Reviewed by Jo Tebbs
When you first start to hear the pitter patter of tiny little feet, you can’t help but smile a huge, beaming grin! I’ll never forget the sheer joy and sense of pride I felt when my little one achieved that major milestone!
Once those first few steps were taken, very quickly, my thoughts turned to shoes and wanting to ensure that my little girl’s feet were wearing high quality, supportive and decent shoes. After all, we only have two feet and they have to last us a life time of lugging the rest of our bodies around!
Feet have a rough ride though life, so I firmly believe that shoes are a really important part of our clothing and that good fitting, quality shoes are also vital for our general health and well being. Poor fitting shoes can cause a whole host of pain and can also result in foot issues and deformities which will impact walking and our overall quality of life.
As soon as my child started to walk, I immediately got her feet measured by a reputable and well known shoe store, and then her very first pair of shoes were purchased!
However, I was only first introduced to Start-Rite shoes last summer when my sister kindly gifted my daughter an extremely cute pair of summer sandals. My little girl loved wearing them and she looked so sweet toddling around in them. I was really impressed by the quality of these shoes. They were flexible, yet strong and made of leather with rip tape fastenings, which made life easy as a parent when putting the shoes on and taking them off. My Sister highly recommends Start-Rite shoes and with her being a health care professional, I really value her opinion.
The Start-Rite company was founded and established in 1792 and has become a prominent brand in the children’s shoe market. With a company surviving this length of time, it gives me confidence in the brand and their products. They have quite literally ’stood’ the test of time in a competitive shoe market!
When I was given the opportunity to review a pair of ‘First Walkers’ from Start-Rite I jumped at the chance. Initially, I went to the main Start-Rite website (https://www.startriteshoes.com/) and took a look at the vast selection of shoes that the company has to offer. There are so many varying styles to choose from including boots, slippers, school shoes, sandals and trainers to name a few. I guarantee you will find a gorgeous pair of shoes to fit every occasion regardless of the season, for the little feet you’re looking after. Start-Rite offers shoes in both whole and half sizes as well as different widths, catering for all our little ones’ individual needs.
The website also provides other information, advice and helpful tips when it comes to measuring feet, caring for feet and foot health to mention just a few topics.
The ‘First Walkers’ category are shoes which allow for natural movement of the foot but with added extra protection to prevent bumps and scraps when little ones might not be quite so steady on their feet or when adventurous toddlers are exploring the exciting big wide world around them. The fastenings ensure a secure grip, holding those precious little feet safely in place, whilst the soles are ‘non-slip.’
It was very difficult choosing a pair to review from the girls ‘First Walking Shoes’ (https://www.startriteshoes.com/girls-shoes/first-walking-shoes) category – I fell in love with so many of them! However, with Spring on its way and a holiday to warmer climates in the not too distant future, I chose the Flora sandal in white/silver for my little girl (https://www.startriteshoes.com/flora-white-silver-leather-girls-riptape-sandals). I am absolutely thrilled with my choice!!!!
In my opinion, these Flora sandals are the perfect summer sandal for a little girl! The metallic silver flower centre corsage, on a white and metallic silver leather strappy sandal, perfectly complements my daughter’s whole summer wardrobe. These sandals are just so versatile! They can be teamed up with a sparkly summer dress for a fancy wedding outfit, or dressed down with shorts and t-shirt for a sandy, summer beach day. I also love the little centre diamanté piece which catches the light and gives an extra special little twinkle to the sandal!
The rip-tape ankle fastening provides a secure fit around her ankle but also allows my toddler to take the shoe on and off herself. She’s highly independent and thoroughly enjoys the freedom that this fastening offers her! These Flora sandals are available in half sizes for toddlers starting at size 3 and going up to a size 8. They are also available to purchase in a dusty sage colour or metallic gold.
Personally, I like the straps allowing my daughters feet to breath and remain cool on a warmer summer day, but by having an enclosed toe, this provides the shoe with a level of protection around her toes which I deem essential especially if she plays in them and goes climbing. The ankle/heel area is also enclosed too, so her whole foot remains secure and supported. The soles are padded and so are the ankle supports, so the sandals should be super comfy and fine for her to wear all day.
My little one has loved trying her new shoes on. She has danced, leapt about and twirled around whilst testing out her new sandals. So far, it would appear that we’ve had the big seal of approval from her – and after all, she is the one that has to wear them, so that’s all that matters to me!! Due to it being cold currently, I haven’t let her go outside in them, but I am sure she is going to love wearing these to the same extent as her last pair of Start-Rite summer sandals.
Bearing in mind that kids feet rapidly grow in their early years, it’s advised that we should measure our children’s feet every 8-12 weeks to ensure they are always wearing the correct size. I was really pleased to see that you can purchase a Start-Rite measuring gauge so you can keep checking the size of those little toes at home yourself before purchasing your next size up shoe when the time is right.
The website also provides a list of your local Start-Rite shoe stockists so you can go and see/ try on the company’s shoes in store or alternatively, you can purchase shoes directly from the website.
Although these Flora sandals may seem a little expensive at £38, especially when kids grow out of them so quickly, but I really don’t think you can put a price on shoes for a child, especially when they are such good quality. Start-Rite shoes are similarly priced to other high street brands so they remain competitive but they may come in a little more expensive than the likes of supermarket shoes or lower quality high street store shoes.
Please note, from our experience, I would generally say that the Start-Rite shoes size up a little big compared with Clarks shoes and other brands. I have found that I tend to need to order about half a size smaller in these Start-Rite shoes.
There are so many different occasions from which the gift of a pair of shoes could be given including the standard Birthday and Christmas times. But, who actually needs an excuse to give a gift of shoes, you can never have too many shoes (in my opinion!) and they are certainly a practical and useful gift! Go check out the website and order some little toes an adorable pair of new shoes.
Rating: I would rate this product 5/5
The RRP for this item is £38
You can buy the Start-Rite First Walking Flora Sandals from the Start-Rite website here.