Back to School: School Shoes

I trust feedback from mums more than information on promotional packs, so before I purchased school shoes for my kids, I asked about it on my facebook page. The name Clarks popped up time and time again as being a shoe that is high quality and lasts the entire year (even longer). With school just about to start, I put this post together with some of my top questions about children’s shoes thanks to Clarks Ambassador, Brenden Brown and and celebrity mum, Lindy Klim.

Children’s Shoes, Organising Family Life & Looking Good from School Drop-off to Bedtime Stories

BRENDEN BROWN (Podiatrist)

Brenden, what are three things you should consider when purchasing school shoes for children?

When it comes to your children’s school shoes, structure is a very important aspect to consider. The three things I look for in the structure of shoes include:

1) No bending in the middle of the sole

School shoes shouldn’t cave in the middle; the sole creates a strong foundation for the shoe and affects your child’s stability

2) Allow your child’s toes to bend

Whether it’s skipping, running, stopping and preparing, your child’s school shoes must allow them the ability to flex their toes.

3) Make sure the heel cup area is firm

The area of the shoe that cups your child’s heel should be sturdy, make sure this doesn’t cave when you press it. A firm heel cup will, again, increase your child’s stability and reduce the risk of sprained ankles.

Clarks make back-to-school shoe shopping easier, with trained fitters in stores across the country offering advice on its 10-step expert fitting process. When it comes to finding the perfect school shoe for your child this year, I thoroughly recommend Clarks due to their high-quality and stringent fitting process.

Clarks 10-Step Check:

Clarks has trained fitters around the country offering advice on the following 10-step expert fitting process.

  1. Heel Grip: with the child seated, pull firmly to ensure no heel slip
  2. Width: with the child standing, make sure the shoe shape suits the foot shape. Feel for excess pressure on the little toe
  3. Depth: make sure there is enough depth. Remember that too many creases equal too much depth
  4. Length: make sure the child is standing correctly. Feel for the longest toe. There should be 14mm growing room
  5. Arch: make sure the shoe cradles the arch
  6. Toplines: the ankle bone must be clear of the topline. This may not be necessary if the topline is padded. Make sure the shoe fits neatly against the foot
  7. Back: the shoe must fit snugly around the heel
  8. Instep Bars: enough holes for adjustment or velcro must grip firmly
  9. Walking: check for gaping. Does he/she walk well? Make sure there is no heel slip
  10. Laces: must have approximately 10mm facing gap

What are the potential concerns parents should be aware of when it comes to their children’s feet?

As a podiatrist, we look out for several potential problems that could be related to ill-fitting school shoes. Quite often if a child regularly trips, falls or has pain in their feet and legs, we can link these ailments back to their footwear.

Your child’s walking pattern can also identify any underlying problems; look out for pigeon toes (toes pointed inwards), duck walking (toes point outwards) and supination (the rolling out of the foot).

It’s also good to take note of whether your child is able to keep up with their peers in the playground.

Best Sellers

Not sure where to start? Check out these best sellers:

clarks back to school shoe range

1. Daytona RRP: $119.95 2. Petite RRP: $119.95

For a full list of stores selling Clarks, please visit: www.clarks.com.au

How can poor fitting shoes affect children at school?

On average, kids spend 8 hours a day for around 200 days per year in their school shoes, which equates to over 1,600 hours of walking, running, skipping, climbing and jumping.

1,600 hours of walking, running, skipping, climbing and jumping

Parents often over compensate for growing room in a school shoe, and if a kid’s school shoe is of excessive length, the child will be clumsy and is more likely to fall.

Throughout my years of practice, I’ve witnessed hundreds of children suffering common ailments, including headaches, backaches and poor posture, which could easily be prevented with correct fitting school shoes.

4. Should parents provide bare feet time for their children?

Yes, I think it’s important for children to have time in and out of their shoes; it’s great for kids’ bare feet to experience different textures, such as sand, gravel and grass.

However, just make sure the area you choose to let your child’s feet roam free is clean and safe, e.g. your back garden or a family-friendly beach.

“I think it’s important for children to have time in and out of their shoes; it’s great for kids’ bare feet to experience different textures, such as sand, gravel and grass.”

LINDY KLIM (celbrity mum)

How do you organise your personal, school and family commitments?

Only just, and with little sleep! We are a very busy family (not saying we don’t like it like that). I try to juggle my work at Milk, family and personal commitments by being very organised, planning ahead and always living in the moment. If I am with my children, that’s time with the kids and I put everything else out of my mind.

“If I am with my children, that’s time with the kids and I put everything else out of my mind.”

2. What do you look for in school shoes? 

I look for good quality materials and a brand that I know I can trust, like Clarks. I will always remember when it was time to head back to school, my mum would take me into Clarks as they had multiple length sizes and widths, which is really important for a growing foot.

3. If there is one piece of advice you could give to your children as they embark on the increasingly independent world of school life, what would it be?

I know that Stella, my first child, is very shy so I am constantly reminding her to introduce herself and make friends with everyone.

interview with Lindy Klim. Pictured with children, Stella and Rocco

4. What outfit can busy mums wear to look good and feel comfortable, from school drop off to bedtime stories?

Skinny leg jeans (J Brand or Super Fine), T- shirts (Alexander Wang are my fav!) and a blazer to top it off! This is my mummy uniform and also quite acceptable in office!

interview with Lindy Klim

5. What is your favourite activity to do as a family on the weekends?

Swimming by far, indoor or outdoor we don’t care. The kids all love it. If that fails we will often go for a bike ride, I find that being outdoors really helps tire my crazy kids out!

“I find that being outdoors really helps tire my crazy kids out!”

Me too Lindy, me too.


Lindy Klim’s Blog


Clarks Australia

More Back to School Posts

You will find all my back to school posts here.

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  • Reply
    January 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Oh how you must read my mind! The kids and I went to do the ‘school shoe shopping’ event today! We go to a little shoe shop in Norwood (Wards) and get measured for Clarks. (Those exact styles up there…)

    Last year I made the mistake of buying cheapies from Target/Kmart and ended up buying new shoes each term at a cost of over $100 but they looked crappy within days and whilst they all stayed in the same size, they broke and wore out so fast! Total waste of time and energy.


    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      January 20, 2012 at 5:46 pm

      Hello Lovely Lucy. I’ve made the same mistake too. My kids are really hard on shoes and I find both the cheap, and even the intermediate brands, only last 3-6 months.

      I was so impressed with all the feedback on facebook. It was a very helpful discussion. x

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