Kickers School Shoes Review

1 October 2010

Kickers 1 Shoes are one area where I am willing to spend a whole lot of cash when it comes to my kids. However, £40 or more had me blinking twice. I know that Kickers are great quality, and I know that they're also ultimately good value. My step daughter had a pair of Kickers school shoes that she loved and wore for three years in secondary school.

But these are shoes for much younger children. For preschoolers who are going to nursery or  reception, or those in the infants years (years one, two and three). At this age it is recommended that you get their feet measured every three months. They do grow quickly so is it worth it to spend £40 on shoes?

I received two pairs of shoes from Kicker's latest range of Back 2 School shoes. The Kick Kilo Strap infants boots and the Kick Hi I Core patent leather lace-up boots. These were road tested by Teenan (in Reception) and Maxim (in Year 1).

Kickers 3 solesKickers 3 SolesThe first thing that struck both mums about the boots when they got them out of the boxes was how sturdy they were, and how thick the soles were. Melanie thought that these might make them particularly good winter boots if we got snow like we did last year! There's certainly a lot of grip on the soles.  Another plus for Teresa, whose son was trying on the Kick Kilo Strap boots, was the padding around the top of the shoe where the foot goes in. She felt that this made it kinder on the child's ankle, and supportive. Also easier for her son to pull on. Melanie was a little disappointed to find that the Kick Hi I Core boots didn't have quite the same amount of padding, and she felt that the boots were much stiffer than the other pair as well.

Patent Leather

Kickers 6 patentThe Kick Hi I Core boots we received were in black shiny patent leather. Something that Teenan adored right away. And I can't blame her as I remember how much I adored patent leather when I was that age. These particular boots are entirely black - black leather and black stitching. The model is also available in plain black leather with red stitching and in white leather.

I gave these shoes to Melanie to try out as they looked like the sort of thing a little girl would love (and she did) and also because her pre-school asks that children are sent to school in lace ups. My step-son's school, when he first started, was like that too. This is to help teach the children to tie their laces.

My son's school asks for velcro ties though, and asking around many parents, I've found that most schools prefer velcro and some even specify that children in nursery and reception are not sent in lace ups. So before you buy these shoes, do check!

Overall, Teenan liked these shoes. She's already started to learn to tie up her shoe laces, and loved that these were proper, grown up shoes. She liked the patent leather. However, she did find them rather stiff to walk in, but overall comfortable. They were a good fit on her feet.

Velcro

Kickers 4 PairMaxim was aghast when he saw Teenan pull out the lace ups, and every happy when he saw the velcro strap on his shoes. Apparently having to stop playing football to tie up your shoelaces is incredibly boring.

Unlike Teenan, and perhaps this is a boy/girl difference, he wasn't so bothered with how the shoe looked but whether or not he could still kick his football accurately. Interestingly, it wasn't until I sat down to write this review that I found these shoes were meant to be black with pink stitching. The pink is so incredibly pale that it looks like a slight off-white. I asked Maxim's mum and she hadn't noticed it was pink either. We decided not to point this out to Maxim.

Plush interior

Maxim loved the comfort of these shoes. In fact, he particularly commented on it. Which is highly unusual in a nearly six year old who only ever talks about football and dinosaurs. The boots have an interior sole that is springy, and moulded to fit and support the foot. When asked, Maxim said he particularly liked this and would definitely like to wear boots like these to school. We will just have to make sure we don't mention the word pink!

And Finally

Kickers 5 WhiteThe boots are available on the Kickers website for £40. Standard delivery is £4.95, and delivery can take up to five working days. Personally, I'd recommend getting your child's foot measured first, even if you have done so recently. There's guides to doing this yourself but I always prefer it if someone independent does the measuring. Plus my son loves standing on the machine in Clarks, whereas he hates me touching his feet (very ticklish!).

