It has always been a challenge to find shoes for Mini. He has wide feet and needs to have lifts in his shoes. Since he was walking we have always ended up with Startrite Shoes. I have written about how and why we love them in the past, but this year I have decided to show you.
Mini got a pair of Velcro Rhino at the start of the last school year and before he managed to wear them out he actually grew out of them, so we decided to purchase another pair only this time with laces in preparation for senior school. He has been wearing these shoes since the end of January every single day. They have worn so well so we decided to opt for exactly the same style the Rhino Sherman for this September in a size 6H (yes he has bigger feet than me and he is only 11)!
So this is the current pair of shoes, exactly as he took them off when he finished school last week. I haven’t polished them or cleaned them for a couple of weeks. I am amazed at just how good they still look.
Above you can see them against the new larger pair. As you can see they have stood the test of time and daily wearing really well. Yes, the leather has softened and the fabric has worn too, but other than a bit of a frayed lace they have worn remarkably well.
You get a better idea of the wear looking at the soles of Mini’s shoes. You can really see that the rubber has worn, but there are no thin parts at all. I think this explains really clearly why we have got another pair of Startrite for Mini.
- They are podiatrist approved. Mini has really flat feet so has been given inserts by his podiatrist. When we visited he said that he loved these shoes as they were really supportive for kids feet.
- They have front bumpers. Scooters, kicking balls and riding bikes, means that the toes of shoes take a heavy beating. A good strong front bumper not only protects the shoes but the toes inside too.
- They have lasted – really that says it all for me. These shoes have been put through the mill and are still wearable.
Let’s talk about the cost issue…
Yes, they are expensive, but when it comes down to a price per wear they are great value for money. I try not to look at the initial purchase price, but the cost per week and by buying a quality pair of shoes I am paying less over the year.
How to make your school shoes stand the test of time
- Protect them – give the shoes a good start by giving them a layer of protective spray.
- Label them – chances are other children will have the same school shoes, so make things easy by labelling them, the last thing you want is to lose them.
- Air them out – I get the boys to take their school shoes off as soon as they get home this way any moisture or sweat inside the shoe can dry out before the next morning
- Dry them out – If their shoes are wet, I stuff them with newspaper or any old paper I have and leave them to dry. Never dry them in a warm place as this will crack the leather
- Remove Dirt – I encourage the boys to wipe their feet, but if they come home muddy then I give them a wipe with a damp rag
- Clean and polish – Once a week I clean and polish their shoes. I use a coloured shoe wax to restore them. After applying the wax with a soft shoe brush, I use a clean rag or cloth to buff the shoes back to a shiny new look. Using a cream conditioner with a soft cloth every couple of months will help to protect the shoe from the elements and prevent the leather from drying out. I also use a waterproof spray after cleaning them each week.
- Deodorise – Once a week after cleaning I pop some bicarbonate of soda in the shoe to take away any smell.
- Quick fixes – I also have a scuff polish with a sponge applicator that I will use as and when required to keep the shoes looking OK.