Back to School: A Guide to Children's School Shoes

Children spend upwards of seven hours a day in their school shoes. They see them through class, breaktime, lunchtime and home time, so it’s important that they’re comfortable, fit well and are designed to withstand everything that’s thrown at them.

With all that in mind, we’ve created a guide to buying children’s school shoes, including how to get the right fit. Read on to discover how to find the perfect school shoes for girls and boys.

Getting the right shoe size

Children’s feet aren’t fully formed until their late teens, which means their feet are constantly growing and changing. This means getting the right fit is essential, as wearing ill-fitting shoes at a young age could affect the development of their feet and cause permanent damage.

Take advantage of our in-store fitting service, where our expert staff will measure your child’s feet and suggest styles that are best suited to their foot size and shape. Alternatively, you can order one of our foot gauges and measure your child’s feet at home to ensure you’re buying the right size.

It’s important to measure your child’s feet every time you buy a new pair of school shoes instead of simply buying the next size up, as they may need a wider or narrower fit than before, or they may have only grown half a size - or jumped two. Similarly, it’s important that you don’t buy a bigger size for them to grow into as the shoes need to be properly proportioned to their feet.

Once their feet have been measured and they’re trying on shoes, ensure that their toes aren’t touching the end, that there’s room on either side, no pressure on the outside edges of the foot, and that they’re not too tight. Get your child to test them out for comfort by walking or skipping; they should move easily and naturally.

What to look for in a school shoe


As mentioned, children spend a lot of time in their school shoes. If they’re uncomfortable, it could affect their ability to concentrate in class and their ability to play at breaktimes. Finding a pair that are comfortable will mean they can get on with their day without distraction.


Whether they’re running around the playground, playing football, climbing trees or dragging their feet through bark and gravel, your children’s school shoes need to be able to withstand all sorts of activities. Choosing a good quality pair will ensure they last longer and see them through the school year.

The right material

Leather is durable, breathable and long lasting. It can be protected and even repaired, making it a good option for children’s school shoes. Patent leather is also durable and has a high shine finish that makes it easy to clean.

Some schools will allow school shoes made from other materials, such as canvas. Canvas is breathable and ideal for summer, and styles made from it are often machine washable

The right style

Many schools will have guidelines regarding school shoes. Some are stricter than others and may only allow smart black options, while others may allow black trainers and boots, so ensure that you buy a pair that fits in with their policy.

It's important that younger children can take their shoes on and off easily by themselves - rip-tape is generally the best option for this. Older children will start to get more style-conscious, so consider involving them in the shoe shopping experience so that together you can find a style they’ll feel happy and confident wearing.

Now that you know what to look for, explore our range of kids' school shoes.