Fifteen years ago I traded a corporate career for life on the river. Close enough to Melbourne to get a quick City fix, plus a great community with excellent coffee and four healthy active boys to keep me entertained, I've never regretted the change.
Published January 21st 2014
Go Yodgee Footwear & Ann Lewis Shoes
For Birkies and school shoes that fit, head to Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn
There is nothing like a few weeks of school holidays to make feet grow.
Overnight the children turn into Hobbits. Last year's shoes lay in a sad heap at the back door, no longer required.
If, like us, the small people in your Hobbit-hole all have exceptionally difficult feet to fit, no quick trip to KMart or Target will do. You need specialty shoe emporiums, and for your own sanity, the ones that deal exclusively with kids are best.
It is time to brave the post Christmas sales before its all over. And is it me, or do the holidays seem to get shorter every year?
This year we cut straight to the chase. Glenferrie Road is the arterial that services Melbourne's education belt. The section between Glenferrie Station and Barkers Road is especially geared to school requirements. We need all types of footwear, from sandals to black laceups, and of course the cricket season straddles the holidays, so we need cricket shoes too.
The real reason we head to Hawthorn is Yodgee Shoes. They stock Birkenstocks in a great range and as far as I am aware, are the only stockists in Victoria. The Glenferrie Road store may be a little more expensive than their outlet store in Bundoora, but I've never seen my hardest-to-fit Hobbit look so happy, both with the way he was treated and the resulting comfortable sandals.
Birkies are great comfort footwear for hard-to-fit feet
This place is set up entirely for children. The Ann Lewis staff are efficient and great with kids, but don't stand for much messing around. There's a number system for busy times and a good range of styles and prices. As we drive out of our hard-won car space, Hobbit number 4 - runners and sandals - declares "I really liked that shoe shop lady", high praise indeed from a 7-year-old.
LOVE Anne Lewis Shoes. They are completely honest and will tell you if your little 'hobbits' will be able to last a little bit longer in their old school shoes rather than let you buy a new pair unnecessarily. They also keep a complete history of your child's shoe purchases, and offer a loyalty scheme.