I’ll stick my hand up and admit I haven’t shopped in Shoe Zone for a long time. I vaguely remember buying a pair of black shoes for my first job (15 years old) and them lasting all of a week before falling apart. I decided then to spend more money on a pair elsewhere, which lasted a lot longer and never went back.
But recently I was contacted asking if I would be willing to take part in a £30 challenge, to see how much (or little) I could get with £30 and to write about my experience. We decided I would shop for Tia who wears a toddler size 6 shoe, and I choose to shop in store rather than online so I could try them on first.
I got off to a bad start by choosing to visit the Lakeside Thurrock branch first, instead of my own local Basildon branch. I walked around and after ten minutes found one pair of shoes in Tia’s size. Most of the styles started from an 8 and on asking the floor staff, I was advised to shop online as there “might” be a better range. Needless to say we left very annoyed, Tia as she had expected to leave with several pairs of new shoes, and me because Tia was kicking off.
A week later I tried again at our local branch and had a much better experience. I was greeted straight away by the floor staff (even though there were several other customers already in the store) also the store had a much better layout for me to navigate with my pushchair. We walked to the back where the children’s shoes are and started looking. Tia instantly spotted a pair of pink boots that she wanted, these were in the sale for £12.99 and the smallest pair they had was a seven. So we choose them anyway to be put away, we both liked them and they were a total bargain.
Tia spotted a pink canvas pair of shoes, these Im not massively keen on but after looking around, and finding nothing else in her size I relented and picked them up. They’ll be great for the garden and on the beach and a snip at £4.99.
As I said above they had nothing else in her size, the smallest welly boots I could find was a nine. But on the way to the checkouts we spotted the slippers, we managed to grab a pair in the right size for £4.99 and it was this department where we had the biggest choice of styles. She had four styles she could choose from that had her size, she went with the pink owls which brought our total spend up to £30.96.
So I paid the extra 96p and left with a pair of boots, a pair of slippers and two pairs of shoes. This amazes me as I normally spend more than that on one pair of shoes for Tia. I’m really funny about the type of shoes I buy for her tiny delicate toddler feet. They’re still growing after all, so I tend to go for barefoot styles.
So how did I find the experience? Well if I didn’t have a challenge to do, I would have gone to a different shop after my experience in the lakeside branch. But the Basildon branch staff were so lovely and helpful they more than made up for it. I also hate the fact that all four pairs of shoes that we left with are pink. Now I’m not anti-pink in anyway shape or form. Tia has a lot of pink, however I like there to be a choice. Had she has had bigger feet she could have left with white, or black shoes. But we were really restricted, there wasn’t much in her size anyway and then we had the colour choice taken out of our hands.
Tia has been walking since she was nine months old and has a small size 5.5 for so we’ve been buying a 6. This isn’t just shoe-zone though, clarks are just as bad with the assumption that we only want pink shoes.
The slippers have been worn daily since we bought them a few weeks ago and still look as good as new. The boots are too big so I can’t comment but the two pairs of shoes are so far, so good. We need to wait for much nicer weather to get more wear before I will comment on how well they wear.
I was provided with a £30 voucher in exchange for this post, all words and photos are my own and I’ve not been in anyway influenced.