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School shoe care

There’s no doubt that school shoes are pushed to their ultimate limits as kids wear them for hours on end, every day for the entire school year. While our quality materials and expert engineering ensure all Start-Rite school shoes are well up to the job, there are a few things you can do to keep them in good condition, so they last for as long as possible.

Keeping school shoes clean and fresh will not only help prolong their life but keep little feet healthy and hygienic. Damp, mucky shoes provide the perfect breeding ground for bacterial growth that can result in health issues – and smelly shoes!

Follow these simple steps to get the most out of your school shoes:

1. Make sure they fit properly Ill-fitting shoes show signs of wear sooner, as well as cause a host of health issues. Discover why it’s so important to buy correctly fitting school shoes for your little one.

At Start-Rite, our shoes are made in whole and half sizes and a variety of width fittings to ensure the perfect fit for all kids. To help you find out your child’s correct size, we have a choice of tools for measuring feet at home. Depending on the age of your child and what works best for you, easily measure your child’s foot size with a measuring gauge, our 3D app, or a paper measure.

2. Air them out Make sure your child takes off their shoes as soon as they get home from school and leave them out to air. This is important as it allows any moisture or sweat inside the shoe to dry out overnight and prevents shoes from getting smelly. If shoes have insoles, make sure to remove them before airing. Bear in mind that while you can’t machine wash school shoes, it’s safe to do so with insoles, and is a good way of keeping them fresh. If school shoes do get a bit smelly, a good tip is to sprinkle the insides with a generous amount of baking soda before leaving them to air overnight. This will help to absorb any smell. Alternatively, you can leave a fabric softener sheet in each shoe to do the same job.

3. Keep them dry It can be tempting to try a ‘quick fix’ in the effort to dry out sodden school shoes. Try to resist the urge, however, as putting shoes in the tumble dryer, blasting them with a hairdryer, or putting them next to a radiator, all cause damage, cracking and shrinking leather. The best solution is to fill the inside of the shoe with balled up newspaper and wrap the outside with the rest of the paper. Leave them overnight and by the morning the excess moisture will have been absorbed - without causing any harm!

4. Regularly remove dirt Dirty puddles and muddy playground can all cause dirt to build up on school shoes. It’s important to clean them regularly to prevent damaging the materials. Aim to wipe down school shoes with a damp cloth as regularly as possible to remove any grime. You can also use a coloured shoe wax every fortnight to conceal scuffs and scratches and restore that smart shiny look. Applying the wax with a soft shoe brush before using a clean cloth to buff the shoes. Keep your patent leather school shoes clean and shiny by wiping them down with a damp cloth to get rid of dirt. Dry and buff with a clean, dry cloth and apply polishing cream for some extra shine.

5. Use protective sprays The best way to help prevent school shoes from splashes, stains and dirt is to apply a protective spray. These will help to protect leather shoes by providing a waterproof layer to prevent water marks and salt stains. Water resistant protector sprays will keep uppers looking smooth and shiny alongside regularly buffing with a coloured polish or conditioning cream.