Best School Shoes - and the 6 best places to shop
Make light work of the yearly back-to-school shoe shop with our round-up of the best places to get those all important new shoes to ensure kids get off on the right foot from day one...
Find the right school shoes for your child
In a sea of black school shoes, how do you choose the right ones? By checking out our guide to the best places to shop -that's how! Junior have edited the selection down to only include the stores that put children's school shoes and growing feet into full focus.
Don't start the term without a pair from the following brands, in a very neat alphabetical order ...
Whilst school shoes have always been a small part of Bobux’s offering, this year sees them launch an entire school shoe collection (including patent styles) - with 'School by Bobux'. Incorporating all the things we already know and love about this specialist brand but, making them school ready with new features designed to withstand the extra demands of a full-on school day.
Top Marks for:
- The extra durable, flexible rubber sole - designed for dynamic movement and increased grip
- Memory foam inner soles for comfort and shock absorbance - as well as removable left and right inner sole shoe identifiers which help little learner too.
- The absolute genius handy space on the strap for personal name labelling - which ensures the shoes your little one went to school in - are the ones they come home in! (see image above)
- Available in Sizes 27-33 EU / 9-1 UK.
- Five styles in the range - Venture, Leap, Quest, Journey and Brave with style in black and black patent.
- Priced from £59.
Clarks is synonymous with quality craftsmanship and innovation and with nearly 200 years of experience, we're pretty confident this heritage British shoemakers know a thing or two about style, fit and durability when it comes to school shoes for growing feet. Plus, getting your first school shoes from Clarks is a right of passage.
Top Marks for:
- Every school school is tested to perfection. Over 60 tests ensure maximum durability and to ensure they are playground proof. Such tests include flexing leathers 500,000 times to pulling laces to destruction. Phew...
- They each have Agion-infused linings to help feet stay fresh for longer. The lightweight cushioning and flexible soles offer total comfort from drop-off to pick-up.
- Trained fitters offer in-store fittings by appointment or, you can measure at home with their online guide to using their shoe gauges.
- Available in sizes 10 - 2.5 UK (including half sizes and a choice of widths -E narrow, G wide and H extra wide).
- Prices start at £30.
Kickers has been selling school shoes for 50 years, so they really understand the pressure on kids’ feet and the impact the wrong shoes can have on foot development. Whether that's kicking footballs all day, racing around the playground or jumping in sand pits we trust Kickers school shoes to take on the daily demands put on kids feet with its range of durable, fun and iconic shoes.
Following on from the huge success of its Vegan range last year, they've extended its offering to include 40 styles. All using a plant-based material (PETA and vegan approved.) as part of its 100% vegan range (yes, even the glues) which is a lower-impact alternative to standard PU leather. NEW for 2023 is its Patent Vegan Leather, a material comprising 24% plant-based materials (including a mix of corn and cereals), 40% recycled polyester and 36% petroleum-based PU. The soon-to-be school favourite, takes the existing demand and desire for glossy, patent school shoes and provides even more choice without having to compromise on style, durability and price.
Made from 75% plant-based materials (including a mix of corn and cereals, which is grown for non-food purposes and is 100% GMO free and FSC certified Viscose), the remaining 25% is synthetic based (which ensures durability in footwear). Additionally, Kickers is taking action to offset some of its carbon emissions by planting a tree for every pair of Kickers footwear made - with an ambition is to plant 1 million Mangrove trees in 2022 (working with Eden Reforestation Projects). Top Marks Kickers. See the full vegan back to school range here>>
Top Marks for:
- Kickers schools shoes are scuff resistant - each shoe is designed with wear and tear zones using materials that handle all those daily scrapes and scuffs and keep shoes looking great all term and beyond. They also have anti-0dour active technology helps keep bacteria away for fresher feet all day long.
- Forget the worry of making an appointment, by simply ordering online with the easy-to-use measuring tool that help you find the right size in three simple steps. The Back to School hub ensures you'll find the right school shoes for your child. So, if your little one's scuff everything they wear or need a style that is easy to take on and off – then simply use the shoe selector to find the most suitable style for your child.
