Purchasing good quality school shoes can feel like a big investment when you consider there is quite a large price range to choose from on the high street. Many parents will choose affordability over quality on the strength that a pair of school shoes simply can’t last long, given the hard-wearing their child will put them through every day. Children may kick footballs, drag the toe along tarmacked playgrounds, scuff shoes along pavements while scooting, or ride bikes to school, and every parent thinks their child is the worst at doing it!
In reality, you must be able to trust that your child’s school shoes have been created for the purpose and designed for the challenge of being worn by an active child for approximately eight hours, five days a week.
A premium pair of school shoes should last until the child grows out of them. A general rule is to check the size of your child’s feet during primary school age every six months and during secondary school every six to 12 months. As your child approaches their GCSE year, they will not be experiencing such dynamic growth spurts, so towards the end of secondary school you should expect your child to only need one pair of premium quality school shoes for the school year, unless of course they wish to select different styles for the changing seasons.
School shoes must not only be rugged on the outside, but they must support the child’s developing body from the inside too – and this is the real value that you get in a premium shoe. Before there is noticeable damage to the outside, the soft insole can be wearing away to such an extent that it will force the child to compensate in the way they walk, potentially damaging their natural development. So, when you buy a pair of premium school shoes, your investment is not only built to last the rigours of school life, but should also protect your child’s healthy development at the same time.
If you are not able to invest in a pair of premium shoes and you accept the shoes will wear away with the rigours of school life before your child has outgrown them, it’s important to check the insoles as much as the outside of the shoe. Is the big toe boring a hole from the inside? Is the back of the shoe fraying? A child must not wear shoes that are worn away as they will not provide the required support. If you are unsure, watch your child running and jumping. If they are being hindered by the shoe, then the shoe must be replaced, because at this point the shoe can be damaging the child’s development.
If you are able to remove the insole, check the imprint of the foot. There should be an adult sized thumb width between the end of the insole and the imprint of the longest toe. Check for rubbing on the little toe and around the heel. Width is also critical to ensure shoes are providing the correct support. Get to know the shape of your child’s foot and what shoe styles will fit them best. It will help the process of buying when you can whittle it down to a few key styles. Ask a professional shoe fitter for assistance if you are unsure.
Start-Rite school shoes come in multi-width fittings and whole and half sizes with growing room built in as standard. These features are designed for the most comfort and support a growing child needs.