Updated: Apr 4, 2019
In partnership with Treads
Hands up if your children wear their school shoes out at an alarming rate? Yep - us too! Back when we first adopted the boys it would cause an enormous shock to find the sole flapping about after just a month or two but miserably after five years it’s become commonplace. Two weeks is the current record (£15 from the big sports shop at the retail park – you know the one), followed by a month (leading supermarket - £22) and six months (highstreet shoe shop - £45).
I know the cause - the boys wear their school shoes to play football and climb trees at lunch time. And it drives me (Daddy) up the wall. It’s not just the money I’m spending on these endless new shoes that makes me angry; it’s the principle of it – I’m never sure where to direct my complaints (so I ignore it and have a nice glass of Malbec).
Currently we’re at the tail-end of the boys’ second pair of school shoes this academic year and it’s time for a change.
Enter Treads – robust school shoes with a 12 month ‘Indestructible quality’ guarantee. Now. As marketing people ourselves and savvy consumers, Tom and I are naturally sceptical about claims made about products – but when a business puts its money where its mouth is and offers a money-back guarantee, our attention is grabbed.
Over the next couple of weeks we are putting Treads to the test. I mean, what better kids could you find to put indestructible school shoes through their paces than Lyall and Rich – the shoe-destroyers?! This assessment will be a little different to our previous reviews because we’ll be assessing Treads in two parts – first impressions and then again after two weeks' wear. So, without further ado...
In part one, we’ll unbox the boys’ Treads shoes, take a look at the packaging, the manufacture, style and comfort.
First up, the shoe box itself. It’s industrial – orange and bare card, like you’d expect to see from a construction brand or a manufacturer of building equipment. The boys were immediately interested.
Inside, heavy quality protective paper material and orange card sleeves surround the shoes. The shoes are accompanied with two booklets; one with information about the two guarantees (30 day satisfaction and 12 month quality) and the other about the shoes’ manufacturing process.
We’re off to a good start – the packaging screams ‘robust’. Here's a clip of the boys unboxing their Treads 👇🏻
With one of these Treads shoes in hand, it feels heavy, solid and well-made. It’s constructed from a mixture of leather and man-made materials and claims to be scuff proof, shock absorbing and breathable. Treads say:
“Each shoe is constructed using a technique whereby the sole and upper are moulded into one unit without glue; creating a firm bond and flexibility.”
The sole is thick and sturdy; with industrial style treads like you’d expect to see on the wheel of a digger or JCB. It claims to be non-marking – we’ll be assessing that after a couple of weeks.
We selected the Madrid style. We always go for Velcro school shoes – laces present an enormous pain when you’re in a hurry and slip-on style shoes get deliberately kicked off onto school roofs and bus-stops. The design is chunky looking and a little bit sporty – Lyall and Rich think they look very cool (actually, the word Lyall used was Sick but I can’t bring myself to).
As mentioned, the treads beneath the shoe are a great design feature – the first time Lyall tried on his Treads he proudly sat on the stairs with his legs sticking right out at the mirror to admire the bottoms of his new shoes. Bravo!
Getting the shoes on for the first time was easy. Phew. I asked each boy to walk up and down in the kitchen a few times to check they weren’t too wide around the ankle (Lyall and Rich both have skinny ankles) and they were perfect.
After school on Treads day one (Monday just-gone), the boys both reported that their shoes were quite comfortable – give or take the expected stiffness of a new shoe.
The leaflet about the manufacture of Treads suggests the shoes are maintenance free, with a wipe clean surface.
So, we put this to the test, cleaning the mud from Richard’s shoes (he’d been on a school trip to a muddy battlefield) with a simple sponge and water. The results were impressive – without any detergent the shoes were back to new within just a minute or two, as demonstrated in this (expertly edited by Daddy) video here:
In part two, we’ll explore how the boys’ Treads school shoes performed after two weeks of ordinary wear.
As mentioned in part one, Lyall and Rich ‘wear’ their school shoes in both senses of the word, both literally wearing them on their feet and wearing them out via tree-climbing, football, skidding and all manner of other hard-wearing activities during break times at school. To keep this review fair and impartial we instructed the boys to behave as they usually would with their Treads but not to deliberately scuff them up or mistreat them.
During the two week trial, we cleaned the boys’ Treads twice with water and a sponge; once, after day one (school trip to a muddy battle-field) and again after school on the Friday, half-way through. Impressively, the shoes returned to ‘as good as new’ cleanliness after both washes.
Also, I mentioned the shoes were a tad stiff to begin with. The comfort of the shoes improved very quickly, softening after just a few days. We didn’t receive a single complaint from the boys.
Indestructible? Maybe! Thinking about wear-and-tear, after two weeks the boys’ shoes are still in good nick. But, they do display mild signs of distress – a few plucks around the stitching of the Velcro strips and scuff-marks on the protective rubber toe-guards (apologies if I have my jargon confused – I’m sure you know what I mean!). As I said earlier, the kids do play football on the playground and climb trees and walls so this hasn’t surprised us.
Here’s an unedited photo of Richard’s Treads, captured after school this afternoon (day eleven of wear). Ignoring the cleanliness, in our opinion they’re still looking very strong.
In summary, we are pleased with the performance of Lyall and Richard’s Treads school shoes. They’re comfortable, they seem very robust and we are optimistic about their longevity. Of course, if we do encounter any problems, Treads come with a 12 month quality guarantee.
Well done, Treads – we’ll be sticking with your shoes for the foreseeable future!
Disclaimer time – here at Daddy & Dad we work with relevant, family-friendly brands on collaborative content and reviews. This is a paid feature and Treads provided Lyall and Richard’s school shoes for free in return for our honest, impartial feedback. If you’d like to work with us, please get in touch.