School Shoes for Kids (plus $250 Mathers/Williams Giveaway)

Brought to you by Nuffnang, Mathers and Williams

I have a list of things to do before school starts, and professional shoe fitting is one of them. I walked into my local Mathers store and saw another mum with a bevy of children around her. It was like looking at myself.

“Do you have four kids to get shoes for too?” she asked me with a knowing glance as I ushered my kids to a seat.

“Yep,” I said and smiled.

“It’s a big job,” she replied. I knew she was talking more about getting four kids back to school rather than the new-shoes outing. It was a solidarity exchange between mums and there’s strength in that.

When it comes to school shoes for my kids, I tend to get different brands, depending on the child. Two of my kids are tough on shoes because they play so much sport, and the other two are lighter on their feet. There’s an interesting thread on the Be A Fun Mum Facebook page about different brand preferences that I found helpful here.

An experienced shoe fitter will know the different brands well and will be able to advise on the right sort of school shoe for respective children and their needs. Diane, who helped me this particular afternoon, was amazing. She asked each child their preferences, measured their feet and we quickly narrowed it down. It made the process simple and quick.

For example, one of my daughters likes the Mary-Jane style shoe but her feet are wide so that style often cuts in near her toes. Diane suggested the Lynx Jupiter (rather than Clarks Elise) because it’s a deeper cut (I wouldn’t have known that); the shoes were a perfect fit. My daughter was thrilled! Sorted!

New Shoes!

Mathers School shoes fitting

We ended up with:

Mathers School shoes fitting

  1. Clarks Daytona (Miss 13)
  2. Clarks Daytona (Miss 11)
  3. Lynx Jupiter (Miss 9)
  4. Clarks Ventura (Mstr 7)

Professional fitting, variety of shoe brands, quality and value are important to me when it comes to choosing school shoes, and Williams and Mathers tick all the boxes so I’m a happy camper! That’s one thing off my back to school list. 

Check out their different school shoes styles and brands online or in store.

 Mathers Logo Black


Back to School Specials & Special Offer

Below are the current Back to School specials, plus a voucher for a free shoe polish kit.

back to school shoes 

  • 20% Off All Clarks School Shoes in-store and online – until 3rd of Feb, 2015
  • Second Pair Half Price on All Lynx, Colorado and ROC School Shoes in-store and online – until 3rd of Feb, 2015
  • Free flashing Lynx ball with every Lynx purchase in-store only – until 3rd of Feb, 2015
  • Print the voucher below and take it to one of the 150 Williams & Mathers stores in Australia to claim a free Waproo School Shoe Polish Kit (valued at $14.99) – until 28th Feb, 2015

Click to print

Free School shoe care kit 

Waproo School Shoe Polish Kit

These products are fabulous to have on hand for touch ups during the year. Get a free pack now so you don’t have to think about it during the year.

Waproo School Shoe Polish Kit

Waproo Liquid Renovating Polish – Black: Restores colour to scuffed leaving a natural finish.
Waproo Scuff and Buff – Neutral: Instantly rejuvenates and shines leather and synthetic shoes. 

$250 Mathers/Williams Giveaway

*Giveaway ended and winner has been notified by email  – Congratulations Elizabeth*

To make back to school even easier, I’m offering the chance to win a $250 Williams or Mathers gift voucher. To enter answer this question in the comments below: What do you look for when you buy shoes for your school aged children?

Giveaway ends Tuesday, 3rd February 2015 . Read all the Terms & Conditions here.

Box Craft

Empty shoeboxes are handy for all sorts of things! Below are four ideas (click the link for the tutorial).

Shoebox Craft

  1. Dollhouse
  2. Garage with ramps
  3. Treasure/storage box
  4. 3D Diorama

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  • Reply
    January 20, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    I look for thick soles that have tons of grip, good stitching around the outside so the leather won’t lift from the base and possibly style but it depends on our budget.

  • Reply
    January 20, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    I look for a sturdy looking shoe that looks like it won’t scuff easily…a good fit, not too loose, preferably with the removable inserts….also velcro, so my little ones dont walk around with shoelaces undone all day!

  • Reply
    January 20, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    We look for a comfortable shoe that can withstand a tortuous year of walking, running, concrete scraps when the kids get up from lunch AND something that has a touch of style.

  • Reply
    Tanya Brown
    January 20, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    I look for shoes that fit within the uniform rules of our school and that my tweenagers will actually wear. It’s a big challenge.

  • Reply
    Mandy, Barbie Bieber and Beyond
    January 20, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Oh wow I have 4 to buy for too, although this is the last year for one of them Yay!! The things I look for are definitely lace ups, no buckles or velcro, anything that is likely to break is OUT! Thick soles and high on the ankle for support. Something that has good cushioning and is very comfortable, after all they are spending at least 6 hours a day in these shoes. Oh yeah and with girls, they have to look good too….phew!

  • Reply
    January 20, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    It’s my first year but we looked at comfort, good fit and hopefully durability.

  • Reply
    Michelle Watterson
    January 20, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    shoes that don’t fall apart in one term! Nothing annoys me more then knowing I only have a week or two before I’m shoe shopping again!

