Keeping your child comfortable and safe while they’re at school should be your top priority. It can be a tricky balance though, especially when you think about the cost of new shoes every term and the frequency with which they grow out of their current pair. Buying the right pair of school shoes is essential to avoid any sort of injury or discomfort that could put a damper on their education. It’s an important purchase, but one that not everyone understands well enough to make confidently. With so many different types, styles, and materials from which you can choose, it can feel like an uphill battle in picking out school shoes that are not only comfortable for your child but also last long enough to justify the price tag. Here are some general guidelines that will help you decide what type of shoe is best for your child vs any other factors you may have overlooked…

What to Look for in a Pair of School Shoes

When it comes to buying boys' school shoes, there are a few things you should be aware of to ensure you’re getting the quality you’re paying for. In this section, we’ll cover the following: - Material - Durability - Fit - Comfort - Safety - Style Even if you don’t consider yourself a ‘shoe guy’, these are some qualities worth keeping in mind when you’re shopping for your next pair of school shoes. School shoes come in a wide range of materials, and the type you should choose will depend on how often your child wears them, their age, and the climate they’re exposed to on a daily basis.

What Materials are Best for School Shoes?

A word of caution: When buying new shoes, try not to wear them too much before school starts. That’s because you never know what the weather will be like during the school year. What you might consider as an optimal day for new shoes, could actually be a day when your child steps outside in conditions that warrant a different type of footwear. Having worn new shoes for too long before school begins, there’s a possibility you’ll have to replace them before the year ends. 

  1. Leather - A great choice for durability, but not for your younger kids wellies (e.g. pre-schoolers) who may not be able to keep their shoes clean as often as needed. 
  2. Textile - A breathable option that’s great for warmer climates, but doesn’t hold up quite as long as leather. 
  3. Canvas - A cheap and lightweight option that works great for all seasons, but isn’t quite as durable as the previous two.

When Should You Get Leather School Shoes?

If your child is in either a sports-focused school or participates in other activities outside of class, leather is a great option. Leather shoes are more durable than other materials which means they’ll last longer. They’re also more likely to be able to be cleaned if they become dirty. They’re perhaps less appropriate for younger kids who may not be able to clean their shoes as often as they should, or who may not yet be used to wearing shoes. Leather shoes can be worn in any season and in any weather condition. They’re also more breathable than you may think, and don’t trap in heat like you may have heard. Whether you decide to go for basic black leather shoes or something with a little more flair, you can’t go wrong with this tried and tested material.

Canvas School Shoe Recommendations

If your child’s school shoes don’t need to be quite as durable as those of a sports-focused child, canvas is a great option. Canvas shoes are inexpensive, lightweight, and a great way to keep costs down for kids who don’t wear shoes often enough to make the investment worth it. They’re also good for kids in warmer climates where leather shoes can trap in heat. If you opt for canvas shoes, look for the ones labeled ‘waterproof’ as they will repel water better than others. While canvas shoes are a great option for many kids, they aren’t the best for kids who are in a very active school or participate in sports.

Sneaker School Shoe Recommendations

If you don’t mind your child’s school shoes looking a little more ‘grown up’, sneakers can be a great option. They’re a favorite of many kids and are designed to be durable and lightweight. Commonly made of synthetic materials, they won’t break the bank, but do feature a few drawbacks. Although some sneakers are water-resistant, they are generally not waterproof. This means they won’t repel water as well as other materials. They also tend to be a bit warmer, which isn’t ideal in warmer climates. This isn’t a deal-breaker though, as most kids will wear different footwear in the warmer months. If you’re looking for a great, all-rounder, you can’t go wrong with a pair of sneakers.


The most important thing to remember when buying new school shoes is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Despite their importance and prevalence, there is a wide range of shoes available for your child to choose from. How often they wear them, the climate they’re used in, and even the type of foot they have can impact the type of shoe that will be most beneficial. With so many options, choosing the right pair can be difficult. These guidelines should help narrow down your options and help you make a more informed decision when it comes time to buy new shoes.

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