which school shoes - your guide to choosing the best

Which School Shoes? Your Guide to Choosing the Best

July 11, 2018

They don’t seem to last two minutes do they, school shoes? The kids either have a growth spurt as soon as you’ve bought them or they end up destroyed in a matter of weeks. Buying school shoes is one of those ‘Aw no, it’s that time again’ occurrences that seem to come round far too often. But Get The Label is here to take all the stress out of the back to school shop.

This is your guide to buying school shoes: best-selling styles, getting the fit right and keeping them clean.

We’ve got all the essentials: school shoes, coats and backpacks – typically the ‘expensive’ stuff – from brands that schoolkids want to be seen with, at discounts that will turn your frown upside down!

Here you’ll find some of our school shop best-sellers, from Kickers school shoes to lace-free styles for infants to trainers that look like school shoes. There are even a few styles that are cool enough for teenage girls. A bold claim!

Which school shoes are the best?

Where school shoes are concerned, comfort and practicality are the most important things to consider but thankfully most brands know that style is pretty important too! We’ve rounded up some of our best-selling school shoes to help you find the perfect style.

Not sure what size you need? Check out our size guide.

Best for infants: school shoes without laces

Ah, their first school shoes, how cute! Mornings will be rushed enough without having to faff around with laces, especially if they’re wet, caked in mud or are pulled so tight that it seems they’ll never come loose again.

So we recommend school shoes with no laces for infants because it’s easier for everyone! Plus, the straps also help to keep the shoe in place while running, jumping and climbing.


Kickers girls school shoes

Kickers Fragma T Bar Shoe

Shop sizes: infant | junior | senior

girls Kickers Keavy shoesKickers Fragma Pop Shoe

Shop sizes: infant | junior | senior

boys Hush Puppies school shoesHush Puppies Bespoke Shoe

Shop sizes: infant | junior

Boys Kickers school shoeKickers Moakie Reflex Shoe

Shop sizes: infant

Or view all infant shoes

Best for winter: waterproof school shoes

Don’t make the assumption that all shoes are waterproof! There are few things more unpleasant than wet feet and socks squelching around in shoes all day, so choose waterproof school shoes for winter to keep their feet warm and dry.

Rockport waterproof school shoesRockport Storm Surge Shoe

Shop sizes: senior

Rockport hiker school bootsRockport Treeline Marangue Hiker Boot

Shop sizes: senior
boys Henleys hiker bootsHenleys Vader Hiker Boot

Shop sizes: infant | junior

Or view all kids shoes

Best for sporty types: black trainers (that look like school shoes!)

We can’t guarantee that all schools will accept these because they are still trainers but if you know you’ll get away with it, these black trainers are the perfect all round choice for school girls and boys of any age.

Stylish? Check. Comfy? Check. Cheap? Check – not that you’d know by looking 😉

black Nike Cortez trainersNike Cortez Trainers

Shop sizes: seniorblack Skechers trainers for boysSkechers Stepz Lo Trainers

Shop sizes: junior | seniorboys Skechers trainersSkechers Turbo Ride Trainers

Shop sizes: junior | seniorSkechers girls black trainers for schoolSkechers Go Walk 4 Trainers

Shop sizes: junior | seniorSkechers Velocity Shoes

Shop sizes: infant / junior | senior

black trainers that look like school shoesBoxfresh Tetran Trainers

Shop sizes: senior

Kickers boys school shoe that looks like a trainer

Kickers Tovni Shoes

Shop sizes: junior | senior

Or view all kids shoes

Best for teenagers: simple style, decent brands

Another timeless classic, Deakins school shoes are a great choice for older boys. Rockport also offer some formal and hardy styles for boys and girls that offer great value for money.

boys Deakins school shoesDeakins Kirkstall Shoe

Shop sizes: junior | senior

Zaxy school shoes for teenage girlsZaxy Pop Flock Shoes

Shop sizes: junior | seniorSmart boys school shoesHush Puppies Jake Shoes

Shop sizes: junior | seniorRockport school shoes with heelsRockport Salima Luxe Shoes

Shop sizes: senior

boys school shoe - kickers chreston boys shoe

Kickers Chreston Shoes

Shop sizes: junior | senior

Or view all shoes for teenagers

Getting the fit right

It’s vital to make sure that school shoes fit correctly. Kids’ feet grow about a size every year on average, so investing in the right shoe is well worth it. Shoes that are too tight or loose can cause problems, so here are a few things to remember:

The toe wiggle: toes should be able to wiggle comfortable without any pain or being squished

The thumb gap: there should be a gap of about a thumbs width between the tip of the toes and the end of the shoe

The foot stomp: the heel should be held firmly in the shoe, so there’s no risk of it falling off

The width test: the widest part of the shoe should match the widest part of the foot, so that it fits comfortably with no restriction of movement

What about school shoes for flat feet?

Kids’ feet grow until the age of around 14 (for girls) and 16 (for boys) so the correct support for those growing bones is really important. Look for school shoes with thick cushioning to reduce impact, and a built-in arch for extra support. A firm heel also helps to keep the foot stable.

The main thing though is to try them on and give them a real life trial – so don’t just take a few steps and decide. Walk, run, jump, kick (the air!) and give them a real test for fit, support and comfort.

How to clean school shoes

Hopefully a good scrub with warm soapy water will do the trick! If not, you could try them in the washing machine as we’ve said above. When the school shoes are dry, get them looking good as new again by touching up any scuffs with shoe cream and buffing them to a shine with shoe polish.

Can I put school shoes in the washing machine?

It’s probably best not to put them through the washing machine but if you really must, place them inside a pillowcase and use a gentle cycle on a cool wash. The pillowcase helps to stop the shoes bouncing around all over, reducing the risk of damage, as does the gentle wash.

Can I put them in the dryer?

Probably not. Best not to risk it! Let shoes air dry.


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