  • Reply
    January 20, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    Definitely looking for quality leather shoes that will last the whole year. They need to have thick soles, be comfortable and have great support for my active son

  • Reply
    Tina Mollard
    January 20, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    School shoes have to be light weight. My children are young and heavy shoes make there legs ache. I also make sure they are easy to put on and easy to clean.

  • Reply
    Trish MLDB
    January 20, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Shoes with a sturdy sole to last months of 800m dirt track trek uphill from the bus and easy to clean.

  • Reply
    Rachel K
    January 20, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    Always make sure that the kids say they are comfortable! I find that if they are not comfy from the start kids won’t give them a chance and you are forced to buy another pair or send them to school barefoot!

  • Reply
    January 21, 2015 at 7:32 am

    I look for breathability for my boys’ active sweaty feet! Also the all important professional fit and a smart look that will endure the year.

  • Reply
    Nicole kent
    January 21, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Durability for the whole school year
    To get them through the blood, sweat and tears
    Comfort and fit are important too
    And then of course a stylish shoe!

  • Reply
    January 21, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Fit would be No1, a high front or strap for more support. I also like a padded ankle. And for them to last longer I like a toe front like your Clark ventura for Mstr 7 or where the sole is extended at the front it protects the toes getting scuffed. Oh and DH likes the shoes to be leather so he can “spit & polish” ex-army Don’t ask!!
    I would also like if the podiatrist gave my daughter free shoes every six months when we give him $300 dollars for ortho insoles!!!

  • Reply
    Kylie Harris
    January 21, 2015 at 8:37 am

    The quality of the leather, my girls love to scuff the front of shoes, so shoes that can endure that and look great with just a touch up of polish

  • Reply
    Glenis O'K
    January 21, 2015 at 8:40 am

    I look for sturdy comfortable leather shoes with a durable sole (without deep cleats that will track and drop mud through the house!!) that fit well but still have a bit to grow into. Don’t mind the kids having to “double sock” for a few months if I can get a longer usage from the investment. When I am happy with this I make sure my child is happy to wear them and that he/she will find them easy to keep clean and smart. (I am still training on the child cleaning shoes part……….)

  • Reply
    January 21, 2015 at 8:54 am

    I look for durability and comfort, if they have both of those then it sold!

  • Reply
    karina l
    January 21, 2015 at 9:07 am

    I make sure it’s big enough for them to grow into for many many months without them looking like oversized clown shoes.

  • Reply
    January 21, 2015 at 9:22 am

    I am looking for shoes that are firstly going to support my kids feet every day, endure a year of hard wear and tear and finally be shoes my kids want to wear (ie comfortable and look cool, well cool enough for a school shoe!). It’s actually tricky to get a shoe to do all of that… and not be the $150 french ones. Mathers/Williams look like they have a great range!

  • Reply
    Renee Carter
    January 21, 2015 at 9:45 am

    I look for a shoe that has a flexible sole, good strong stitching, and fits the children’s feet width. Style always comes into it. 🙂

  • Reply
    January 21, 2015 at 11:50 am

    For me personally I need to find a shoe that is long lasting, value for money, stylish and of course comfortable for my kids.

  • Reply
    Rachel Kriss-Newell
    January 21, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    ‘M’ most important of all – comfort
    ‘A’ ample room for growth
    ‘T’ thick sole
    ‘H’ heaps of grip
    ‘E’ easily withstand sliding on tarmac playground
    ‘R’ removable inserts
    ‘S’ stylish, smart

    ‘W’ with colour matching with the uniform
    ‘I’ inbuilt ankle support
    ‘L’ leather to breath
    ‘L’ lightweight
    ‘I’ I’m wanting easy clean/polish
    ‘A’ a velco style for my youngest
    ‘M’ maturity calls for lace ups
    ‘S’ sturdy design

  • Reply
    Natalie Murnane
    January 21, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    I’m looking for a shoe that holds their feet right. Their grandmother on his side has ankles that were not looked after when young and she almost walks on the in side of her feet so when my eldest complained of sore knees in his first year of school I searched for shoes to help his feet roll out and keep his ankles straight then use variable gel like inserts and I always replace them every year. No handing down, new shoes all round.

  • Reply
    Sarah F
    January 21, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    I am looking for 3 very different fits for all 3 of my children. My little guy has a very long and skinny foot and ankle so he needs something that won’t slip off! My middle daughter wears orthotics for a few reasons and she also has quite a broad foot with little bunions, the poor thing. And my big girl has such a broad and long foot and she is VERY fussy with how her shoes feel!

    I also look for a shoe that is of a very high quality and will hopefully last them the whole year. I do not skimp on school shoes….its just not worth it. One high quality pair a year or 4 cheapies…I know which one I’d prefer!

  • Reply
    January 21, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    Reasonably priced quality that’s comfortable.

