Buying school shoes can be a stressful and costly business. To make it easier on parents, we’ve created this handy guide that will help you to find the best school shoes for your child.
The choice and confusion when buying school uniform is increasing by the day, with everyone from the local supermarkets to online fashion retailers now getting in on the act! Add to that the ever-increasing fashion sense that kids have these days and the shopping experience can quickly become a nightmare!
How can you tell that shoes fit properly and leave your child’s feet room to grow? When should you start the back-to-school shopping to avoid breaking the bank in August? What styles are acceptable in the fashion-savvy playground?
Read on for our top tips.
Don’t leave it too late to buy
To make sure there is a wide range of styles available to choose, don’t leave it too late – otherwise, that goal of finding shoes they like, and shoes that you think are smart and appropriate, go straight out of the window.
Now that we’ve introduced our Growth Spurt Guarantee, you won’t have to worry about buying their shoes too early either.
To save you from spending money on a second pair come September, we’ll swap shoes bought in July or August (up until August 17th) for a bigger size if they don’t fit at the start of term. That way, you can spread the cost of back-to-school throughout the summer!
Find out more here.
The Importance of Size and Fit
Poorly-fitting shoes worn on a regular basis can lead to a number of foot health problems. Not to mention the fact they’ll be quite uncomfortable for your child.
Most kids wear the same pair of school shoes every day, five days a week for a whole school term, so it is absolutely essential that they are the correct size.
We’d advise that you check the fit of your children’s school shoes every term or every 10 to 12 weeks. If they still fit, great! But continue to check on a regular basis until it is time to change. Also, keep an eye on the wear and tear of the shoes – even if they still fit they may need replacing.
How to Check If Your Child’s Shoes Fit
- Make sure they’re wearing the kind of socks they’ll be wearing at school.
- Ensure that the heel is held down in the shoe – it shouldn’t slip up and down! You might need a new size, style or fit if it does.
- Does the top line of the shoe rest below the ankle bone? This is important as if not, the shoe will rub and cause discomfort.
- Check whether the widest part of the foot is in the widest part of the shoe. This is easy enough to decipher – see how it’s done in our video.
- Make sure there is enough room for their toes. Check where the longest one ends and there should be enough room for them to stretch the toes, which gives them a little space to grow too.
- Ask your child to wiggle their toes up and down. If they struggle, it may be that their shoes are too shallow, which could hinder their movement.
- They should then push their toes as close to the front of the shoe as possible. If you can squeeze your little finger into the back of the shoe behind their foot – though not too easily – then the shoes should be the right size.
Don’t forget about our printable foot measuring guide for kids too. It makes a great jumping-off point before you perform the checks above!
If you are unsure on how to check the fit, take a look at our handy video above which will take you through the whole process; or if you live near one of our stores, pop in and have your feet measured by our trained fitters.
Foot Growth Rate – The Society of Shoe Fitters
By age five, the average growth rate is approximately one size per year.
By age 10 this slows to an average of less than one size per year.
NB: Children’s foot growth rates can be very random. A child whose feet have not grown in some time can have a real growth spurt all at once.
What Makes A Good Shoe Sole?
As we all know, kids move around A LOT! Your children will be in these shoes for a large part of the week; running, jumping and running some more! It is key that their school shoes have a good, hardwearing sole that is firm and stable at the back, and flexible at the front to allow the foot to flex correctly.
We’d recommend investing in a pair of shoes with a stable sole from the off, to avoid accelerated wear and tear and possible additional costs along the road!
Easy-fasten School Shoes Are Better for Little Kids
We recommend a Velcro/touch-close fastening for the younger children as this will make things far easier for them. It will also ensure that the shoe is securely fitted, preventing any slips or falls.
Another benefit of this type of fastening over a slip-on shoe is the ability to adjust the width fitting as the foot grows. Once your kids have learnt to tie their laces (well enough to do it quickly in the morning rush!) a laced shoe will also provide the same benefits.
How Do You Know Which School Shoes Are Appropriate for Your Child’s School?
Uniform rules can vary from school to school, so it’s hard to guarantee that each pair would be accepted everywhere!
We’re very much aware that a lot of parents have become frustrated by the uniform restrictions placed on them by schools, which is why Wynsors has gone above and beyond to offer the widest range of affordable school shoes for boys and girls as possible.
We have been working with a large number of schools to create our school-approved brochures, and each institution has selected shoes from our range that fit in with their uniform policies.
That way, you won’t need to agonise over coloured labels or heel heights, or worst case, incur further costs because you have to replace shoes that are disapproved at the start of term.
See if your child’s school is listed here.