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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...

School by Bobux - name labelling

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 …

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(Pict: Marks & Spencer)

BOBUX

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.

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(Pict: School by Bobux)

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.
  • All styles are priced at £59.
Bobux 'Venture' - Black
‘Venture’, £59, Bobux
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‘Journey’, £59, Bobux

CLARKS

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.

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(PICT: Clarks back to School)

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.
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‘Vibrant Old Oak’, £54, Clarks
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‘Plain Move’, £42, Clarks

KICKERS

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.

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(PICT: Kickers)

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.
  • Charity partners include the Magic Breakfast Club for the Back to School period (for every pair of Kickers sold on the Kickers website throughout August 2021, Kickers will be donating a breakfast to the Magic Breakfast Club to help fuel more learning) and Show Racism the Red Card Day on 22nd October, 2021.
  • 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.
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‘Kick Lo’, from £42, Kickers
Tovni Brogue
‘Tovni’ Brogue, from £35, Kickers

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!). New this season, M&S are also stocking Clarks school shoes.

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(Pict: Marks & Spencer)

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.
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Leather T-Bar, from £26, M&S
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Leather Riptape, from £34, M&S

SCHUH

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.

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(Pict: Schuh)

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.
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‘Knowledge’ loafers, £25, Schuh
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‘Raf Derby’, £50, Schuh

START-RITE

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!

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(Pict: Start-Rite)

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, rip-tape adjustable fastenings for a child-friendly easy fit and scuff-resistant dyed-through leather, stitched with super-strong nylon thread.
  • 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 £39.99
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‘Chance’, £42.99, Start-Rite
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‘Leapfrog’, £49.99, Start-Rite