommend Clark's range of First Shoes in general to all parents of newly walking toddlers but particularly this specific design, as they are particularly robust and practical for little ones and a good choice for children with slim feet.