Fellow mum of the Shire and owner of Greens Footwear in Cronulla gave us the essential information you need to know about buying and caring for your child’s school shoes.
Whether you have a little one starting Kindergarten or have been doing the school-mum thing for quite a while, the world of school shoes can be overwhelming!
So many questions… What brand? What style? When to buy them? What to look out for? How much to budget? Here are some tips to take the stress out of school shoe shopping.
Do your research
While your kids are still growing it’s vital that they’re measured and properly fitted each year. Every school shoe fits differently – not only do some styles come in different widths but different shapes fit feet differently too.
Having a poor-fitting school shoe can be detrimental to the growth of your child’s feet. Remember, they’re wearing them every single day!
When choosing a store look for;
- Knowledgeable and experienced staff – A experienced fitter will fit your school shoes to allow for just enough growing room. Keep in mind that shoes that are too big are just as bad as shoes that are too small. An incorrectly fitted shoe will bend and stress in the wrong places, wearing it out faster.
- Discounts – Most stores will offer a discount on school shoes during January (which is very helpful straight after Christmas!)
- A range of different brands – Different brands use different qualities of leather and come in different shapes and widths. Having a comparison means you can see which brand suits your child’s foot the best.
I know it’s tempting to buy shoes in the last week before kids go back, but the earlier you buy the more choice you’ll have and the less frantic the stores will be! Early to mid-January is the perfect time to get your child’s school shoes.
Before heading into store:
- Check your uniform guide to see what type of school shoes and sports shoes your school requires.
- Pack socks to try on with your school shoes (if you have your school socks that would be best as different school socks vary in thickness).
- If your child wears orthotics be sure to bring them with you.
*Because of the current limitations on the number of people in store, if possible only bring in the children that need to be fitted.
For Kindergarten and Year 1 children, look for velcro so that your kids can put them on and take them off themselves. Not only will this speed things up in the mornings, but it will also help the teacher out if they come undone on the school playground. A style that is lightweight with quality leather and a sporty or flexible sole is great for the first few years of school as it’s more familiar to your child!
From Year 2 onward most kids have an idea about what shoe they want; lace-up, velcro, or mary-jane. Your experienced fitter will be able to guide you on which style in the shoe that they’ve chosen, suits your child the best.
When considering your budget, remember that your child will be wearing these shoes all day, approximately 4 days a week, so it’s important not only for their foot health but also for their comfort that you invest in a good quality pair of shoes.
It can be confusing to know which shoes to purchase when there are school shoes in the marketplace ranging from $15 -$180. Speak to the retail assistant about the differences in quality, comfort and materials used, as well as look at what brand fits your child’s foot shape best.
Here are a few simple tips to keep your shoes in good condition;
- School shoes should be sprayed with a protector spray before school starts and then once a month thereafter to ensure they stay in the best condition possible.
Every school holidays:
- De-fluff the velcro
- Polish the leather
- Air out the insoles
- Re-spray with scotch guard
Be realistic in your expectations from your children’s school shoes – they are active – climbing, running, kicking, crawling.
School shoes will put up with a lot, but you may not get a full year out of your shoes depending on how they are worn, how they are looked after and how quickly your child grows!