As any parent knows, finding durable school shoes that last isn't always the easiest task. When shopping for kids, parents are often on the lookout for quality items that don't cost an arm and a leg. Children can be tough on clothing and shoes, but they also grow quickly. If you can find shoes that are outgrown before they're worn out, you can usually consider those a good pair.
Types of School Shoes
Many school districts have some type of dress code. This includes footwear in order to keep kids safe -- flip flops, for instance, can be a hazard if stepped on from behind. Back-to-school shoppers may consider these shoe styles for kids:
- Mary Janes
- Ballet flats
- Saddle oxfords
What Makes Shoes Durable
To get your money's worth on a pair of children's shoes, it's not always about looking for the cheapest pair. Cheaply-made shoes can fall apart quickly, which then turns into a waste of money. It's usually worth spending a little more (although you don't have to buy designer brands) to make sure school shoes last at least one semester. Look at the following features when shopping for footwear for kids.
Leather, suede and thick canvas will probably hold up to all of your child's activities better than cheaper material like faux leather, which often peels.
Take a good look at the stitching over the entire shoe whenever possible. Check the area where the upper meets the sole -- poorly made shoes sometimes separate at this point.
Durable School Shoes: Brands and Stores
You can find good quality shoes at affordable prices. Even the more expensive shoe brands are often on sale around back-to-school season. Stores want your business and almost always run sales for parents who need to outfit kids for a new school year. These footwear names provide a huge variety of shoes that can hold up to just about anything busy students can dish out:
- Buster Brown
- Stride Rite
It's usually better to shop for kids' shoes in person when you can. Little feet can grow surprisingly quickly and regular measurements may need to be taken to ensure you buy the correct size. It can be tempting to buy a size slightly larger to accommodate growth, but shoes that fit well will be more comfortable and won't irritate a child's feet by rubbing on heels and flopping around.
These retailers carry shoes that most kids will love wearing to school (and even for play):
- Stride Rite
- TJ Maxx
- Famous Footwear
- Kids Foot Locker
The Most Bang for Your Buck
Parents who have to buy shoes for more than one child are usually hunting for bargains. Check your local newspaper's flyers for sales announcements and coupons. Check for online specials. Don't forget to shop when back-to-school merchandise moves into stores -- clothing and footwear goes on sale at this time, with different stores competing for your business. Buying a good quality pair of durable school shoes will likely net you footwear that lasts, keeping your kids outfitted for days full of learning and activity.