What do you look for in a school shoe? 16



School shoes.  I have to admit that I find hunting for school shoes with the boys a chore and it isn’t because they never like what there is to offer, but down to the fact that they wear them out in no time at all.

Last year Mini’s second pair of shoes lasted six weeks, yes six weeks before they had a hole in them.  I have tried expensive shoes, less expensive shoes and everything in between my, but we are lucky to get more than 12 weeks out of a pair of shoes.  My boys only wear them for school so 8pm to 3pm, 5 days a week.

When you ask the boys what they want in a shoe, they are not that fussy.  Yes they are swayed by toys and freebies, but they have a Mummy who isn’t!

How to choose a great pair of school shoes

At eight and nine they have size three feet, so are well on the way to adult size shoes, but they need something much more robust.  Something that can cope with scootering and biking to school, something that can cope with football on the MUGA (multi use games area) at lunchtime and recover from them not seeing a puddle and getting wet!

So what do I look for in a decent pair of school shoes?

  1. When they have velcro fastening I want that to be secure and for the stitching to stay secure
  2. I want scuff proof bumpers
  3. I want flexible soles, but with good grip
  4. Nothing inside the shoe, I don’t want my kids to be encouraged to take them on and off

We were contacted by Start-rite at the beginning of the summer to be part of their blogger team of six families putting their shoes to the test.Startrite shoes week two

I was interviewed by Start-rite and discussed with them what we looked for in a show and what I knew about shoe fitting and then send a foot measurer and asked to measure by boys feet so they could send what they thoughts was a suitable pair for each of them.

We measured the boys feet and found them to be 3F and 3H.  Mini has always had wide feet with a high instep. I also made sure that I had measured them correctly by getting MadDad to do it to and then the boys pinched the measurer and have been using it to play with!

Last weeks the boys shoes arrived.  Rino Warrior  for Mini and Reflector for Maxi.  Using their video we checked the fit and the boys wore the shoes indoors for an hour or so a day to make sure that they were worn in before school.


I think that we take pretty good care of our school shoes. I clean them once a week with proper old fashioned polish and you can find my top tips for looking after leather shoes here.

Over the coming weeks and months we will be working with Start-rite, sharing with them how the shoes are wearing, sending them images of the soles and the rest of the shoes, so that they can see how they are holding up to life on the feet of two energetic boys.

So, what do you look for in a school shoe?



16 thoughts on “What do you look for in a school shoe?

  • agatapokutycka

    First they MUST be made from real leather. I do not buy “leather like” shoes for kids. I rather to spend more money but make sure that their little feet and well cared for.
    And 2nd they must be comfortable… the look comes last for me.

  • Michelle

    Over the years I’ve bought both cheap and expensive shoes for my son for school and both wear out just as quickly as each other. Must be something about boys! Hope these ones last well for your two!

  • wendy

    Comfort and fit are a priority for me when choosing the kids shoes as they have special insoles they have to wear, so I have to make sure the shoe caters for this.
    Then style I like velcro shoes as it gives the children a bit of independence

  • nessjibberjabberuk

    School shoes are a nightmare! My two have narrow feet and the shoe shops always try to put them in wider fitting shoe with insoles in as they ‘don’t carry the stock’. We walk to school so flexible and waterproof shoes are essential for us.

  • Helen @ Witty Hoots

    We always try to get a leather shoe that is properly fitted. We avoid gimicky shoes and try to make sure that the shoes are light and breathable in the summer. In winter we look for sturdy, weather proof and warm shoes or boots.

  • Kara

    For the boys comfort and sturdiness are key as they will be climbing trees and playing football in them. For Eliza she has to have pretty shoes but they must be comfy too

  • Liska @NewMumOnline

    Was my absolute first time ever buying them and I went for comfort first and price second. Was really pleased with the 24 pounds I paid at Next. 4 weeks in and they are wearing well. I don’t think I will be much loved by the teachers come October when P.E. starts as his are laced up, and he won’t at aged 4 be able to do that by himself. At what age should I get him doing laces? xx

    • Jen Walshaw Post author

      @Liska – in our school the teachers will not do up the childrens laces. which is a big reason why my boys have always worn velcro. They started to wear laces with football boots and were six when they learned to tie laces

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