Top Tips for Buying School Shoes

Top Tips for Buying School Shoes


This is the first of a series of blog posts designed to answer some of the regular questions we have been asked over the 7 years we’ve been fitting shoes at Cooshoo.  Given the season, we thought there was no better place to start than with school shoes …

When should I buy school shoes?

We all know children grow fast so it’s tempting to leave getting school shoes to the last minute.  A good shoe fitter will make sure that your child has enough room to accommodate growth for the little toes, bridge of the foot as well as the longest toes (check if your shoe shop is trained by the Society of Shoe Fitters & registered with the Children’s Foot Health Register). An ideal time to buy school shoes is early to mid-August.  That way you’ll get the best choice of school shoes as most retailers are sold out by the beginning of September!  This is really important if you have a child whose feet are not an average shape, they have medical conditions or they are very particular about the style of shoe they want!

Should you have to wear school shoes in?

Shoes which are fitted by someone qualified with the Society of Shoe fitters should ensure the best fit for your child and minimise the risk of rubbing/pinching. Feet which have been in soft summer shoes can find the transition to harder wearing school shoes tricky.  We recommend wearing school shoes in the house for a few hours a day on the week leading up to the first day back just to get used to them.  This will ensure any problems are apparent before your child wears the shoes all day at school and will give you an opportunity to get things checked and corrected.  

How long should school shoes last?

Some children are harder wearing on their shoes than others and they all grow at different rates so, there is not a fixed time period that shoes should last.  On average most families change school shoes twice during a school year but it can be less or more.  Lots of factors affect how long shoes last, including the age of the child, level of activity a child does & a person’s gait, which can mean that shoes get more wear in one area than another.    The quality and style of the shoes and how often they are polished and waterproofed will also affect how long they last.

Which styles/brands do you recommend?

School shoes are put through their paces more than any other kind of children’s shoes so most parents are looking for durability.  Leather shoes with toe guards, buffers and soles which are stitched down as well as glued provide the most robust option. Some, but not all, patent finishes also wear incredibly well and reduce the need for polishing! Brands such as Start-Rite, GEOX, Froddo and Primigi provide breathability and lots of added buffer protection for girls and boys. They also have removable foot-beds so are excellent for orthotics wearers too. Ricosta and Petasil have excellent styles for children who have narrow feet and narrow heels.  Bobux have wide and deep options for the wider squarer foot! 

How should I care for school shoes?

Leather shoes are a natural product that does wear over time especially in the Autumn/Winter seasons when it’s wet.  Polishing shoes each week and using a waterproofing spray will stop the leather perishing and help keep them looking good for longer.

How much do school shoes cost?

The price can vary dependent upon the quality of the shoes.  On average children take 13,000 steps a day compared to an adults 7,000.  These are not your ordinary adult steps but usually involve jumping, running, climbing, spinning and emergency stops in the same shoes 5 days a week. So, it’s worth investing in a pair of good quality fitted school shoes to ensure they last as long as possible.

Cooshoo’s Top Tips for Buying School Shoes this Summer

Get Fitted: professionally they’ll ensure, the right style, shape and type of shoe for your child

Be Prepared: take the socks they will wear with the school shoes to the fitting

Right Shape: choose a shoe that reflects the shape of the child’s foot

Growing Room: make sure it’s enough but not too much as this can cause blisters and feet to shunt forward hurting toes and tripping younger children.

Choose Buffers: shoes with extra reinforcement around the sole and toe area of the shoe last longer but still feel good inside

Fastenings: choose a fastening that your child can do up securely on their own like Velcro

All this will help you school shoes last longer!

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