Appointments and opening hours
Currently entry to Little Wanderers is by appointment only and we have decided to maintain this throughout the summer holidays. Although social distancing restrictions may ease or end altogether on 19th July it just doesn’t feel appropriate to us to open up completely, at what is by far our busiest time of year. Therefore we are now taking appointments for August and we will keep running appointments through to when the schools return in September.

We expect to be exceptionally busy and will be doing all we can to see as many customers as possible. The best way to guarantee to be seen is to book in advance, rather than turning up and hoping we can fit you in. Please phone so that we can discuss your needs and work out how long an appointment to offer. If you get the answerphone then we are probably serving customers, so please leave a message and we will call you back. To try to fit in as many families as possible opening hours will vary throughout the Summer. We will be offering evening and bank holiday weekend appointments when there is a demand for them.

When to come for school shoes
We understand the thought process that the closer you buy your child’s school shoes to the starting of school the more wear you will get out of them, before outgrowing the shoes. However, waiting for the last week of the holidays will rarely provide additional weeks of wear for most children. Therefore we would request, and especially for older children with bigger feet, that you come earlier in August for your appointment. If you have younger children and/or want to come later we will try and accommodate you. We would always rather you made just one appointment for a family of children rather than separate appointments and please remember socks!

In store procedures
It is still currently a legal requirement that face coverings are mandatory for all customers aged eleven or older in shops, unless you are exempt. This may or may not change this summer but we expect every customer who enters our store to comply with the law. We will be adhering to the government guidelines for “Working safely during COVID-19 in shops and branches” and need our customers help to achieve this. When close contact measuring and fitting services are required then this will take place behind a Perspex screen. We are maintaining a two metre distance at all other times and expect customers to also observe this. Initially there will be less styles on display and less staff on the shop floor.

Free BL postage on our new website
Our website has had an update over the past few months and may look slightly different. We hope that it is now easier to use. However, if you do struggle to find what you are looking for, or come across a glitch that we have missed, please feel free to let us know. All account information has been carried over. To provide extra assistance for those unable or unwilling to currently visit our store during our busiest time of the year, we have decided to continue providing free online postage, on our website, to anyone with a local “BL” postcode. This discount will happen automatically at the checkout and we also provide free returns if the shoes don’t fit.

Please contact us with any fitting questions you have, prior to ordering. We are advising all our customers to take advantage of this online service, if you know the size and style that you want, as our website contains our complete stock holding. If you are a regular customer and want to take advantage of this offer, but live outside the “BL” postcode area, then please get in touch with us and we will see how we can assist you further.

Key styles and brand news
As many of our brands and manufacturers have been developing their back to school ranges during the height of the 2020 pandemic you will notice that many have kept to their core ranges with some small adjustments.

Start-Rite will be bringing their first range to Little Wanderers this Summer. Starting with school shoes in sizes UK Infant 9 to UK 2.5 for Girls and UK Senior 10 for Boys. Then some exciting styles for pre-school ages in late August.

Lelli Kelly have taken the symbol of the rainbow and added it to their school shoes, in the Lelli Kelly Brite style. The popularity of Irene, the fully enclosed Velcro shoe in the Miss LK range, has now lead to a new style in smaller junior sizes called Elizabeth, with a slight bumper toe. This practical style is sure to be popular for school this Autumn.

Froddo have created a new, more robust looking style this year. G3130188 Leo has a leather lining and a chunky sole unit. There are some slight adjustments to the versions of mary-jane school shoe styles that Froddo offers, in both leather and patent, with options including toe bumpers to keep the front of the shoes free from bumps and scuffs.

Hush Puppies have taken reliable favourite Jezza and have produced a boot version in sizes UK 12 to a UK Senior 4. This is going to be ideal for children who have orthotics in their school shoes. For the senior range there is a new style called Brace. Taking one of their popular adults’ designs and adapting it for a smaller developing foot this smart style is available in sizes UK Senior 6 to 10. Remember that due to Hush Puppies unique fitting system the majority of their shoes are available in width fittings D to G.

Skechers have now been in store at Little Wanderers for a year, although for most of that time we have not been able to show the full range on display. As well as styles with lights and memory foam insoles, they do offer a budget range of trainers that has all the support and quality you expect from Skechers, but without the big brand prices.

PE trainers and plimsolls
Last September most schools required children to attend school in their PE kits with trainers and so PE Plimsolls were not needed. As of yet we do not know what the schools will require. We will have PE plimsolls in store in Velcro in half sizes and the pull on styles in full UK sizes. As well as this we will have our all white PE trainers. These are suitable for outdoor or indoor use.

Name labels and shoe care
Don’t forget to check your stock of shoe labels and black polish before your visit. Keeping leather nourished is the best way to help it last longer and stand up to the rigours of the playground.

Things to remember
Please make sure that you have the following before coming to visit us for your school shoes this summer.
• An appointment
• School socks
• Prescribed orthotics or insoles
• Face covering
• Current school shoes if they need checking
• Loyalty card and discount vouchers
• Shopping bag (as we no longer provide them)