10 comments

  • Naomi M.
    It's a tricky one, especially if your children's feet grow really quickly. But you're looking at between about 34-40 for Clarks shoes (although of course you have the guarantee that they allow six weeks growing room (I think) so if they grow exceptionally quickly you'll get another pair for free). I always buy Clarks or Start-rite for shoes my four-year-old will wear a lot (such as school shoes), but I now know enough about foot measuring to be happy that I can tell a well-fitting pair of trainers or sandals. Although as his feet seem to be getting wider, I fear we might start being restricted, which could become pretty pricey.
  • Lynley O.
    Interesting! I don’t think I’ve paid more than £30 for a pair of Clarks shoes. That’s what we normally usually end up getting him as he’s a right fussy wee thing. He doesn’t really like wearing school shoes at all, but Clarks do one that’s enough like a school shoe to pass muster yet at the same time be more like a trainer. That said, after last year’s snow I would really consider getting something with much more of a sole for the winter. These looked pretty snug. He wore his boots to school during snow days but it was such a faff to get them off and into school shoes to go into the classroom – had to find somewhere dry enough on the floor so his socks didn’t end up icy cold!
  • Nicki
    I spent $110 Australian dollars on Emma's school shoes this year, they were Clarks. I hated doing it, but it was the best option. Her feet grow slowly so I've had a years wear out of them. They're worn every day and we've never had a blister. When I compare it with the sandles bought for $30 that were worn once as they hurt her feet! I guess it's good value overall. Plus she has such small feet, the cheaper school shoes don't start in her size. I say it's worth the money!
  • Donatella
    Perhaps more now than ever - especially with globalisation - you get what you pay for (just think Primark quality clothes compared with John Lewis). That's why I never scrimp on shoes. Cheap quality and poorly made shoes can really damage growing feet and cause friction, blisters and squish little toes. Like Naomi, I buy my son's school shoes at Clarks. The staff ALWAYS measure feet, there is a wide range of widths available, and an excellent selection of shoes with sturdy soles and heels. Having to buy a pair of PE trainers that stay at school, football trainers with studs, another pair of trainers for weekends, winter boots, as well as school shoes and crocs/sandals for karate, I end up spending about £160 on footwear each time he grows out of them - give or take. £40 is simply extortionate - and I suspect not worth it.
  • Lynley O.
    Wow Nicki, I've never had a pair of shoes last on son for as long as a year. And I thought his feet grew slowly! His are really small for his age too. I think that if I knew for sure he was going to get as much as a year's wear out of them then I'd consider it for sure. Wow at the price of Clarks in Australia!
  • Fiona M.
    I agree you get what you pay for with shoes - I tried Cami with a pair of the Blox range from Brantano, (£12 - £16) and they were really inflexible and rubbed his feet to bits. We stick to Clarks now, at around £30 and, like Lynley, go for the ones that look and last enough like trainers to get him through the school day without having to waste precious play time changing. The investment is definitely worth it for growing feet. Even so, £40 is pushing the limit, and I suspect the last £10 is just for the label.
  • Feli
    I usually do pay that amount for shoes for my 18-months-old because I want to buy quality shoes. Sometimes I find them for less and I don't complain. I make up for the cost by only buying her one pair at a time, i.e., she usually has only one pair of shoes she can (and has to) wear, no matter what the occiasion :-) I was lucky in sofar as that she could wear her pair of sandals all through summer and that now she only needs the waterproof autumn shoes
  • Renee
    I'd only pay that for them if there was something seriously wrong with their feet. You know, if they needed them specifically because their ankles were slipping or something. Kids just grow so fast!
  • Sho
    I've always believed in investing the in the best quality shoes you can for everyone in the family but children's shoes are hugely expensive and at times I've had to go without shoes for myself to afford them. These wouldn't have appealed to my girls at all except for a brief period when they both wanted Dr Marten boots (they are allowed - but only when their feet stop growing). 40 pounds sounds pretty reasonable to me for Kickers. I've had them myself in the past and the quality really shows over cheaper less well-made shoes. But - and here's the thing - only if you can really get the wear out of them. I didn't know about the Clarks 6 week growing room thing - I wish we had that in Germany where shoes for children seem to be prohibitively expensive compared to what I've seen in the UK. (as an aside: I'm always a little bit schocked at the totally proscriptive way schools act in the UK. No chocolate, lace ups, no lace ups, no nuts...)
  • Lynley O.
    Do you have something like VAT in Germany? And if you do, is it applied to children's shoes? It isn't here in the UK so maybe that accounts for the difference?

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