There’s something iconic about a child’s school shoes. They’re a way of keeping them grounded but letting them fly as they grow, learn and step forward into life. Their school shoes will be with them as they make new friends, play on the swings, eat their lunchtime sandwiches and learn a little more every day. But, school shoes are an expensive business because their feet grow so quickly, so you’ll probably need to replace them every year or so. This means when it comes to school shoes, you’ll need to make some smart buying decisions.
With this in mind, here are some top tips from parents on how to choose the right pair of school shoes and take care of them, so that they last as long as possible:
While it’s tempting to buy a pair two or three sizes too large so they last longer – this actually has the opposite effect. If your child’s shoes are too big, they’ll get scuffed and ruined as they won’t stay on their feet properly. Your child may also trip, fall and hurt himself as he attempts to run and hurry in his too-big shoes. Writer and mother Cath Jenkin gives this sage advice: “Buy one size up, never two”.
Buckles, Velcro or laces?
Don’t be the parent who buys a brand-new pair of lace-up takkies for her five-year old, only to be told Velcro takkies was stipulated in the school supplies list. Many schools require you to purchase Velcro takkies for young kids who can’t yet lace up their own shoes, otherwise the teacher will be expected to fasten 23 pairs of laces multiple times a day.
If your child does need to practise fastening laces, spend time helping him to master this skill (double knots are best, so that they don’t come undone). Laces also break often, so stock up on replacement pairs to use throughout the year.
In terms of buckles, Cath says they’re always the first thing to break, as they are fastened and unfastened hundreds of times. Rather spend a little more to ensure the shoes you buy are going to last.
There’s nothing more maddening than your child telling you he’s lost his bag/tracksuit top/brand-new school shoes. There are many companies who will produce customised stickers and labels for water bottles, pencil cases, crayons, jerseys and school shoes. Try Labels4School – they can even add your child’s grade and class, as well as a little image or icon so your little one can identify his possession even if he can’t read yet.