If there was one thing that I dreaded as a child about going back to school it was the trip into town to buy school shoes. My feet are narrow, I have funny ankles and this meant finding shoes that would fit and then that I liked and my mum liked. Being the daughter of teachers it meant that they were very aware of what my feet and shoes would go through.
We have included links to the shoes we were given as part of this campaign. If you purchase from Start Rite we may earn a small commission on the sale.
For us there was only one shoe shop that would meet the requirements of my feet and that of my parents too. When it came time to head shoe shopping for my own kids I headed to that same shoe shop and it was fantastic for the first two years with my son - the shoes were perfect and they lasted the school year. Then my daughter started school and I headed again to the same shoe shop had her feet measured.... the boxes were brought out and I walked out! The shoes for my active girl that had narrow feet were more like the shoes that she was wearing for her dance lessons. It took a while, asking in forums, discussing with other parents and searching the internet and I finally found some shoes that met my needs, fitted well and lasted the year. Start Rite shoes, available online and designed and made for kids.
School Shoes for Girls
I didn't realise two years ago when I started on this journey with my daughter how ahead of trending news I would be. In the last few weeks, it has exploded all over the news about girls school shoes. As a teacher, parent and someone that until I had kids had never had a job that involved sitting down I know how important it is to look after our feet to wear shoes that fit, support, last and do what they are meant to do.
For girls school shoes - and after teaching at an all girls school I saw the whole spectrum of them and watched how girls actually wore them over the school year I came up with requirements that shoes needed to have for school.
- Not completely flat - no heels but equally not so flat that there isn't a slight rise in the heel.
- Leather - feet sweat and plastic shoes are not good when you have sweaty feet, not really wanting to deal with athletes feet throughout the school year we stick with leather.
- Secure on the feet - NO SLIP ONS, slip off there needs to be some way to keep them on the feet, buckle, Velcro, laces doesn't matter what sort of fastening as long as your child can do it up.
- Waterproof - yes we do use a waterproof spray protector on the shoes but there needs to be some sort of waterproofing there in the first place.
- Made for walking, playing, jumping, sitting, wearing all day, day in - day out
These are the ultimate essentials for school shoes for girls, then we have to add in my daughter's requirements - comfortable, look nice and she feels comfortable wearing. Start Rite shoes was the only company that had everything we needed and after buying our first pair back when she started school as she goes into her 3rd pair it's a company that we will be using again. This year's choice is Poppy for the third time - they stay on, are a great fit for her narrow feet and are proper little girl shoes which when your daughter has BIG FEET for her age finding ones that aren't too old looking can be a problem.
School Shoes for Boys
My son was so much easier to buy for than girls - the shoes for boys no matter where you go are perfect for boys - there isn't any shoes that you look at and think WOW are they meant to walk through the puddles on the way to school wearing them and not get their socks wet.
But the big difference between brands is that some are made with leather and others aren't. With boys - the leather is even more important. I hate to say it but boys feet sweat even little boys, they get wet as I don't know a single boy that could avoid the huge puddle in the playground and they will wear them out to falling apart. So leather which lasts when taken care of and as it's a natural fabric will let their feet air much better than man-made does.
Our choice this year for my son - mainly due to the amount of walking we do and the number of puddles including on the fields that he encounters is the Aqua Warrior. They are scuff resistant (for you know when he needs to climb up the school wall!), waterproof and comfortable on his feet.