Sometimes people ask for baby's childrens' or teenager's vegan shoes.
This is an impossible or hard market to serve. For Veganline.com at the moment it is impossible. Mail-order footwear sales to adults are a compromise: feet do not come in standard ratios of girth to length to anything else and adults have to compromise and send shoes back and forth until they find-out what fits.
When feet are growing the compromise is greater and for now seems too great: the constraint of an ill-fitting shoe can stunt growth.
Also, parents are shorter of money and time than the rest of us and more subject to demands of schools and children, so their decisions are made under pressure from the start.
- For babies
Veganline recommends a sock with any kind of home-made sole attached to keep out some of the dirt that comes of toddling on parks, pavements, roads, dog-poo, doctor's waiting room carpets and flower beds in random order. Veganline.com's own insoles may be suitable for cutting-up and sewing or Evo-sticking on to a pair of socks, or synthetic chamois leather, or anything you have to hand. Maybe any extra dirt and infection that a toddler and parent suffers is a smaller thing than any constraint on the shape of the toddler's foot as it grows.
- For children
the problem of soft feet is not quite so bad, but significant. And of course some adults love telling others what to wear. These people are drawn to the occupation of second head-mistress with extra-ordinary lack of self-awareness. So how to cope?
We don't know. We have a lot of Sensible Shoes in boys or unisex sizes.
Under parent pressure we did get some US Brass or similar plastic childrens' shoes but they are so horrible we were too embarrassed to put them on the web site - they are available on request in brown. Also, in future, we hope to get some trainers in various sizes and already we have ankle boots as small as size UK 2. We will soon be stocking Ethletic trainers - the traditional style with a rubber front and sides under canvas - in an all black design that may trouble headmasters less than black and white.
- For teenagers
the problem is more of being an awkward, angular, self-invented person amongst others the same but at different rates of growing-up. The problem of wearing the available vegetarian shoes amongst more grown-up and linked-in cliques who most likely reject is a serious problem but it passes. Meanwhile, for teenagers the best option is to look for nice people who aren't too chip-on-the-shoulder-cool and for shoe shop-keepers the best option is to get better shoes. Watch this web site.
None of this is clear but it is often the best answer available to give.