Are We Too Reactive? (Or: “Sometimes Jelly Shoes Rub”)

Spending as much time on Facebook as I do means that I often see storms brewing, posts which go on to become viral and occasionally end up in the MSM (mainstream media). Often, traditional news outlets will scan groups for newsworthy posts and contact the people with offers of media coverage, which is fantastic when its for something like the plight of an unwell child or raising awareness of an issue. However, some of these posts and subsequent articles are getting a little bit ridiculous.

This week, I saw a post which had been shared by quite a few parents, depicting a toddler with a bloody foot who’d apparently sustained an injury from a pair of Next jelly shoes which had caused her to bleed. The picture below was posted along with it and a rant about how other parents should be careful, leading several to comment that they planned to boycott the shop.

toddler bloody foot jelly shoesThis was then, as predicted, picked up by the MSM and printed in several newspapers, one of which being the Daily Mail. In true Fail style, the article talks about how the toddler had HORRIFIC CUTS and a BLOODIED FOOT, and goes on to talk about how she suffered DEEP INCISIONS from the evil shoes. The parents have apparently called on Next to withdraw the shoes and are warning other parents to avoid them like the plague.

I won’t lie, when I first saw this picture, I definitely took a sharp intake of breath, but the more I thought about it, the more I couldn’t help think that the whole thing seemed a little bit ridiculous, especially after seeing the following picture, which shows the “horrific cuts” after they were cleaned up:

superficial blisters jelly shoes

So, let me get this straight…

1. You put new shoes on your kid

2. They gave her a blister which is LITERALLY a few millimeters in size

3. Her foot bled and you didn’t notice

4. The blood smooshed around her foot (probably mixed with a little bit of sweat because, you know, RUBBER SHOES)

5. This is tantamount to a DEEP INCISION and the shoes need to be recalled.


I’m just going to say this – this ISN’T on Next. As an adult, I have lost count of the amount of shoes I’ve worn in my life which have given me blisters the first time I’ve worn them. It’s not because of a fault in the shoes or some evil plot to create footwear which will cripple the nation. It’s because sometimes, just sometimes, NEW SHOES RUB.

Seriously, has the world gone mad? Are we so desperate for something to be outraged about that we’ve given up on reason? I’m sure that I would be shocked if I removed a shoe from BB or even Sausage and saw a blood covered foot. But once that gaping wound had been cleaned up and was discovered to be a tiny little rub, I’d take a deep breath, accept the fact that shit like this occasionally happens and move on. I certainly wouldn’t take to social media to urge other parents to boycott a store and I’d feel pretty bloody silly seeing a picture of my “oh so solemn” mug in the newspaper over it.

I won’t even go into the fact that the child apparently TOLD the parents how uncomfortable the shoes were, but was seemingly unable to alert them to the fact that the shoes were slowly sawing her foot off, while they walked along…

I get that warning other parents that the shoes might rub is an okay thing to do; I might even avoid those shoes myself if the information about them rubbing was presented to me before I bought them. That is what you call a PROPORTIONAL RESPONSE.

Taking to the media for your five minutes of fame seems seriously tacky to me…and I guarantee they’re spending the vouchers (which I would BET MONEY Next sent to them for the trouble) with absolute glee. The whole thing just cheapens times when something seriously actually happens and the next time someone has genuine reason to go to the media for something like this, there’s a good chance that people will scoff instead of believing them.

What do you think? Were these parents just doing the right thing by warning other people or was this an absolutely ludicrous reaction to something that happens a million times a day, all over the planet? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear what you think.

25 thoughts on “Are We Too Reactive? (Or: “Sometimes Jelly Shoes Rub”)

  1. I remember wearing jelly shoes as a kid and I hated them!! Would never buy them for my child based on my own memories!! But yes way out of proportion! I’d be more interested in why they didn’t check when the child said they rubbed! Children get worse injuries falling over!

  2. I have to agree with you, my first thought when I saw that photo was “how did they not know?” It was a young child, surely if there was that much pain the kid would be playing up and they should have noticed long before the blood reached that level!

    Glad to see you can keep a calm head 🙂

  3. It’s all been completely over the top and blown up out of all proportion.

    I sometimes think that people are always looking for something to complain about and someone to blame with their eyes on the prize of compensation!

  4. Yes over the top. New shoes do rub. Shoes made from plastic are more likely to I’d say. If you put them on your child you should keep an eye on their feet until they are used to them. Seems simple to me.

  5. You are so right… Completely over the top. People are so quick to blame someone nowadays. If that was me, I would be kicking myself for not noticing they were rubbing my child earlier in the day and would have taken them off. I had a pair of jelly shoes when I was 11 and they were the most uncomfortable things on the planet! 😀

  6. I saw this photo and ignored it as being a storm in a tea cup – people just like to find something to moan about and its worse now that social media is about. It was nothing more than a new pair of shoes rubbing

  7. The initial photo is indeed a shocking image but this is a case of things being blown out of proportion. Unfortunately there are people who are not happy unless they are complaining or getting up in arms about something and reason flies out of the window.

