A+ School Shoe Shopping With The Athlete's Foot | Life Love and Hiccups: A+ School Shoe Shopping With The Athlete's Foot
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Friday 10 January 2014

A+ School Shoe Shopping With The Athlete's Foot

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This post it brought to you by The Athletes Foot

So it’s no secret around these parts that I am completely foot phobic and no amount of pretty flowers carefully placed around feet will ever make me OK with them. 

I can just about cope with looking at them from a distance, but get too close to me with a foot and I start getting really squeamish.

I’m not sure if it is a result of spending 40 years having to look at the ugly feet at the end of my legs or if it is being the mother of 3 young boys, 2 of whom insist on wearing shoes with no socks.
You know what I’m getting at when I talk about no socks right?

Good God, is there anything more awful than being in a closed room at the end of the day when a couple of kids take their shoes off and collectively expose their stinky feet once????

Oh kill me now! Just the thought makes me gag.

Thankfully school shoes aren’t as bad. I’m not sure if it is the leather or the cotton socks that saves my nostrils from the vicious assault, and quite frankly I don’t care. If I could get my kids to wear school shoes day in and day out then my nose and I would be very happy.

My boys are tough on their shoes. Well aren’t most kids?

They kill their casual shoes with their skateboards and as for their school shoes…. I don’t know what they do.  I mean really WHAT do they do during school hours to trash them so ferociously?

This was my youngest on the final day of school last year and more importantly this was his shoes.

Apart from the fact that these shoes are holier than the altar at their school chapel, he had totally outgrown them. I know this because the very next day I took him to buy some new run around shoes for him to destroy with scooters and skateboards and to leave behind at parks etc. and when the sales girl measured his feet they were a size and a half bigger than his school shoes.

Feel bad much!!

As part of my review of The Athlete’s foot I was given the opportunity to take one of my boys along to our local store for a fitting for school shoes. I chose my oldest because he has the misfortune of inheriting my weird feet. His are also the most difficult to fit and because he is the fussiest of all three, is starting high school in less than a month and therefore the fussiness had been dialled up more than usual.

OK OK and in the spirit of being totally honest with you,  thanks to his love of funky (in a good way) socks, his feet are surprisingly the least stinky of all three which means I had high hopes of saving myself the humiliation of causing a mass evacuation in store when my offspring removed his shoes.

His criteria for shoes were they have to look cool, have street cred and be comfortable.

My criteria were they have to meet the school’s strict uniform policy, last him as long as possible and assist in keeping more money in OUR holiday fund and less in our podiatrists.

So we arrived at The Athlete's Foot Warriewood store, orthotics in hand, to meet with Emily our Master Fit Technician. Now can I tell you, The Athlete’s Foot don’t use the term ‘Master Foot Technician’ lightly. These guys and gals have undergone the highest level of training including a 3 day full on course run by podiatrists, and health professionals. They know their stuff.

Emily told me that they were going to use Fitzi to take a video of Kai’s gait and so I was all ‘OK then’,  sipped on my coffee and waited for some dude called Fitzi to emerge with a video camera to film my kid’s feet.

Turns out Fitzi is a computerised technical genius and not some dude after all. In fact it is the most evolved in store fitting analysis system in the whole global market.

Way to impress yo! (Kai’s words, not mine)

Without getting all technical on you cause hey, I can’t even figure out how to set the clock on the oven, you walk along a track on the machine and Fitzi videos your feet and gait and pressure tests your feet etc., then it sends the video, images and info to an iPad so that your fit technician can show you just how friendly you do or don’t need to get with your podiatrist. More importantly, the technicians are completely trained to understand the science behind all that info and fit your kids in exactly the right shoes they need for their feet.

The Athlete’s Foot carry the full sizes and widths of the well-known and trusted Clarks shoes, are the exclusive retailer of Ascent school shoes and stock many more brands to boot (pardon the pun). 

After watching the video and coming to the conclusion that yes, it is most likely we will continue to be on very friendly terms with our podiatrist for a while longer, we also learned that Kai has very flat feet, his right ankle rolls which would be contributing to the knee pain he gets and he has wide feet… very wide feet, like size E ‘spread em really wide’ feet.

Did you know that kid’s feet change up to 34 times before the age of 11? No bull.

They have soft little bones that that can be quite easily damaged by shoes that don’t fit properly. Trust me on this ok, my boy’s podiatrist and I are practically besties given I pretty much funded her holidays in 2013 through our need for orthotics to correct their feet and their gait.

In one year alone kids spend over 1000 hours in their school shoes.  Geez no wonder they look so tired at the end of the school year…. The shoes I mean. And yeah - the kids too.

So I grilled poor Emily on the difference between the two brands and after she chatted to Kai for a while we came to the conclusion that the Ascent shoes which are basically made on a running shoe base but with leather uppers and are designed for more active kids, would be perfect for my boy who I know will be spending is lunchtimes chasing a ball.

Turns out after trying on both brands, he found these to be the most comfortable for him too.

Emily taught us how to tie a lock lace to give extra support to your child’s foot and to stop any slipping that could lead to blisters.

What also impressed me was the fact that without me even having to pull out the schools strict uniform policy, Emily was able to tell me exactly what was and wasn’t allowed as far as school shoes and sports shoes at my son’s new school. In fact she could tell me for all the local schools.

On a side note, if you are community minded you’d be stoked to know that if your kid’s school is registered with the Athlete’s Foot School program, for every pair of school shoes one of their students buy from their store, Athletes foot will donate $5 bucks to their school.
For The Win I say!

So one of my 3 have now been fitted in shoes that have been specially chosen to suit his unique needs and with all Clarks shoes on sale for $99.95 for the month of January, I am totally heading back with the other 2 boys to get Fitzi and Emily to fit them up with school shoes and sports shoes as well as a couple of pairs of soccer & rugby boots.

Oh man, I am so sorry Emily, I promise to bring a Gas mask and a can of Glen 20 for you.

For more information on The Athlete's Foot stores, Fitzi the most awesome fitting system or to find your closest store visit the Athlete’s foot website here.

And for some great tips on shopping for school shoes, or to find out all about the brands they stock and view the online catalogue visit their Back To School site here

Have you got any tips for keeping the little stinker winkers from stinking you out?
How about you - Do you have any body part phobias?