Start-rite Beta T Bar Shoes, Black

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    Width sizes available

Product information

Lightweight school shoe with an elongated heel for a comfortable feel and lined in leather. With perforated decoration at the front and rip-tape T-bar fastening.

Measure and Fit at Home:
Start-rite believe it's really important to measure a child's feet accurately before buying them every pair of shoes, as ill-fitting shoes can have a serious impact on your child's foot health. To be sure that your child is wearing shoes that fit properly, you can either visit one of the John Lewis stores, where trained staff will measure and fit your child with shoes, or if that's not convenient, use one of our specially developed fitting gauges to help you measure your child's feet at home.

Click here to find out how to measure using the gauges and to watch step by step videos of how to fit your child’s shoes.

Eligible for International Delivery
Footwear Type
School Shoes
Kids' School Shoe Type Information Boots Football & Rugby Boots Pumps & Mary-Janes Plimsolls Smart Shoes & Brogues Trainers
Pumps & Mary-Janes
Leather upper and lining, man-made sole

Featured articles

Start-rite paper foot measuring gauge
Back to School checklist

Back to School checklist

We've made that one stop shop for school uniform easier than ever. Check out our top tips and tick off the essentials with our Back to School checklist.

How to measure & fit Start-rite shoes video: fitting gauges

How to measure & fit Start-rite shoes video: fitting gauges

Use the measuring video to check your child's size before you buy their shoes online

How to measure & fit Girls' Start-rite shoes video

How to measure & fit Girls' Start-rite shoes video

Once you've bought your child's shoes, this video will help you confidently check the fit of their shoes

Start-rite TV advert

Watch the TV ad

Conquer the back-to-school mission with Start-rite. Each shoe boasts a smart, resilient construction to withstand the daily challenges thrown at them, complete with fun accessories kids will enjoy.

Brand Story

Start-rite's history dates back to 18th century Norwich, where a leather worker called James Smith began offering the first ready-made, off the peg footwear. Following the First World War, the company began to produce footwear specially designed for children, which gave their unique feet room to grow. The name "Start-rite" was first used in the 1920s and the iconic twins logo was introduced a decade later. Start-rite began to focus primarily on children's shoes in 1952 and after extensive research they noted the need for shoes to be fitted by trained people, developed multiple width fittings and introduced their "heel stiffener" to help balance and growth. They received the Royal Warrant in 1955 after supplying the Windsor children with shoes. In recent years they have evolved to use two hundred years expertise to meet the needs and desires of today's children.



We want you to be happy with your purchase. If you're not, depending on the type of product, you can make free returns in the UK via John Lewis shops, Royal Mail, Collect+, or MyHermes. If you need to arrange collection of large or heavy items, call us on 03456 049 049. For international returns queries, call us on +44 1698 545 454. Find out more about returns.

You'll find returns information on your delivery note. Unless faulty, we'd like you to make your return within 90 days of purchase. Exceptions apply to certain products - find out more about our refund policy.

