Back To School Shoes 2019 – Our Picks & Tips!

back-to-school-melbourneIt’s that time again already! Kids are heading back to school next week – or for some, starting their very first day! In which case, they may be feeling as nervous as Prince George was not so long ago!

Photo credit to: PA

But what will help them feel ready and a little more confident and in their uniform from head to toe – or should we say shoes! Yes, school shoes get kids through a LOT during the year. Running, jumping, shuffling, dancing, skipping, exploring… And all while supporting their growing and developing foot the whole way. So it’s safe to say that kids shoes require a little more than just your casual slip-on-and-go shoes.

So to help you find the best shoes that not only meet uniform requirements but also look good and feel great, we’ve put together a checklist of what you should look for in a good pair of school shoes, some tips on what you should do when you’re out buying school shoes, and a couple of shoe options – including an exciting new range we’ve just stumbled across. Here we go!




 The five signs of a good shoe



1. Lightweight – pick up each shoe and have a feel of how much they weigh – and get your kids to the same! If they’re feeling a bit heavy, remember that each foot is going to have to lift this weight up with every step your kids take. Which is often while running and playing!

Often shoes with a thick shank, which is used to reinforce the base of the shoe, are also quite heavy. We recommend opting for thinner, lighter shoes that don’t weight the feet down.

2. A wide toe box – look at the space available for the toes at the front of the shoe. If it even crosses your mind that maybe there isn’t enough room, then put the shoe down and step away – or grab another size/width. There should be at least a thumbs width between the end of the toes and the shoe – and probably more for rapidly growing kids.

Having a big roomy toe box means toes aren’t cramped up or in unnatural positions and gives plenty of room for growth, movement and supports a natural foot alignment.


3. The right amount of flexibility  We have a strong belief that each shoe is an extension of the foot and its natural movement. Kids tend to have flexible feet and the shoes should support this movement – not restrict it. The lighter and more flexible the better!

There are times where we do recommend a firmer shoe. When we’re trying to control the foot because of pain, injury or a biomechanical abnormality, it may be best to choose a shoe with a strong heel counter and minimum flexibility, and pair this with arch support that keeps the foot functioning precisely how we’d like them. This should be in accordance with a management plan that has measurable goals – and not forever.


4. It has laces, velcro, or another good, adjustable fastening mechanism. Compared to slip-ons, shoes with a fastening mechanism such as velcro or laces provide far greater stability and support for kids feet. The more supportive and stable the shoe, the more control over the movement of the foot and ankle within the shoe to reduce the likelihood of injuries such as ankle sprains, as well as facilitate the healthy development of the bones, joints and muscles.


5. It has a removable, supportive liner. Shoes that are designed with removable liners are done so with the various needs of children in mind. They may need orthotics, they may need extra cushioning, they may need an in-shoe solution to help with pain. Companies that recognise this need and go out of their way to create it, usually have a better grasp on the good elements of shoes that we’ve discussed, though don’t forget to check and test numbers 1-4 too!


Tips for buying school shoes

  • Always put on both shoes. It’s not uncommon to have one foot that is slightly larger than the other, so always ensure the right fit for both feet individually – and double check it. Always buy the right pair for the biggest foot.
  • Check which toe is the longest. When feeling shoes, it’s natural to feel for the space in front of the big toe. The reality is that for many kids and adults alike, their second toe is the longest toe. So make sure you get the right size for the longest toe!
  • Buy shoes towards the end of the day. Because our feet tend to swell toward the end of the day after walking around and in warmer temperatures, aim to purchase shoes and have that final size check in the afternoon as opposed to the morning.
  • Bring a pair of winter socks. This may seem silly now in the summertime, but if the shoes feel too tight or uncomfortable with thicker socks on, then you’ll only end up having to buy another pair come winter.
  • Always bring your kids into the store. We know – it’s not always easy! But different brands of footwear – and different styles within the same brand, can have big variations in size – both length and width. This means that a comfy size 6 in one brand may not be wide enough, long enough or be uncomfortable in another brand or shoe style. Even shoes with different materials and features, such as having a low-set heel versus the slight heel that school shoes often have, can also affect comfort. So save yourself a second trip back and bring the kids the first time!
  • Don’t buy a massively wrong size for them to grow into later. Oh, we totally get it – school shoes aren’t cheap, and multiple pairs for fast-growing kids make it even worse. Wearing incorrectly sized shoes puts kids at a much higher risk of tripping and falling, won’t stabilise and help control their foot inside the shoe, and can even result in their muscles working much harder than if they were wearing nothing at all – resulting in tired, painful feet and legs.

School shoe picks for 2019

As per usual, we have our go-to favourite stores. This is because their staff are well trained to help you make the right choice for your kids! These stores include:

  • Shos n Sox, Myers, Pacific Werribee
  • Sesto Shoes, Pacific Werribee
  • Hicks Shoes, Altona
  • Athlete’s Foot, Werribee

Let’s start with one that’s been tried and tested over many years. This is good for older kids that may need a little more control (note the thick shank that is very likely less flexible!)

best school shoes melbourneScreen Shot 2019-01-17 at 9.12.37 am

Clarks Daytona Youth

They look good, will  feel good (as long as you check they’re not too heavy for your kids and have some flexibility!), will almost certainly get the A-Okay from any school uniform patroller, and our patients rave about these often. They’re also podiatrist-approved.

On a side note, we noticed that Shoes & Sox are currently having a 20% off sale for their school shoes!

Screen Shot 2019-01-21 at 8.14.33 amSkobi – Hughes

These ones we’ve just come across! Designed by a Podiatrist here in Australia, these seem to have the good qualities we’ve described too. We haven’t personally had a good feel of these, so stick to all the points we’ve described above, and these may be a winner too. They do come with a list of features and benefits which we love! Here they are:



If you have any questions about school shoes and getting the right ones for your kids, get in touch! You can email us on, phone us on 1300-FX-FEET or book in for an appointment to get your kids feet checked while we discuss shoes based on their foot type!

Good luck with your shoe hunting and we wish your family a fantastic year ahead!

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