Every day the S.S.F. receives a word of thanks verbally (you will have to take our word for it), and on occasion written, from the public, our students and our members. We do our best to help everyone who calls or emails asking for advice and guidance, and we make no charge, despite how long and how complicated some people are to assist. The S.S.F. is often the last in a long line of calls, and the relief that someone is prepared to try to help is heard in some very distressed voices. We live in a world where it seems easier to moan than it is to praise, but here is a tiny selection of written praise we have received.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your help and guidance. I have found the course work and the workshops really interesting and informative. The Course folder is extremely in-depth, very readable in the way that is has been laid out, and humorous in places too which has all helped to make the learning on this course a pleasure. I will not hesitate to recommend the course to as many shoe people as I can. Thanks again….

Ian Goff – UAL Staff Development, London College of Fashion, University of Arts London. (Sept. 2015)

‘I would just like to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed my 5-month correspondence course with the Society of Shoe Fitters’, it has been so informative and I have made time easily to do the studying and it has been a pleasure to complete. Having you and Maureen (my tutor) on hand whenever needed has been such a support and I would like to say a big thank you as I know the information gained will help greatly in the future.

Ceri Harry of Bossy Boots, Cardiff December 2014

I have been a member of the Society of Shoe Fitters for over 20 years. When I qualified as a Podiatrist I thought I knew everything about footwear and related issues. How wrong I was! I found the MSSF course quite by accident and it opened up another world. We so often tell a patient to go and buy a suitable pair of shoes and are rarely aware of what is out there and who to send people to. Shoe Fitting seems low on the list of tools for us to use.
I encourage you all to put down your scalpels, join the course and establish good links with MSSF retailers. Not only will you gain a greater respect for shoe fitting, but you will empower your patients towards better foot health.

Jane Bonner – Podiatry Dept. Old Meldrum Health Centre, Aberdeenshire.

“Over the last few months I have surprised myself in the amount of information I have used from the course (which I have read from front to back and started some again). I am getting mums back with children I either refused to fit, too young, or I did not have their size. I have also heard so many scary stories from mums of shops forcing shoes on, telling the parents their baby’s are deformed etc. etc. I do believe the short courses offered by some suppliers are very limited and could be more damaging than beneficial, especially when staff are pushed with targets. In such a short time I have found being honest is the best policy to the point where I am being recommended and business is building up. I look forward to the next S.S.F. workshop.”

(Mark Hawksworth (student) June 2014)

” I have been measuring and fitting children’s feet for nearly ten years now and most of my training was ‘on the shop floor’, learning as I went along. However it reached a point when I wanted to have more ‘official recognition’ for my business and to expand my own shoe fitting knowledge too. Approximately two years ago (2012) I took the Society of Shoe Fitters’ course, fitting my assessments and workshops in around my days off (if you run your own business you know that you don’t get too many of those!). You have to be organised and stay focused but it was all worth it. The support from the SSF and my tutor/mentor was excellent throughout.

I learned masses of useful information which I continue to pass on to my staff members and customers where applicable. Sometimes you can drop a really interesting fact about foot health, anatomy or shoe design etc. into the conversation and it gives you extra credibility as a professional, and the customer in turn has more confidence in your ability.

I also have SSF certificates for my shop windows and a badge which I wear with pride. It shows I have achieved something worthwhile and relevant in order to improve my business. I would thoroughly recommend the course to anyone in the shoe business!’

Kim Jackson M.S.S.F., Klodhoppers Ltd. (April 2014)

“I found the course to be very interesting and valuable. The Society of Shoe Fitters offers a valuable resource of good shoe fitting information for retailers and the general public. Long may the Society continue.”

Charles Denton M.S.S.F., Managing Director, D.B. Shoes, Rushden. (April 2014)

“I found the SSF course really valuable. It has provided me with information that is not readily available elsewhere. It was very interesting and really relevant to my job dealing with customers in a shoe shop which is very fitting focused. The course is easy to do as it is broken down into manageable chunks and covered a good range of topics. I also really enjoyed the organised workshops which are informative and gave me a chance to meet other people in the industry. It has definitely given me extra confidence when talking to customers and how great to be a member of a well-known society which is recognised by the public.”

Caroline French, W.J.French & Son, Southampton. (April 2014)

‘You have gone far above and beyond anything I would or could ever expect from anyone on my behalf. All I can say is your members, who are fantastic, are so lucky to have someone as wonderful as you representing them’.

If you ever stand for No.10 you’ve got my vote J Tim

(Email from the public trying to track down special lasts that had been made for him by a retired shoemaker – Tim Waller March 2014)

“Thanks for connecting us with Ellie Dickins. We went to her shop today and Sarah came away with 4 pairs of shoes (including a couple of pairs of sale bargains), a pair for her mum (also a large size), and a huge smile on her face. She had never been in a shoe shop surrounded by so many pairs of shoes which not only fitted, but also which were nice! Many, many thanks. Ellie will be seeing us again and we will spread the word about the S.S.F.!”

Member of the public – Andrew Huggins (Email November 2013)

“Thanks so much for your advice and suggestions. Kay doesn’t wear trainers very often and she isn’t particularly large – she’s a clothes size 10. The problem I’m afraid is hereditary. I have struggled to find fashionable and comfortable shoes all my life! Unfortunately Kay’s problems seem to be worse than mine. She does do barefoot exercise as she does dryside (trampoline, floor work etc.) and pool training as part of a diving club, but I will encourage her to some some more work on foot strength. We have tried some (edited) shoes, but unfortunately they had the same problems – too deep and not wide enough. We have also tried going up to 8’s with no success. However I am delighted to have been given the lead of the Golden Boot and your other members locally, it is not a shop I was aware of and will be calling them tomorrow to discuss and arrange an appointment. Once again many thanks Ann Hall”

Member of the public – Ann Hall (email Nov. 2013)