Did you know girls have to wear different shoes to boys, as boys’ shoes don’t suit girls’ bones? No, neither did we. Which is why we were shocked to hear that an 8-year-old girl, Sophia Trow, was told by a Clarks shop assistant that she couldn’t have the dinosaur shoes (above), because they weren’t suitable for girls’ bones.
Enter a rather red-faced Clarks to explain that the shop assistant had had got it wrong. “Clarks are sorry to hear that Sophia was informed these shoes aren’t suitable for girls. The Stomposaurus range can safely be worn by all children,” a spokesman said.
Phew – we’re glad to hear it. So what on earth happened?
When Sophia Trow went shopping for new shoes, she immediately fell in love with a pair of Clarks’ Stomp Claw trainers – and what child wouldn’t – with their dinosaur-moulded sole, and dino design back cuff, they are a fab, fun shoe. Not to mention a practical and comfy choice for boisterous kids-on-the-go.
But little Sophia’s dreams were shattered when she was told by an assistant she couldn’t have them. No, not because they didn’t stock them in her size, or because they were out of her parents’ budget, but because they were boys’ shoes and wouldn’t fit her girl feet.
Feisty Sophia did not taking the news lying down, mind, and penned an angry letter to the company, saying:
My mum took me to buy new school shoes and I saw that there were dinosaurs shoes for boys. Why can’t girls have dinosaur shoes? I don’t like how girls have flowery shoes – I like dinosaurs and fossils, so I think that other girls might as well. From Sophia (age 8)”
Sophia’s mum Jane, 34, and her 6-year-old sister Helena agreed with Sophia’s stance, and Jane took to Twitter to message Clarks about their “sexist shoes”.
She said that there should be choice for children – and asked why boys’ shoes fun and sturdy when girls’ shoes were all dainty and flowery.
“Dinosaur shoes are fun, exciting and something to stomp around and make noise in which is apparently just a boy thing,” she complained.
Clarks replied to her, and backtracked on the information the Trow family were given in store. They said the Trow’s were misinformed, and that the fab dino trainers can be worn by girls or boys (No! Really?!).
Unisex shoes are on the way – hurrah!
Clarks also revealed something else. “We are developing a broader range of unisex styles which will be available from Autumn/Winter this year.” Yeh!
Clarks explained that they “provide training to staff to ensure customers are made fully aware of our range of suitable styles”. Hmmm just a pity that in this case the training resulted in an assistant being left with strong views as to what a girls’ shoe is and what a boys’ one is!
Have you ever experienced anything like this when buying your kids’ shoes? (We hope not!)
Pic credit: Clarks