27-29 High Street FRASERBURGH Tel. +44 (0)1346 518429

46, Marischal Street PETERHEAD Tel. +44 (0)1779 473481



Children's Department ...


Why you should look after your child's feet ...

Think about your feet for a minute…. they are the only part of your body that have a finite length (apart from perhaps your chin). Your heel makes it impossible to wear anything shorter than your foot length. Why wear shoes at all? The answer is quite simple – protection, protection against anything sharp, cold, hot, corrosive etc. In an average lifetime your feet will take you some 200,000 miles and you cannot get them replaced! When walking your feet hit the ground with a force approaching twice your body weight and three times if you are running. How do our feet survive a 200,000 miles of pounding? They have a spring mechanism through the arches of the feet, which along with the knees absorb it – a bit like old-fashioned car springs. These 'springs' (made up of 26 bones per foot plus all the associated ligaments) can be easily damaged in children especially the first eight years when the bones are forming as well as growing, therefore the shoes they wear have to take this into account. The rate of growth changes too – a baby/toddler will be growing approximately 2.5 UK sizes per year, a 5-8 year old 1-1.5 sizes per year and a 10-12 year old something more like 0.5-1 sizes a year. From this you can appreciate that a child's feet need space to grow into a term which is often referred to as 'growth room'. They also need to have enough girth often referred to as 'width' so as not to squeeze and malform the feet from the sides.


What is Growth Room?

Growth Room comprises 4 parts, Spread, Movement, Growth and Shape. Spread – the amount that a foot spreads out to when you stand on it. (4mm) Movement – your foot moves forward in the shoe when you walk. (4mm) Growth – the amount of room required to grow into. (6mm) Shape – the more pointed the toe the greater the allowance in length. (variable) A foot, any foot, should be able to lie flat in a shoe, without the toes being pushed back on themselves by the front of the shoe or over and under each other by squashing from the lack of sufficient width. Now think of a baby and how fast they grow, their bones are often compared to gristle and because of this, are less prone to breaking and quicker to heal than adult bones. This softness combined with under-developed nerve endings in their feet leave them unable to feel when shoes are too tight and doing damage. It is at the point where your child is taking his or her first steps (or just before) that a close relationship between yourself and Andrew Begg is important. From that point on, using brands that produce their shoes in multi-width fittings and half sizes we can usually ensure that your child's feet reach adulthood in perfect working order. We will always give you the benefit of our knowledge and expertise to keep your children's feet developing properly. (Whilst certain foot deformity problems can be rectified by rather painful operations, prevention is better than the cure.)


What do we offer?

1. All of our staff are trained to fit children's shoes both by Andrew Begg and by Clarks International – the number one children's branded 'fitting' shoe manufacturer in the UK.

2. We stock a comprehensive range of children's shoes in width fittings from small size 3 to large size 9, which always reflects the fashion of the moment whilst applying the traditional values of fit.

3. We will give free advice on fitting problems and hopefully solve them.

4. We always endeavour to offer value for money good fitting product and will import footwear if necessary to achieve this.

5. We will not sell 'fitting' shoes on a mail order basis and guarantee fit – shoes can not be fitted unless they are tried on and checked for fit in the shop.

6. We always encourage customers to feel free to ask for a second opinion on the fit in the shop if they are unhappy or have concerns on the appropriateness of fit.

7. We will always sell shoes that are 'fit' for the purpose for which they are bought, providing that the purpose is explained to us at the time of sale.

8. Free fitting check on any shoe product that we sell or could sell.


Which children's shoe brands do we stock?

Clarks, Bootleg, Ricosta, Romika and other products sourced from top European manufacturers.


What types of shoes do we stock?

Traditional and fashion shoes, trainers, boots, wellingtons, sandals, slippers, even schoolbags.


The Fitting – what's involved?

1. Take your child in to our shop with the thickness of sock/tight that will be the average over the next 2-3 months.

2. Your child will have both feet measured for length and width on a Clarks measuring gauge appropriate to the age of your child. This measurement is a guide only and cannot be taken as the absolute size of your child's foot. It will be used to narrow down the selection on a basis of 'expected fit' so as to reduce wasted time for both you and us. (Bear in mind that fit of a shoe varies with the last (shape) that it is formed over, therefore shoes made on different shaped lasts will fit differently).

3. We will try on the style(s) of your choice if at all possible in the appropriate size and fitting.

4. We will then check the fit of the shoe with your child standing for both length and width.

5. Your child will then have to walk to establish the 'fit' when walking i.e. the presence or absence of slip, pressure points, ability to walk in a shoe of that type (perhaps the sole is too thick or the heel to high).

6. If the shoe fits as in 4 and 5 you can buy that shoe in the knowledge that your child's feet will develop as nature intended. An older child should on average (in terms of fit) get at around 3 months wear (this assumes 'normal wear and tear' and the shoe being suitable for the purpose that it was purchased to do). In the case of an infant it may be less – around 2 months because of the rate of growth. Unfortunately if we fit the shoe for a longer period the child will probably trip.

7. You should make a point of getting your child's shoes checked for fit (it is free) every 6-8 weeks if below school age and every 2-3 months for school age, to make sure that the shoes are not damaging their feet. If your child does not need shoes, we will tell you.

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