Q & As

Rated 3.3 out of 5 by 8 reviewers.
Rated 5 out of 5 by John Lewis and Start-rite - a reliable combination Shoes were fitted by staff member in store. As with all Start-rite shoes it has a firm heel support which is needed by my daughter. Soft leather in and out. So far only a few minor scuffs that polished out easily. Pretty design detail on top with out being too "bling" for school. Good strong school shoe. 15 September 2015
Rated 1 out of 5 by Nightmare After reading all of the poor reviews on these shoes I am really surprised that john lewis is continuing to stock these shoes! I just bought these today in store and while the service and fitting were excellent as always am going to return these straightaway! I have had a poor experience previously with start rite when I bought some red leather shies for my 3 year old daughter which were ripped to shred at the toes within two weeks of purchase! After reading about the negative feedback here I did some quick internet research on start rite and have found dozens and dozens of negative reviews from other mothers about their school shoes in various websites, all along similar lines ie leather rips, scuffing in the toes within weeks and shoes then become too ripped and untidy to send children to school in. I have since ordered two pairs of "toughee" brand school shoes from amazon and they are each half the price! I basically got two for a total if £40 and am returning the start rite ones to j lewis. I am very loyal to john Lewis customer and would request them to find better school shoes. It is scandalous that despite all if the poor feedback start rite hasn't taken some action on improving their product offer! Great money making racket and forces parents to krep purchasing shoes I guess outside the 4 week return period!, add to that the hassle an inconvenience of dragging children to store to get's a wonder no one has taken action.... I would really appreciate a management response to this if possible. 11 August 2014
Rated 2 out of 5 by Nice looking, comfortable shoe, but poor quality I bought these shoes in September for my daughter, who was starting school for the first time, expecting great things due to the Start-Rite name. However, after only a couple of days wear, the leather was really scuffed and the shoe looked like it was months rather than days old. In order to rectify this, my husband has to polish these shoes religiously every evening so that they remain looking vaguely nice. Also, like some of the other reviewers have noted, the sole is made of very soft rubber and so the toes have worn away to such an extent that they now need replacing even though they have not been outgrown. If Clarks had a suitable alternative, I would not buy Start-Rite shoes again, however, given that my daughter is very tall for her age with correspondingly large feet, Start-Rite is my only option for smart, age appropriate shoes. I hope that the next pair wear better 31 December 2013
Rated 1 out of 5 by very poor quality product after 3 weeks looked like my daughter wore them for 1 year! poor quality leather that scuffed after a couple of days, the sole is nearly gone too Start-rite - big disappointment I used to like their shoes but will have to say never again 23 November 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by would recommend despite minor flaw. This shoe is very flattering on the foot. My daughter has a narrow e/f fitting foot with a narrow ankle and high instep. After shopping around for shoes and reaching despair these were the only pair that fit her well with the traditional t-bar to suit the high instep, which seems to becoming scarce these days. The shoes are a lovely leather which polish up well. They are very aesthetically pleasing. My only complaint is the rubber around the toe has worn down very quickly exposing the leather and the heel has worn away as well. Despite this I brought the shoe for school in September and it lasted, at a push, until December but we are ready to replace now. Giving my childs problematic fitting and demanding a scarce style we will have to have this shoe again. Despite the soft rubber sole I would still recommend this shoe as although it presents a flaw it more than likely aids the comfort which may be lost if a more robust rubber/ sole was used. 06 January 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by Fit well, but not hard wearing My daughter is 5, and on her 5th pair of these (Start-rite change the trim slightly each year, and rename them). They come in 5 width fittings, and are a mainstay of their range. They fit very well and are comfortable, but do not wear as well as I would hope or expect. The sole is made from a soft rubber, and is not very robust. Within a term of wear, the front of the sole has worn down to the leather. Many shoe repairers won't touch them to re-toe, although I did find one who did a good job on my last pair. I sent one pair back to Start-rite, and they said they had been subject to unfair wear and tear. I was staggered, as they were only 6 weeks old, polished daily, and worn only in the morning, 5 days a week by a 4 year ! One pair was destroyed with an hour of scooter use when she was 3, but this was unfair wear & tear, and she has not been allowed to use her scooter wearing school shoes since. She never wears school shoes at the weekend. Why do I persevere?.......... well, I haven't found any other shoe that fits my daughter so well. (BTW, Start-rite use this sole on several different styles of school shoes). 03 January 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Excellent school shoes Prettier than picture! Daughter loved them. Very comfortable and daughter says they are very comfy. She can manage them on her own as they are velcro but at the same time, they do not come undone on their own! i have always bought Start Rite and knew these wouldn't let me down. I would always choose Start Rite over other brands. 19 September 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by School shoes Lovely shoes that fit my daughter well. She has a high instep so needs a t-bar. Have bought them a size to big but she keeps them on well as they are nice and narrow and supportive. We will wait to see how long they last. 19 August 2012
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