Reviewed by Nia Lock
Start Rite are well known for their high quality footwear, school shoes in particular. They have been looking after children’s feet for generations of my family. During the current pandemic shoe shopping just isn’t possible in the same way as usual and so I was very happy to find I could download and print a paper measure at home.
The measure was quick and easy to use, then you simply input the measurements from the paper measure in mm on the website and it tells you the size and width fitting to order. I was astonished to learn that my little girl had grown a size and a half since she was last measured (by Start Rite in person). Start Rite do offer additional foot measuring advice on their website but we felt confident enough to continue. We spent a short time perusing the website which is very easy to use and includes multiple pictures of each shoe from many angles including from above and also a short video showing the shoes being fitted onto a child’s foot which was incredibly helpful as she has very narrow feet and it is always difficult to find shoes that fit her well. There is a good selection of shoes in various styles and finishes. We settled upon the Hopscotch in black patent.
They arrived speedily and in perfect condition, delivery is free over £30. When I’m choosing shoes the most important factors are that they have a flexible sole and a nice rounded toe for plenty of toe space, Hopscotch has a biomechanically designed sole which bends easily in your hand and will therefore allow feet to bend naturally. It actually has targeted flexibility for specific ages which is reassuring. The Hopscotch has a rip tape fastening which will stay ‘sticky’ for 5000 uses according to Start Rites rigorous testing regime. The straps are quite high up on the foot which means the shoes suit narrow ankles well and don’t slip. I watched the video on the website on how to check the fit of your child’s shoe which I found helpful.
The flexible sole material extends a little way up the front of the shoe and also the back which will be a great defence against the inevitable scuffs. The Hopscotch shoe also has dyed through leather which means that the colour goes right through the leather and those scuffs won’t show as much. They’ll be used for running around a playground every day but the pair of Start Rite shoes she’s just outgrown look remarkably good for their 6 months wear and so I expect the Hopscotch will fare as well.
They have super cushioning around the ankle which is very comfortable on my daughters bony little feet and adds extra support for her growing ankles. The footbed cushioning also feels very nice and the breathable leather lining will keep her feet fresh and healthy. The stitching on the front of the shoes is very attractive and reminds my daughter of snowflakes which she’s very pleased about. They look very smart.
The Hopscotch shoe is available in full and half sizes from toddler size 7 up to child size 2 and in widths E up to H. I know Start Rite shoes have growing room built in so I’m hopeful that the shoes will last a decent amount of time before she grows out of them. I have three daughters and fully expect these shoes to be in good enough condition to be passed down to the other two once outgrown.
We are both very happy with the shoes and are looking forward to them being worn to school in a few weeks.
You can buy this product from the start rite website here