  • Reply
    January 21, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    That the kids don’t think they’re ‘gay’, yes this is the word applied to everything and anything they dislike greatly or think their friends won’t like or approve of…….ah yes peer group pressure already when they’re so young. On top of that they have to be made well, good stitching, thick sole that won’t wear out in a hurry, and no sharp bits at the seams on the inside so they don’t cut in or create painful blisters.

  • Reply
    Rosslyn Tadd
    January 21, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    I always look for shoes that have good arch support and absorbency for my three children. It’s so important to support their growing delicate feet.

  • Reply
    Jana Jaros
    January 21, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    I look for mostly comfort good strong soles but flexibility as they spend all day in them.

  • Reply
    January 22, 2015 at 10:50 am

    I look for a sturdy sole and a soft insert in the foot area to maintain comfort 🙂

  • Reply
    January 22, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    For my 3 Children I look for shoes that …

    1. Support the arch of their foot

    2. A shoe that isnt too loose on the
    sides of their feet

    3. A light weight shoe

    4. A shoe that they can also run around

    5. A shoe that is breathable for our hot
    QLD summer ! 🙂

  • Reply
    Phillip Cunningham
    January 22, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    They have to be well fitting but allow room to grow. They need to be black as any other colour isn’t acceptable at the school. They have to be comfortable as shoes that hurt don’t get worn and that’s a waste of money.

  • Reply
    Kasey Evans
    January 22, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Comfortable shoes that have room to grow, as they are in them for most of the day!

  • Reply
    Melissa Bush
    January 22, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    Durability!!! Durability, durability and… O yeah… DURABILITY! Something that will last the tree climbing, hop scotch, tiggy, handball and every other thing that children put them through.

  • Reply
    lynnette bull
    January 22, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    I look for a shop that has experienced staff to fit my daughters shoes. She is now in grade 1 and I have no idea what to choose so that the shoes support her growing feet. So a good store that does all this for me is perfect

  • Reply
    January 22, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    I look for professional service and shoes that have the perfect fit and allow for comfort and flexiblity with my childs feet.

  • Reply
    January 23, 2015 at 10:48 am

    I look for support and comfort as my dd has flat feet. Then durability and style!

  • Reply
    January 23, 2015 at 6:55 pm


  • Reply
    cheryl M
    January 24, 2015 at 9:24 am

    School shoes are all about Comfort (#1) , A little room to grow (#2) & Durability (#3). Usually 1 pair will get us through a entire year , although I have been caught out 2 years ago – my son went through a growth spurt in August…very hard to find decent school shoes 3/4 way through the school year !

  • Reply
    Jill Walton
    January 24, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    I look for shoes that look smart for the classroom but are lightweight & durable enough to run around in on PE classes & at playtime.

  • Reply
    January 24, 2015 at 12:51 pm


    They have to be comfy and durable or they won’t last long, but not too overpriced….if possible.

  • Reply
    January 24, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    Shoes that can handle everything that the kids put them through; ’cause let’s face it, kids aren’t gentle with their shoes (they are too busy having fun!).

  • Reply
    January 26, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    I like a shoe that looks smart, yet confortable but also looks robust enough to last a year of monkey bars, tag and handball!

  • Reply
    Suzanne Appeldorff
    January 26, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    As it is my first child starting school this year, I have absolutely no idea…..that’s why I will heed all advice above and that from the experts at Mathers Williams.

  • Reply
    January 26, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    I have a 3 year-old going to school for Early Childhood Development Program. My sister suggested Clarks Shoes but I haven’t tried them yet. So in need of some guidance.

  • Reply
    sarah rees
    January 26, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    I look for variety as i have 3 school aged children that have different requirments. They must be durable, comfortable, affordable and not too ‘clumpy’ and heavy. When buying shoes i will always seek help so good customer service a must!

  • Reply
    January 26, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    My daughter has special needs as she is speech-delayed which is why she is going to primary school at 3 1/2.

    My daughter has special needs in that she is speech-delayed. So going to school at 3 1/2 is what she needs. And my mum has passed away, so can’t lean on her for guidance.

  • Reply
    Bek @ Just For Daisy
    January 26, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    Oh wow! This would be super handy as we seem to need shoes for everyone at once!
    I look for quality, easy for the kids to use, comfort and style. It’s interesting how good quality shoes can really make a difference!

  • Reply
    Lara (and Ava) Daebritz
    January 27, 2015 at 12:24 am

    I look for practical black, SHE looks for pink;
    I look for quality leather, SHE looks for sparkles;
    I look for good fit, SHE looks for bows and bling;
    I look for comfort, SHE looks for fancy ankle straps;
    I look for good value, SHE doesn’t care about price!
    Shoe shopping with an eight year old is HELL!

  • Reply
    January 27, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Wow I agree with everyone else – it’s such an important thing to get good shoes ! I look for: support, anti-scuff, polishable, removable inserts and i also need wide-fit… Two active boys aged 9 and 12… Cheap Shoes are lucky to last 6 months…. I hope I win 🙂

  • Reply
    Kristie McK
    January 29, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Shoes are personal choices for adults and also personal choices for kids. What I look for is easy of use by the child having to wear them, putting on and off, cleaning them and how long they last! thanks for the chance!

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