As the summer holidays come to an end (leaving some parents wondering if they even began!), the pressure of whipping all-day entertainment out of thin air is soon replaced by that of gathering back-to-school essentials – starting with the arduous school shoes shop.
But there’s good news! As long as you know their sizes, kitting out multiple offspring in the best school shoes on 2020’s shelves can be done from the comfort of your sofa, with cuppa (or wine glass) in hand. If you think their feet may have grown, our very popular printable foot measure is sure to come in handy, or you can pop into one of our stores and we’ll make the process as painless as possible for you!
Whether you’re shopping for your youngest who’s ready to conquer their first day at primary school, or you’re on the hunt for a pair to win the approval of a style-conscious teen, we’ve compiled a list of our best-selling and best-value school shoes for boys and girls – also featuring key things to bear in mind from some of our favourite parent bloggers.
Best boys’ school shoes
Playground antics, lunchtime fun and corridor shuffling. Whatever the timetable of your Mr. Cool is, it’s important to find comfortable, durable and fashionable shoes to satisfy the school rules (and him) and carry him through more than just a single term.
Scroll on for a budget-friendly selection of the best-quality school shoes that’ll make your boy beam.
Best for: a wallet-pleasing price
If the incredible price isn’t hard enough to resist, the lightweight yet supportive style of these school shoes from Rockstorm definitely will be. For youngsters who spend their classes daydreaming about break-time kickabouts, these touch-fasten, single-strap beauties will provide the sturdiness they need. Plus, the sleek piped seam and stitch detailing will ensure there are no hissy fits to be seen in the morning.
Nikki Turner-Chaplin, creator of UK family travel blog, Yorkshire Wonders, advised to:
“Look for a good, solid and supportive sole in a school shoe… For my son, we always buy shoes with Velcro fastenings, as even though he is old enough, he is terrible at tying his shoelaces! Some sort of scuff-proof toe is good too, as he makes new school shoes look like old school shoes very quickly otherwise!”
Best for: primary school rough ‘n’ tumble
Say adios to scuffs, scratches and sadness with this Kickers design, which rolls superb comfort and durability into one casual school shoe style. Crafted from high-quality leather with a soft, spongey textile lining and a tough rubber sole, these lace-up Fragma school shoes will withstand the perils of the playground and live to walk another day. The five-star reviews don’t lie either; cloud-nine comfort is definitely a running theme for this staple pair!
Best for: secondary school cool
We get it. Teenage boys who are consistently dodging damage to their street cred while navigating the secondary school ranks are often hard to please when it comes to school shoes. But we think we might have cracked the code!
Unbox a pair of these dapper Business Class brogues to uncover polished black leather, a characteristic winged toe cap and quintessential perforations, which make these low-key lace-ups a match made in heaven for boys on the edge of adulthood.
Sarah Howe, a self-proclaimed dietitian by day and blogger at Run Jump Scrap! by night, shared her thoughts with us when it comes to school shoe shopping:
“For me, the best school shoes need to have longevity and comfort. Kids have to be in them all day long and want to forget they have them on!”
Best Girls’ School Shoes
At the end of the day, kids will be kids – which means muddy soles and natural wear ‘n’ tear are a given. But finding a reliable pair of shoes that keeps them comfortable ‘till 3pm while still resisting scuffs and being on-trend sounds like an impossible feat.
Ah, well that’s where our shortlist comes in handy; the best school shoes for girls await…
Best for: purse-friendly value
Desperate for a snazzy, hard-wearing shoe on a budget? Cue the ‘Patty’ pair from Princess Stardust.
Whether your daughter is a sporty spice who can’t resist a class kickabout, or she’s more relaxed and prefers a mild game of hopscotch, these durable Mary Janes take the biscuit in the best school shoe stakes. An easy touch-fasten strap is paired with a matching patent bow and diamanté heart detailing for added sparkle.
Best for: primary school prettiness
Wearing uniform is never at the top of any kid’s to-do list – but who says it must be yawn-worthy? Not us!
If your little princess is feeling nervous heading back to primary school, show her some extra love with these adorable patent T-bars. Princess Stardust strikes again with this winning pair, complete with felt love-heart appliques, chunky, grooved sole and touch-fasten strap to elevate her school style to the top of the class.
Best for: secondary school style
Our next pick may have been thriving in the ‘90s but is anything but uncool in modern-day classrooms. Cute, comfy and classic, these patent leather T-bar school shoes will add a little shine to weekdays.
Sporting an adjustable buckle fastening to make morning routines a breeze, and sturdy, razor-edged sole for extra grip when temperatures drop, this effortless pair from Platino give plenty of support and coverage for an A+ in all-season style. From young and eager high-schooler to chic college student, any trendy lady will swoon over the matte PU leather version, too.
Lyndsey O’Halloran from family lifestyle blog, Me, Him, The Dog and Baby, shared that she prefers practical over pretty when it comes to finding the best girls’ school shoes:
“My daughter is not delicate at all and can be really rough on shoes. I look for a school shoe that looks as though it would last a while, rather than focus on the pretty design for a girl. It would be nice to see a fuller shoe for girls, instead of the usual Mary Jane style.”
Do you think we’ve covered the best school shoes with our selection? If there are any others which deserve a spotlight in this post, head over to our Facebook to let us know! For even more styles, browse our back-to-school collection for boys and girls of all ages.
Has the approach to term time left you feeling a bit frazzled? Head over to our dedicated back-to-school blog for shopping hacks, expert tips and advice from real parents.