Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Where to buy cute kids shoes in the Hague

Bensimon tennis shoes from France. {Photo credit here }

It's that time of year again when I struggle to find cute yet durable and (somewhat) affordable spring shoes for my kids here in Den Haag. I don't know if it's just me, but I find that good quality kids shoes cost a bomb and yet I don't feel like I can scrimp in this one area. Clothes: yes, shoes: no.

The thing about shoes for me is that you have to see them...all the time, every day. I'm a visual person, so I just can't bear to see my kids in shoes with offensive rhinestones, lights that flash or a color that clashes all the time with their coat. (I have 3 girls, so believe me, they do beg me for sparkles) If you're not bothered by this kind of stuff, more power to you. And you can head straight to Van Haren, get some kids shoes at a very reasonable price and buy something for yourself instead.

But I always try (my best) to find neutral, classic and high quality soles for my kiddos. As in, quite a lot of time. Like, probably too much time. Meaning I have researched kids shoes quite a bit, tried different brands over the years, and ultimately decided that it's really worth it for me to get good shoes for my kids.

The problem is that the Hague is just not the fashion capital of children's footwear (or of anything for that matter, but that's another issue). So when I have to bite the bullet and buy shoes, and can't make a trip to France, or Spain or anywhere else in Europe that actually has cute affordable children's shoes, these are the places where I usually start out:

Note that the title of this post is not "where to buy cheap and affordable kids shoes" in The Hague. {they do exist, you just won't find them here}

Nico Nico
Frederikstraat 45
2514 LA, Den Haag
070 360 42 08

Nico Nico is just a tad bit pricy. As in, you can spend over 100€ on a pair of kids sandals in there. But they carry timeless quality brands like French Pom D'api and Italian Zecchino D'Oro, which will really last. If you can catch the sales, there are good deals to be had. And I have actually seen Dutch people buy things in there, so it must be worth it.

Multiple Choice
Passage 23
2511AB Den Haag
Tel. 070 3563249

Multiple choice has a selection of more neutral classic shoes. I don't have as much experience in this shop, but they seem to have pretty good quality shoes and prices are certainly not cheap but not shocking either.

Albert Nolten kids
Frederik Hendriklaan 278
Tel. 070 355 2883

Nolten is a Dutch shoe store chain and they have a decent selection. Still a lot of flash for my taste and an understandably Dutch style. But they have good basics such as the classic Bergstein rainboots, which of course are a must here in Holland. There are several locations so check out which one is closest to you.

One First Step
Frederik Hendriklaan 113
Den Haag, 2511 BE
070 350 7090

One First Step just opened up on the Fred after having been hidden away in the Belgisch park area for a few years .There are a lot of nice French brands, but the style can be very flashy and much too girly for girls for my taste. And also ridiculously pricy. But if you're in the mood to splurge, they the lovely Pom D'Api sandals and also the excellent French slipper-sock brand Collegien. They are also the only store known to me which carries the famed Collegien girls tights (100% Egyptian blend and all that jazz).

Spuistraat 52
2511 BE Den Haag
070 427 4061

I don't really shop here much myself but I feel like I should mention that there is a nice Clarks shop downtown. They have a good reputation and I have trustworthy friends that are always very pleased with Clarks footwear for their kids, particularly boys shoes. The style is also nice, classic and suitable for school.


Moving onto the online shopping options. Though I like shopping locally, due to the limited options
here in The Hague, I buy a lot of shoes online now that I know the brands I like and how they fit my kids. There is a small amount of hassle if a particular brand doesn't fit and you have to send the parcel back. However, most online shoe shops offer free shipping and returns. And if you can shop during sales, which I often do, you can get pretty good deals on the good brands.

I've had nothing but good experiences with Zalando. They have a lot of Dutch stuff that isn't to my particular taste, but if you browse around they also carry excellent brands such as Danish Bisgaard, French Aigle (the classic French wellies) and also Spanish Campers. Free shipping and returns on Zalando and you have something like 30 days to change your mind.

Sarenza is part of a French online shoe retailer. They also carry Bisgaard shoes, Campers, UK Start Rite, French Kickers and also one of my favorite spring time shoes from France, Bensimons. Bensimons are a bit of the French equivalent to Converse. Except that they are much cuter and less clown-like. Pretty durable for little canvas shoes or for gym class. Sarenza also offers free shipping and returns but is slightly more of a pain than Zalando in that they use the DPD parcel service so you must return your packages to one of the parcel points only.

Piccolino is a flagship Dutch shoe store, offers a lovely selection of shoes in a wide ranges of prices. Of course, you get what you pay for, so if you opt for some of the cheaper options (which can be quite cute), they just may not last that long. But hey, if you've only got one kid and can chuck them after one season, why not?!

Hippe Schoentjes
Online shoe shop located in Belgium but that carry very high quality brands and offer excellent service to the Netherlands. Definitely worth checking out during sale season or also they regularly offer those "Korting Code"s (coupon codes) when you sign up for the newsletter.

That's my roundup of the nice children's footwear shops in the Hague or that offer convenient delivery here. I know that there are much cheaper options and totally get that not everyone can afford to buy the best quality kids shoes. My kids also muck around in the mud, climb trees etc. so I also don't buy shoes that are meant only for prancing around at home. Still, I think it's important for the little ones to be well-soled as they are literally "hitting the ground running" the entire day!

Any other good kids shoe spots in and around Den Haag that I'm missing out there?
If there are, please do share! 


Maisy van der Honing said...

Van Asperen, piet heinstraat 37, has cute shoes, tending towards a crunchier style, but built to last. Another is Familius, Weimarstraat 19, only kids shoes, look to have a great selection of adorable shoes from recognizable brands though I've never been in.

I spent my entire childhood in Clark's because they were school uniform appropriate but they are fantastic shoes. You can do far worse than desert boots for little ones.

Anonymous said...

I'm here in Germany and I already found the best online seller of secondhand shoes on this website http://www.boex.tv. They are selling in bulky orders and you can resell it if you want. Their secondhand shoes are still in good quality and you will really like them.

Kesava Krishnan .M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kesava Krishnan .M said...

Test again