We were recently invited to choose a pair of shoes for The Boy from the range of infants shoes available at Barratt's.
Barratt's is not actually the first place I'd have thought of going to for pre-schoolers' shoes, and I guess that's the point of the review. I can't be the only one with the misconception that they only sell ladies' fashion shoes or men's trainers, and browsing the site, I was pleasantly surprised to see the brands sold.
In the end, I opted for a pair of Hush Puppies for The Boy.
These leather shoes are excellent quality with the all-important (for me) notch cut out the back meaning the hard leather doesn't dig into their Achilles' tendon causing damage. They also have two very easily adjustable velcro straps meaning that The Boy can put them on by himself and they don't tend to slip as he's wearing them. The soles aren't that rigid and allow him to bend his feet properly while walking, even more important for The Boy as he does have a tendency to 'flap' (something that would see my mother raising her eyebrow firmly in my direction, and I of course wouldn't know what she'd be trying to insinuate).
My only criticism is also a positive. Inside the box were three sets of insoles, carefully wrapped up but with no explanation whatsoever. It's only from Googling the text on the bottom of the insoles that I've since found out that they are a 3D Fitting System which allows for different width insoles to be placed. Red = E fitting, yellow = F, blue = G. Unfortunately, I had The Boy using a yellow insole not a blue one for a short while until I managed to find the relevant information. This concept is genius because many children require a different fitting on each foot; these insoles accommodate that need. It would have been good to have some paraphenalia on it though, or something obvious on the website explaining it.
These Hush Puppies leather casual shoes (Whale) retail at £32.00 a pair, which I've always found to be an average cost for quality shoes for The Boy; it's certainly comparable with Clark's and the brand is just as good meaning that I won't be automatically heading there in the future to buy his shoes.
I was given credit to purchase these shoes for the purpose of this review. My opinion is honest and unbiased.