Tag Archives: Clark’s shoes

Sexism in School Shoes

This is some thing that really makes me see red with the rage.

Why is there such a huge disparity in the quality of children’s school shoes? School shoes for boys and girls commonly cost around £30 a pair.

I have a son and a daughter. When choosing shoes for my son I am treated to a variety of sturdy school shoes. Most have rubberised toes to allow him to scrabble about on the floor, climb walls and kick balls without wrecking the shoes instantly. They have thick, sturdy soles and reinforced stitching.

Compare this to the shoes on offer for my daughter; they are thinner, there is no reinforcement on the toes, they are designed to be “pretty”. Her last pair came with a small doll in the heel! The sole is weakly glued on. She has had pairs fall apart in less than three weeks. These were Clark’s shoes. When I returned them, the assistant said she would exchange them “a a gesture of goodwill”. Goodwill my arse, they were clearly unfit for purpose!

My sexism theory comes in when you consider the age of the child and what their shoes are designed for them to be able to DO in them. Is there really that much difference between children under 10 or 11 and the things they enjoy doing?
Both my six year old son and my eight year old daughter enjoy the same running, jumping, scootering, climbing up walls, kicking stones, climbing trees and general scuffing around. That’s normal.

What isn’t normal is shoe manufacturers designing shoes for girls that are not functional. Why can’t their shoes have reinforced rubberised toes? Why can’t their shoes be fit for purpose?

Come on Clark’s and Startrite. Stop the school shoe discrimination!