Book of Firsts

A few months ago I was contacted by Start-rite shoes, asking me if I would like to try out their First Shoes range, which included a personalised video – the Book of Firsts – to mark the milestone of getting your baby their first shoes.

I thought this was a lovely idea as getting the girls their first shoes was a big deal, both times, as that meant they were walking and were very much going from being babies to toddlers.

We chose the Super Soft Amy First Walking Shoes:

Start-rite Super Soft Amy First Walking Shoes

C’s first Start-rite shoes

As Start-rite sell their shoes online, there are various ways of knowing which size you can buy: you can either buy their fitting gauge (up to a child’s size 8) which is just £5.99 and postage is free for this item, or you can download their paper foot gauge.

C’s first shoes arrived and she was delighted with them, in fact I really regret not filming her (but I was too busy enjoying watching her), as she did this kind of weird little tap dance around as she walked with them on, it was so funny to watch.

These Start-rite shoes cost £36 which is fairly similar/slightly more expensive than Clarks shoes, which is the only other place I would consider getting shoes for C, and we have found them to be excellent value for money.

My girls tend to grow fairly slowly so any shoes or clothes need to have a lot of wear in them, and C has been wearing these every day for 3 months now – outside and inside – and this is the current state of them:

Start-rite First Walkers shoes after 3 months of constant wear

After 3 months of constant wear

I have to say I’m pretty impressed with this – the sole hasn’t budged and the scuffing on the toe is not as bad as I would have expected, considering the use they’ve had and the rough play that C goes in for!

I also think she looks pretty cute in them:

Start-rite shoes modelled by toddler

Sporting her new shoes whilst being read to by big sis

So what about the personalised video – is it all it’s cracked up to be? Well, I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised as it really does come across as personalised, even though I know that a bog standard one was done for all the girls, but I am really impressed.

Click here for C’s video of her Book of Firsts. I really like the olde worlde style of it, which reminds me of Pinocchio.

Start-rite Book of Firsts video

Screenshot of C’s Book of Firsts video

The video itself is really easy for you to personalise:

  • when you get your First Shoes you will receive a code with instructions
  • go to and enter the code
  • select the shoes you have bought
  • choose a photo of your child wearing their new shoes
  • choose 4 photos of your child’s “firsts” so this could be first Christmas, first birthday, first solid meal, first teeth, first day out etc. We chose first Christmas, first meal, first teeth and first birthday.
  • follow the instructions online and upload these photos
  • you can preview the video and make any changes before confirming it
  • once the video has finished (it’s very quick) you will be given a url to share with family/friends/on social media
  • voilà! It’s as simple as that.

Would I recommend Start-rite and their First Shoes for your little one? I absolutely would – I think the video is a real plus and something I’m sure C will want to watch when she’s a little bit older (if she’s anything like L, who loves videos and photos of her as a baby!).

The shoes are sturdy but soft and comfortable and hold C’s foot well, and are well-priced for the quality you get.

My only gripe is that most shoes that I have seen for C have been fairly open, which is fine when the weather is good (cough, cough, in the UK that’s not so often), but in wet or cold weather I’d far rather she had shoes that covered the tops of her feet too. But that is a gripe about shoes in the UK in general, as I’ve struggled to find any, from any brand, that cover the tops of the feet fully. Whereas in France (and the south of France where the sun shines lots) it was really easy to find more warm, waterproof shoes for L. But as I say I think that’s more a France vs UK thing than a Start-rite thing.

I have to say that I would normally have bought C’s shoes from Clarks, as that’s what I remember from when I was a child, but now I’ve tried Start-rite there’s going to be some tough competition for the next pair of shoes!

Disclosure: Start-rite gifted us a pair of First Walkers shoes in exchange for this honest review. As always all words and opinions are my own.


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