How to choose the right school shoes

Jan 13, 2020

Help your kids to put their best foot forward for the school year!

With the first term of 2020 fast approaching, we know parents are busy getting everything ready for the upcoming school year. To help you in your preparations, we’ve compiled all the information you need to put your children in the right footwear, and put the bounce back in their step for the start of school!

Kids spend upwards of 6 hours a day, 5 days a week in their school shoes. Therefore, it’s important that they have shoes which are supportive, comfortable and fit correctly. Poorly fitted school shoes can result in pain, discomfort and long-term complications.

Below are a few tips to follow when purchasing new school shoes:

Correct Fit

Resist the urge to buy shoes that are sized too big for your children’s feet. It is a common misconception that allowing your children to ‘grow into’ them will prolong the use of the shoes. Where in fact, shoes will wear out and scuff as your child drags them along the ground, wearing the soles thinner, faster! Children’s feet grow on average 1-2 sizes per year, so it is important to have their feet measured before buying new shoes.

Always have the shoes fitted for both length AND width. When measuring their feet your child should be standing to ensure the foot elongates with weight bearing. Also, bring along their school socks to make sure the shoes fit comfortably.


School shoes should be made from a quality breathable material such as leather, which keeps active, sweaty feet in a breathable and water-resistant environment, helping to reduce the risk of fungal infections or smelly feet!

A good quality pair of school shoes should also have a strong rubber outsole, and a quality shock absorbing midsole to allow kids to be active all day in comfort.

A firm heel counter

Your child’s school shoes should have a strong deep heel counter with firm support on both sides of the heel.  This is important because the heel must be held in a stable position so that the foot doesn’t roll in (pronate) or roll our (supinate), which could potentially lead to pain and postural problems.

The heel counter increases support of the shoe and shouldn’t compress under moderate pressure. If you can easily press in the sides, this is a clear indication that the shoe isn’t providing enough support for your child’s growing feet.


School shoes should bend and flex, but only at the ball of the foot to allow for easy propulsion and movement. Shoes should not flex at the mid-point of the shoe or be too rigid.


It is important to choose a pair of shoes with appropriate fastening mechanisms – school shoes should always have secure fasteners such as laces or Velcro to hold the foot firmly in the shoe. It is important that the foot doesn’t slip forward and cause the toes to scrunch up in the front of the shoe. Over time this can damage the front of the foot and develop hammer toes. Slip-on footwear should definitely be avoided.

Hopefully, this helps you to choose the best quality school shoe for your children’s feet. However, if you are feeling unsure of how to fit their shoes properly or if you child is experiencing pain or discomfort in their feet or lower limbs, we recommend booking an appointment at Dan Everson Podiatry for an assessment.