parents

Editor's picks: School shoes your kids will actually want to wear.

Myer
Thanks to our brand partner, Myer

Sometimes, it’s the tiny things that save your sanity. And sometimes, it’s the most mundane tasks that are the most significant.

The year my daughter went to kindergarten, I spend days coaxing her around to the idea of shoes that were not pink, did not have sparkles, did not light up when she walked and do not come with cartoon characters plastered all over them.

It was not an easy sell. The only thing that got my dancing, running, skipping girl into those black leather shoes was the promise of the next stage – these are “Grown-Up shoes, for Big Girls.” Well that, and ice cream.

Those shoes have carried her through a truly formative year – one where she’s learned to read, what addition is, has made new friends, tested boundaries and discovered a whole new universe away from our sides. It’s been incredible, and sometimes scary, to watch her grow up and out of her first pair of sensible shoes.

And kicking them off for six weeks of thongs and sand shoes feels like exhaling. But then. Then. It’s the craziness of the summer break. What should be the most relaxing time of the year ends on a note of being anything but, as we gear up again for a year ahead. Another go at the great unknown.

Anything that can make those last weeks easier, as you spin from holiday mode back to survival mode, is a tiny gift of sanity. And sharing that is a tiny gift for a busy parent who’s trying to remember what size uniform hat they ordered in the last week of term and whether they’ve pressed ORDER on the right text book pack and is still hunting for the lunchbox that will meet the school’s non-negotiable plastic guidelines.

So here you go, my gift to you. Ready?

MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TO GET YOUR KID’S SCHOOL SHOES FITTED.

Seriously, it will change your life. Or at least your January. Myer are one of the stores that let you do that. You make an appointment at the store’s shoe department and you do not have to wait in line to get fitted. So no trying to keep a bored child busy while you watch every family ahead of you take what seems like an eternity trying on apparently identical shoes. Just turn up when you’re supposed to turn up, and get the whole show moving.

So what kind of shoes should you buy? Well, call me crazy, but here are my editor’s picks of excellent choices of school shoes no matter how big your kid is. Then you can just sit back and enjoy the view as your child grows up and out of another pair, putting one foot that bit closer to wherever she will find herself on her next adventure.

1. Clarks Elise

A Mary-Jane is my daughter’s first and last choice, although I insist it’s only ONE of them in reality. The Elise is nicely slim-line and has a long lasting upper and HAPPY DAYS – a Velcro strap. That’ll save you time in the morning.

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2. Clarks Daytona lace-up

So this is a bit of a fancy sensible shoe, for the more discerning kid. As a unisex shoe, it’s got a sleeker look than lots of more clumpy school choices, and will last the hell out of anything your kid can throw at it. It’s like the George Clooney of school shoes.

best school shoes
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3. Clarks Stanford 

Got to love a shoe with an aspirational name. And the Stanford has a bit of Ivy League about it, with the classic detail that gives a slight nod towards a brogue. It’s a bit classy.

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4. Clarks Reliance

Hello, “does what it says on the tin”. Double Velcro for a firm fit, you know what you’re getting with a shoe called Reliance and if you want a shoe for charging about the school yard without falling to bits before the year’s out, here’s your man.

best school shoes
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5. The Harrison Indy

Confession time: I would buy these shoes for myself. Lace up (Indy) or T-Bar (Indianna), they’ve got something cool about them, and it’s in the detail. These are the shoes for mini-hipsters who still need something sensible on their feet to support them through the school year. Sign me up, my daughter’s met her match.

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6. Grosby Danielle

Super comfy Mary Janes at the right price, with Velcro tab to help little ones be independent.

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7. DC Trace 

For the cool parent and the kid who really isn’t happy with the traditional option, an all leather skate style shoe is the way to go… If your school will let you get away with it.

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8. Adidas Hyperfast

For my girl, Mary-Janes are the day-to-day shoe, but cool running shoes is what she wants on sports day. These are perfect, and look fast enough to intimidate the opposition.

best school shoes
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9. Clarks Ventura

Something of a fantasy shoe for me. Pure white, super-supportive, brilliant for sports day, especially in summer term, they are the running shoes I would buy if I had time to touch up the colour all the time. In my fantasy life, I do.

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10. New Balance

My daughter’s first pair of trainers were (pink) New Balance. And they had an old-school cool that I loved, even if she would have been just as happy with egg boxes on her feet. Now, she appreciates a running shoe for what it can do, and no longer requires them all to be pink. Happy days. Happy shopping.

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Which school shoes are you buying this year?

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