Four kids sitting in the school, holding their books and wearing school shoes for kids

What to Look for in School Shoes for Kids

Buying school shoes for kids can be very exciting and very complex. Parents need to satisfy kids’ needs and styles and, at the same time, find suitable and comfortable pairs of footwear. 

Moreover, school shoes for kids can sometimes be very expensive, and parents can fall into the dilemma of whether to opt for those or to go for a cheaper option.

Well, the thing is that kids spend approximately 6-8 hours a day in school shoes, which is around 30+ hours a week. We are talking some big numbers here, and nobody wants their kid to spend such a long period in uncomfortable footwear, especially if your little one has flat feet or some other foot condition!

Thus, let’s clear things out. We will explain what to look for in kids’ school shoes, what compromise we can make, and how many pairs of shoes the kids need. 



Why are School Shoes for Kids so Important?

As we already mentioned, kids will spend the majority of their time in school shoes. To be precise, they will spend around 15,000 hours in their shoes during the school days. However, even most of their childhood and adolescence period, kid will wear this footwear.

Therefore, it’s so crucial that kids get shoes that fit well and are supportive during their active school days, when they stand, walk, run, skip, and jump.

Shoes help with motor abilities like running, hopping, and leaping when they fit comfortably. Moreover, kids may easily engage in school activities when their shoes fit properly. However, if the kid wears shoes that are too large or even small are more likely to trip, fall, have blisters, and have trouble keeping up with their peers.



Measuring Tips

Here are a few tips on choosing a kid’s shoes for school.

Measure your kid’s feet

Measuring a kid’s feet before any purchase is very important. You are probably very well aware that kids grow up so fast, and so do their feet. 

If you are shopping in a store, you can ask for help and get precise measures from workers. However, since many of us love online shopping, there is a solution for that as well. Luckily, you can easily measure your kid’s feet thanks to the Footmeter

A tool such as Footmeter will help you get precise measurements with just one step. The tool is easy to use, accurate, and totally free! You can easily check whether your kid has a narrow or wide foot, get the right length size, and start your shopping!

Check the sizes regularly 

So you might think that if you bought your little one footwear a month ago, its foot is the same size as it was. Make sure you measure your kiddo’s feet every time you make a new purchase. 


You would be surprised how fast a kid’s foot can grow in a short period. Thus, many experts recommend doing a size check at certain periods of time. Let’s check them:

  • Up to 3 years, check kids’ feet from one to three months
  • Up to 5 years, every four months
  • Until kid stops growing, check their foot size every six months

Get the right fit

The Footmeter tool will help you measure the length and width of a kid’s feet; thus, you can know exactly what size and fit to look out for. Moreover, if you are in a store, here are some simple tricks you can do to check the shoe’s fit.

  • There should not be any restrictions from the top or sides of the shoe and should be able to move around freely.
  • Between the tip of their longest toe and the top of the shoe, there should be around 0,4 inches of room for growth.
  • Shoes should not be too tight or too loose, but just the right fit around the heel.

When is the Time for School Shoes for Kids?

As we determined that kids’ feet grow rapidly, you should avoid buying their school shoes way too early. This means that the optimal time for making a purchase would be towards the end of the summer holidays. The “back to school” season, as it is fondly called, is when most individuals choose to begin purchasing new school supplies for their kids.

Aside from that, even before your kid outgrows their footwear, it might happen that they will rip and tear so that they would need a new pair. Here are some indications of when your little one needs new school shoes:

  • When the shoes become too slippery to the worn tread on the bottom.
  • The shoe may be overly tight, with significant side wear or scuff marks.
  • The heels of the shoes are worn out, or there are holes in the toes. 


What to Look for in School Shoes for Kids?

While there are many different shoes for kids, parents usually concentrate on the brand rather than the features. Let’s change that and focus more on the things to look after in a shoe than looking at the brand.

  • A shoe that fits properly to kids’ foot measurements.
  • The increased cushion at the rear.
  • Convenient closures like buckles, velcro straps, or even shoes with laces; however, try to stay away from slip-on for safety reasons.
  • Flexible midsole that bends at the toes. This enables your child to ‘push off’ with their toes while maintaining stability and security in the back half of their foot.
  • Too much flexibility can lead to twisted angles.
  • Leather shoes are more durable, even though they are not the most vegan option available. 
  • Try to avoid mesh upper since it will tear up quickly. Mesh shoes are recommended for young children rather than pre-school and school children. 
  • Look out for back-to-school shoes for kids with a low heels. This feature will help your kid’s foot stay in a neutral position. If you opt for flat shoes, kids’ shoes will curl up when walking, requiring additional insoles for kids.
  • Shoes should not be too heavy, simple because none of us, including kids, do not want to wear heavy shoes for 8 hours every day. 
  • To prevent sweating, the insole should be soft, comfy, and composed of absorbent material. If you need to swap it out for an orthotic, you should be able to do it without too much difficulty.

Besides these 10 tips to look out for when shopping for kid’s school shoes, it is recommended to look out for black footwear as well. Most schools might even require those since they are easy to maintain and go pretty well with the school uniform. 


Does Expensive School Shoes Mean Better Footwear?

Depending on the cost, shoes are made from different materials. So let’s see what can high-end shoes bring you compared to cheaper ones. 

  • More expensive shoes are usually stitched rather than glued, prolonging their lifespan.
  • Costly shoes are usually crafted from more durable polyurethane substances, while cheaper ones usually have cardboard as the thing that runs through the sole of the shoe to hold its form.  
  • These shoes also have a well-padded lining with breathable materials, while low-end ones use more synthetic fabrics.
  • The ‘blown out’ soles are air pockets inside the sole. They can provide additional cushioning and make a shoe lighter; however, they can also speed up sole breakdown.

Bear in mind that if you do a little digging and get the right time for shopping, you can buy some really good school shoes for a reasonable price! You just have to look out a little more than usual. 


How Many Pairs of Shoes Do You Buy Your Kids for School?

For starters, go with one pair of school shoes for kids. Then, if you find a good deal and have a few extra bucks, you can get another pair in case something happens with the first one. 

Thus, if you have a kid in school, having just one extra pair of school shoes is more than enough. However, a decent pair of school shoes will be appropriate for every season of the year and will provide your kid’s feet with the support they need as well as weather protection during all seasons and activities kids endure in the school.

This is, of course, just a measure of precaution. Having two pairs is more than enough since kids can change them daily according to their needs and outfits. Also, we recommend not getting the bigger ones because kids’ foot changes quickly, and they might even outgrow that size before they get a chance to wear them. 



  • Petra Moskatelo

    Petra is the main editor and writer here at Footmeter. She is passionate about helping people find the right solution. She holds a university Master's degree in pedagogy, and she knows a lot about children and learning.