A little off the beaten track – Part 1 of many

One of the things that has me very preoccupied lately is the price of shoes for walking babies and toddlers. I was about to think I was being a penny pincher until one of my colleagues (a father of three kids under the age of six) also started moaning about the same thing. I felt my feelings were totally justified. 
I have also developed a (very bad) habit of looking at shoes that other kids at Neo’s nursery are wearing and have realised that Clarks is getting the lion share of kids’ footware, at least where I live…
So it was time for Neo to move up a size, I decided to take the less-than-traditional approach and go off the usual Clarks route for some shoes.
Top of the list is of course converse hi-tops. As an owner of three pairs myself, it really goes without saying that Neo must have converse trainers. They are so expensive though! Almost the same price as mine, and I wear mine all my life (or a decent number of years at least!). Neo is a size five now and if I walked into any high street shop, I would have to part with anything between £25 and £40. Well, this smart mommy only spent £10! Ha! How did I do it, I hear you ask? Easy… I bought them on sale in January. Therein lies my first top tip: try to always buy things on sale and tick two boxes: stylist and reasonable. 
One other place where I have seen a lot of converse for kids going for a song is on ebay. You can buy new shoes from established retailers and there is a recourse should you wish to return the item.
The next good buy is a product from South Africa. Neo already a pair of these so it was an obvious choice. I bought a pair for Neo before learning to walk and found it very easy to just keep on using the same brand. Shoo-shoos are a brand of shoes originally from South Africa but can be bought in the UK . I am first to admit that it does not offer the best range but I can vouch for a solid pair of shoes that is easy on the pocket. 
What are some of your top tips for buying baby and toddler shoes?

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