Back to School Shoes: Our Checklist | Hirst Footwear

Back to School Shoes: Our Checklist | Hirst Footwear

Choosing school shoes can be tricky, especially when different schools have their own set of dress code guidelines to follow.

At Hirst Footwear, we have a variety of different school shoes to choose from, meaning you’ll be able to find the perfect pair in time for the back to school season.

Tips for buying the right school shoe sizes

Whether you’re ordering shoes online or in store, there are a few general rules to follow to ensure you’re buying the right school shoes.

  • There should be around a 1cm gap between the end of the shoe and the end of the longest toe, which is around a child's thumb width.

  • The widest part of the foot should be in line with the widest part of the shoe.

  • The sole of the shoe shouldn’t twist.

  • The heel should be snug but comfortable on the back part of the heel, but it should not rub.

  • Any sort of fastenings, like laces or velcro straps, should hold the heel firmly in the back of the shoe.

  • Make sure they fit your school's dress code.

Your kids' feet are still growing and developing, which is why it’s so important to make sure their shoes fit them correctly to prevent any chances of blisters.

What types of shoes do kids need for school?

Depending on the weather, your kids preferences and what activities they do during the school day, they may need a few different types of school shoes.

Some of the most common shoes they will need include:

Classic school shoes - Classic school shoes are the perfect all-rounder shoe thanks to how comfortable and trendy they are. Classic school shoes usually come in a patent or matte finish and fasten with velcro straps.

Brogues - Brogues are a classic choice that are ideal for schools with smart dress codes.

T-Bar shoes - Another smart style of shoe is the classic T-Bar style. These shoes are guaranteed to keep your kids feet comfortable all day long.

Pumps/Plimsolls - Plimsolls are a great choice for PE thanks to their lightweight fit and non-slip rubber soles.

Trainers - Trainers provide comfort and style as your kids play outside and participate in PE lessons.

Boots - In the winter, it’s important that your kids' feet stay dry and comfortable all day, which is why having a good pair of winter boots is worth having in their shoe rotation.

Which are the best materials for school shoes?

Natural materials, such as real leather, are durable and breathable, making them ideal for a long day's worth of wear. They are also long lasting and can be protected, and even repaired if necessary.

Synthetic leather is also very commonly used for school shoes since it is extremely hard wearing and waterproof.

Patent leather is also a popular choice since it's so easy to clean and has a very high shine. However, once patent is scuffed, it can be trickier to repair than other materials.

Another common material is canvas, which is a great choice for the summer due to its breathability. However, be sure to check your school's dress code before purchasing a pair of canvas shoes for your child since many require black, polishable shoes.

Our top school shoe picks for the new school year
Top school shoes for girls

The Lelli Kelly Black Patent Nicole Lk School Shoes are a classic style of school shoes that come in a polishable black patent leather and interchangeable velcro straps.


Featuring padded leather lining and cushioned insoles, these shoes will keep your kids feet comfortable all day long. They also have textured rubber soles to prevent any slips or trips while in class or on the playground.

Hush Puppies Girls Polly Black Patent Leather Lace Up Shoes are a great choice for schools that have a strict dress code. The Polly shoes feature lace-up fastenings with a heel height of around 2 cm, making them ideal for all year round wear.


These shoes come with a treaded sole for extra grip in the colder seasons, as well as 3 pairs of footbeds that can be changed out throughout the school year.

The Girls Infant Kickers Kick T-bar Black Brogue Patent Leather School Shoes are a super cute school shoe that will provide your kids with all the support they need during a school day.


Designed with a glossy patent leather finish, these shoes feature a T-bar design with an adjustable buckle strap and micro-fresh odour reducing ergonomic footbeds for long lasting comfort.


Top school shoes for boys

The Boys Infants Kickers Adlar Stralo Black Leather School Shoes are perfect if your kids are looking for a smart yet casual look. These Kickers are constructed with high quality leather for a breathable and comfortable fit.


They also feature cushion foam footbeds and micro fresh technology to ensure the shoes are odour free for longer. The sporty mesh lining also helps to keep feet dry throughout the day.

The Boys Roamers Black Leather School Shoes Youths Lace Up are a great choice of school shoe that can stand up to daily wear and tear, while retaining all the classic attributes of a Dr Marten shoe.


These shoes are made with full-grain soft leather uppers that have a super soft feel, and feature adjustable cross strap closures that are embossed with Dr Martens branding. Not to mention, they also feature the classic air cushioned outsoles for great support and traction.

Hush Puppies Lucas Black Leather School Shoes provide all the comfort and support your kids will need for those long school days. They feature double touch fastening straps, which allow for secure fit, while the lightweight outsoles enable feet to be comfortable.

The Bounce footbeds provide an extra boost with every step and retains the cushioning for all day comfort. The collar also features slight padding, providing extra protection and support.

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