School shoes are arguably one of the most important back-to-school purchases on the ever-growing essentials list. So we’ve spoken to an expert on exactly how to find the perfect fit for your kids minus the stress.
My boys must go pretty hard at school. Their school shoes only seem to last six months before they’ve done irreparable damage to them. They are “toe-draggers”, a condition experienced primarily by adolescent boys. I’ve never heard of the term “toe-draggers” before but Kelly Burton, a Training and Medical Manager at The Athlete’s Foot explained it to me. She said it’s quite common. Are there shoes that can withstand my children?
“Nothing is indestructible,” she said, however she assured me that their two most popular brands – Clarks and Ascent – will certainly do their best to try and keep up with the running and the toe-dragging and the handball-playing.
She said school shoes are only fitted to last six to eight months anyway because children’s feet are growing and changing shape so we’re not doing too badly I suppose.
“Six months is good, eight is fantastic,” Kelly said, “but normally two pairs of shoes a year in that age group. Once they settle down with their growing, at around 12-13 for girls and 15-17 for boys, then they can go for a full year or even longer.”
Steel-capped boots wouldn’t withstand what my sons do to their school shoes, I suspect. My daughter’s shoes breeze through the year with barely a scuff mark.
Kelly from The Athlete’s Foot oversees staff training all over the country in preparation for the back-to-school season, spanning five weeks, which she describes as “hectic”.
But they are well-prepared for anything your children’s feet will throw at them, including grumpy kids who just aren’t in the mood to get their school shoes sorted that day. “Yes, our staff are taught how to engage with kids,” Kelly says. “They know how to handle different age groups, to mention common interests in order to build rapport at the same time as physically fitting the shoe.”