  8. I bought my son a pair of jelly shoes from a different high street store last year and they rubbed his feet slightly. I might have to contact this mother so we can start a campaign to ban these horrific instruments of torture forever. Oh, wait a minute there are actual real problems in the world!

  9. I missed this but these things drive me mental. There is a distinct lack of common sense these days. People seem to want compensation for things that no one is responsible for. The faux sad photos on the fail website really irritate me. ‘Hey person who will be famous for about 30 minutes, can you give me a look to show how saddened you are by all this, maybe hang your head?’. I have not looked at their website for about 6 months now. I’m very proud of myself!! It’s horrid that the child was in pain, but it’s not next’s fault. Great post!

  10. My 1 year old daughter has these jellys in sparkly pink. In the label it clearly said that they should be worn in and can rub etc so not to wear for prolonged periods etc. So more the fool to the parents. I completely agree with what you’ve said. These things happen but the media love scare mongering X

  11. My daughter has had jelly shoes in the past and i have to say they have never once rubbed her and caused cuts to her feet and most certainly not blood.

    If you look carefully at the pictures that were posted you will see the shoe is way too small for the little ones foot. Her heel hangs out the back…. This is how i know. As for the mother not noticing the blood straight away….I have no words for this. When my daughter has new shoes or any new footwear i check them every so often to make sure they suit her and they are not causing discomfort in any way, shape or form. I thought all mothers did this?

    Its not Next’s fault what so ever if the mother cant make the choice of getting her daughter shoes that fit her. And again i have no words what so ever for her taking photos of her feet too. Its like she went ‘Oh blood….. Quick…I know hey are hurting you and causing you pain but just wait a second… Let me snap a photograph of this’ WHY! Id have had those shoes off in a flash and never returned them to my little ones feet… Not even for a picture.

  12. You summed up what I’ve been saying for days, perfectly! All shoes rub, its a fact, they either need “wearing in” or in the case of rubber shoes you just learn never to wear them again. As a young child I had rubber shoes like this, they rubbed and caused a blister, I never wore them again… ever! Today I’ve actually purchased Leah her first pair of rubber shoes, if they rub she’ll never wear them again. As I rule I actually think these shoes are hideous, they dont look comfortable, they look like your feet would end up incredibly sweaty mess in them, but my daughter wanted a pair like her life depended on it. I give them a week before they are at the bottom of our shoe box!

  13. Firstly, the shoes were too big, not too small (going by a 3rd lot of pictures and this is aimed at a reply, not blog)
    Secondly, they were a birthday gift and not bought by the parents.
    Thirdly, the child was in the garden, not out walking
    Those points aside though it’s usually common sense that plastic shoes (not rubber. They’re a hard wearing plastic with no give at all like rubber has) like these should be worn with a pair of cotton socks as plastic and heat equals hot sweaty feet that are going to slide about inside the shoe. Unfortunately we seem to live in a blame culture where everyone else is at fault.
    The mum did post with good intentions and seriously thought it was the shoe at fault so it’s a bit unfair of the lash back she’s getting (what’s even more unfair though is her so called friend posting everywhere saying the mum is close to a miscarriage due to the stress everyone is causing her. Really?) I’m sure a carefully worded inbox or two advising her though would have been better than some of the crap she did get. She contacted Next, Next looked into the matter. They won’t issue gift vouchers/cards if the product isn’t at fault though.

  14. Maaaaaate. Nail on the head. When I saw the picture it reminded me of my first jelly shoes. Shoe filled with blood but a tiny cut on my heel. In fact, I did it two days ago with new pumps from Office too. Blown way over the top.
    Should be:
    See blood
    Remove shoe
    Clean foot
    Love this post. X

  15. This was my initial thought – small cut and blood probably spread all over the foot while walking (been there myself). My feet are so ridiculously blistered almost every time I wear new shoes, that I’d have to boycott pretty much every store. Oh well, I guess some people will blow anything out of proportion just to grab some attention.

  16. This was blown way out of proportion! I saw the pictures and the shoes looked too small for the child anyway. They were bound to do some damage! The parents were just being way over dramatic. If all the new shoes which caused blisters and cuts were withdrawn we’d be walking around with no shoes. x

  17. Quite agree – new shoes hurt! I made myself bleed with some new trainers last week, and have now stuck them in the cupboard until I am brave enough to try wearing them in again! I hadnt seen the cleaned up pic before – what a lot of fuss about a minor injury – if it was my kid I would prob chuck the shoes out if they were cheapies like that, but I wouldn’t be holding the shop responsible or making a big fuss online!

  18. Yes yes yes! Totally agree 100% with you on this. Sometimes it looks like some people have just been constantly on the lookout for something to shout out about and get 5 minutes of fame! X

  19. Yes yes yes. I saw this yesterday and thought oh here we go again. Now we can’t buy jelly shoes for fear of crippling our kids and being bad parents. At the end of the day that child’s feet were bleeding- its up to the parents to remove the shoes!!! Not leave them on and then take photos to spread all over Facebook. Like you say, shoes rub. We’ve all wasted money on shoes we’ll never wear again but it doesn’t mean whoever made them needs to be lynched!! Argh! Fab post, totally agree! xxx

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