- Kickers have teamed up with Reskinned. A platform dedicated to recycling used clothing and accessories with a mission to dress a better future through resale, repair and innovative recycling. The partnership runs all year round and allows you to trade in your old Kicks and receive a £15 credit, or send two pairs back and receive £25 off of your next pair bought exclusively online (Kickers recommend getting ready early and sending shoes back by 11th August, to guarantee your voucher use in time for the next school year.)
- Paper shoeboxes with 90% recycled material and natural soya ink that are also 100% recyclable.
- With 130 school styles available in sizes 20-39 EU / 5 small - 6 UK.
- Prices start at £30.
MARKS & SPENCER
Whilst picking up that school uniform do take a look at the school shoe offering from Marks & Spencer - as they have over 120 style to choose from. With smart innovations such as scuff resistant materials and anti-bacterial finishes that keep footwear looking newer for longer - and, lasting well beyond the first term too. With special school shoe zones for fittings in-store or, step by step instructions on how to measure kids’ feet are available online - M&S makes it easy and fuss-free to kit the kids out from head to toe (don't forget that underwear too!). Also worth noting, M&S also stock Clarks school shoes.
Top Marks for:
- Marks & Spencer develop school shoes with growth room built in. Check out Pinpoint, an at-home measuring tool calibrated to M&S shoe sizes, to give you peace of mind when ordering online.
- Up-to-date innovations to make sure school shoes have a long school life, this includes rubber soles that won’t wear through, sports-grade underfoot padding that is resilient and comfortable shapes that flex with their feet. Plus the clever tech in the toe-bumper shoes ensure that the toes of the shoes won’t wear through for kids who drag their feet. (oh, why do they do that?)
- We love the built-in Freshfeet technology that eliminates odours, the breathable linings and sports-grade padding that wick away any sweat meaning fresh-smelling feet all term long.
- Available in sizes 23 - 41 EU / 8 Small - 9 UK and offered in standard, narrow and wide fittings and half sizes also.
- Prices start at £17.
If you haven't checked out the impressive Kids section at Schuh - please do. It's a one-stop shop for fashion, popular and own brand shoes collections on the high street. Offering the widest range of Dr. Martens, Kickers, Adidas, and Nike to name but a few all under one roof - ideal for families that have several kids/tweens/teens to please.
Top Marks for:
- The Schuh Recycling Scheme, 'Too Big For Your Boots' - encouraging parents and kids to bring down their old, worn shoes to be recycled, in return for £5 off their brand new pair. The £5 off vouchers are then redeemable online or in-store with their next purchase. (working with Recyclatex, which collects donations from stores which results in approximately 98% of all components and materials being reused0). Click her for more information.
- In-store, experienced staff are on hand and trained to fit school shoes to meet all individual needs within 20 minutes. Or, for parents shopping online, handy tools are available - like the at-home measuring and fitting chart and step-by-step fit video.
- Next-day delivery within the UK on order placed before midnight (subject to availability) and an impressive 1 year to return policy.
- Available in Sizes 21-40 EU / 6 small - 8 UK.
- Prices start from just £25.
Start-Rite are one step ahead when it comes to fitting and style choice for kids. With its classic back to school collections fitting infants right up to seniors. Start-Rite continue to raise the bar when it comes to testing prototypes - which ensure shoes look just as good after 100,000 steps and that that rip-tape fastening remain ‘sticky’ after 5,000 openings too!
Top Marks for:
- Multi-width fitting shoes with added growing room designed into every pair, are guaranteed to stand up to the rigours of daily school life.
- Styles feature breathable leather lining for all-day comfort with removable insoles, rip-tape adjustable fastenings for a child-friendly easy fit and scuff-resistant dyed-through leather, stitched with super-strong nylon thread. they also feature non-marking soles.
- Use the Start-Rite measuring gauge (S9 to L12 for ages 3+) or, download the paper version to measure feet for correct fit as Start-rite have their own sizing system.
- Collection include: My First School Shoes, a Vegan collection for primary and seniors, new Air-Rite collection (technology designed to keep sweaty feet cool and healthy), and new chunky soled Mary Janes, and edgy DM style boots for senior girls.
- Prices start at £40