January is here and it’s that time we need to get to the shops to get new school shoes. This can be a tricky thing as there are lots of things to consider:
- Will the shoe last for the whole year?
- Are they the right shoe for my child?
- Is the shoe durable?
- How big is too big?
- If I buy the most expensive shoe does that make it the best?
These are common questions we hear and get asked very regularly. So here is a guide for you to use this year when buying school shoes.
Choose the right style:
There are many different style options available and it can get very confusing. Different schools also have different rules so here is a quick break down of the common style options available;
- Mary-Jane School Shoe
This is a popular style for the younger girl who is just starting school. They are perfect for that narrower foot type and are generally super light weight. They aren’t designed for sport and typically are not the most durable. This makes them perfect for your little one if they do light activity at school and want something that looks a little more girly
- Leather Sports Shoe
This style is perfect for your very active little one that likes to run around but can get a little rough with shoes. The leather makes the shoe more durable and protects the foot. However, this style is heavier and is definitely more of an all-round shoe and isn’t designed for specific activities.
- Mesh Sports Shoe
The mesh sports shoe is a very popular choice as it is light, breathable and great for running. It’s a great option for those kids that get smelly feet, and/or use these shoes for their sporting activities. Due to the upper material you may find this sort of shoe needs replacing regularly.
- Leather Formal Shoe
For a lot of schools this is common dress code. For the younger ones we recommend going for brands such as Ascent or Skobi as they are designed to look like a formal shoe but still are comfortable enough to be used for running, jumping, skipping and hopping.
Check the fit of the shoe:
Children grow, and can grow rapidly. When choosing the size of your school shoe it is important as it can have a huge impact to how your child functions. We want the shoe to be long enough so there’s growth room but not too long so they don’t trip. As a rough rule we generally advise to have around 1 cm from where their longest toe ends to where the shoe ends. If you’re not sure we advise to go get measured up properly at a shoe store. If your child wears orthotics you may find you need to go up a size anyway to help fit the device. See below our 9 fit checks.
Is the shoe durable?
This can be tough to figure out. It is a little bit of you get what you pay for. Often the cheaper the shoe is the less material and quality of the material used to make it. Often these shoes will have rubber removed from the sole (we have all seen these when they wear through they look like a series of hollow square boxes in the heel). They will also have lighter weight material making up the back of the heel this will often be cardboard instead of a polypropylene type material, which means if your child is like so many and does not untie there shoes then they will very quickly look more like a moccasin then a shoe.
Alternatively the most expensive is not always the best either and this is where you need to match your child to the shoe. If they are perfectly healthy with no signs of flat feet foot leg or back pain run happily and have an active life style then looking at your mid range shoe s the way to go. If your child has flat feet leg pain or some other diagnosed problem then sometimes you will need that expensive shoe, as they provide control features that your average shoe does not have. In this instance if you are unsure it is best to ask a qualified shoe fitter or your health professional.
Happy shoe shopping!
Remember if in doubt we are always happy to help!
As retailers for the Skobi brand of podiatrist designed school shoes we also stock a variety of shoes that may meet your needs.