Smart School Shoes Guide

Smart School Shoes Guide

When schools have strict uniform guidelines, it can be tough finding a pair of shoes that meet their rules yet are still comfortable for your kids.

At Hirst Footwear, we have a variety of different smart school shoes to choose from, meaning you won’t be short of choice.

When would kids need a smart pair of school shoes?

With school uniform guidelines becoming stricter, your kids are more likely to need a smart pair of school shoes all year round. Some schools may be a bit more lenient than others, but if your kids' school has specifically stated that they must wear smart school shoes, it’s best to stick to this rule.

As a rule of thumb, if your kids are required to wear smart school shoes, you should avoid footwear that’s made from canvas or looks more in the style of a trainer.

What classes as smart school shoes?

Smart school shoes are generally classed as any black, polishable shoe. Essentially, they need to be shoes that are plain, black, flat and sensible school shoes.

Footwear deemed to be unacceptable if it is any colour other than black, overly decorative or without flat heels. Trainers, boots and pumps are not usually permitted.

How do you keep smart school shoes clean?

School shoes can usually be kept clean by just giving them a simple polish.

Start by removing any access dirt by brushing over the shoe with a soft brush or damp cloth. Allow the shoes to dry fully before generously applying polish.

When the polish has been completely worked in, leave the shoes to dry again for 15 minutes. Once dried, use a brush to remove the excess polish to allow a thin layer to be left over.

What materials are best for smarter looking school shoes?

Since it's so durable and versatile, leather is one of the best materials for smart looking school shoes. Dirt and mud can very easily be removed from leather with a brush or damp cloth. It is also quite a water-resistant material, helping the shoe to keep its structural integrity whilst still looking smart.

Patent leather is also another popular choice thanks to its high shine. However, patent does tend to show scuffs and marks much easier than leather, so it’s worth keeping this in mind when you’re shoe shopping.

Our top smart school shoes for girls

The Girls Kids Kickers Kick T Black Patent Leather School Shoes are a classic T-bar style of school shoe thanks to the glossy patent finish and buckle strap design.


These shoes can be easily cleaned and repolished due to the patent design, meaning you won’t need to worry about swapping out your kids shoes if they get too dirty. They are also lined with a soft leather and have micro-fresh odour reducing ergonomic footbeds for all day comfort.

If you like the T-bar style but would prefer a soft leather finish, the Hush Puppies Girls Kerry Junior Black Leather T Bar School Shoes are a great choice. These Hush Puppies are a classic style but have a modern twist thanks to the chunky sole unit.


The premium leather uppers help to keep these shoes smart looking, but there are no worries about your kids feet being sore due to the padded lining and heel that provide long lasting comfort.

Another great pair of classic smart school shoes are the Lelli Kelly Black Patent Colourissima G Fitting School Shoes which come in a traditional school shape with a single velcro strap.

These shoes feature three interchangeable straps, two with an embellishment and one without if your kids' schools are strict on what they can wear. Thanks to the lifted and simple sole, these shoes are practical and smart.

Our top smart school shoes for boys

The Boys Roamers Black Leather School Shoes Youths Lace Up are a great classic and supportive style of school shoe, perfect for boys heading into secondary school.


Thanks to the smooth leather uppers, these shoes can very easily be cleaned and polished to keep them looking fresh. They also feature a neat lace up front with metal eyelets and an oil resistant synthetic outsole.

Another great soft leather choice is the Boys Junior Kickers Reasan Lace Black Leather School Shoes, which are constructed with high quality leather and the iconic Kickers red and green tabs.


The cushion foam footbed gives all day support, and the micro-fresh technology ensures shoes are odour free for longer. There is also a sporty mesh lining and extra comfortable padded heels.

If your kids' school has very strict rules, the Hush Puppies Boys Tim Senior Black Leather Lace Up School Shoes are ideal. Featuring premium leather and a black rubber sole, these shoes are great for older boys.

These shoes also feature a micro-fresh lining to keep feet dry and prevent odours. They also come with a choice of different insoles for a better fit, meaning your kids will be able to find the perfect fit.

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