I’ve tried many different school shoes for my children over the years and from my experience, I’ve come to this realisation:
$ Cheap Shoes ($10-$40)
These have never lasted long for my kids. Maybe a month or so, and so it doesn’t tend to be cost effective in the long run. However, in saying that, one of my children is very sensory sensitive, and she likes the cheap canvas shoes, so I just keep buying her those (they cost about $10-$15) and they only last a month but it’s worth it for her to feel good in her shoes.
$$ Middle Range Shoes ($50-$80)
These are often a good option. It really depends on the brand of shoes and the child who wears it for how long they last. Some of my kids are really hard on shoes because they are so active. Middle range shoes tend to last half to three quarters of the year from my experience.
$$$ Expensive Shoes (over $90)
There is no doubt that the expensive shoes like the Clarks Daytona style (pictured below) last really well so even though the initial investment is a bit OH-MY, over the year, they do tend to be cost effective.
Below is a quick run down on the shoes I had for my four children over 2015.
At the 6 month mark
Brands (L to R): Clarks Daytona ($$$), Clarks Daytona ($$$), Lynx Jupiter ($$), Clarks Ventura ($$)
- 2 x Clarks Daytona (expensive $$$) – Lace Ups: They have lasted well. My two older girls find them comfortable and, apart from the scuffing at the front, they are still in good nick. They just need a bit of polish.
- Lynx Jupiter ($$) – Mary Jane Style Velcro Strap: These will need replacing in the next month or so I think. They are quite worn now, and some of the stitching is just beginning to come apart. Still, I’m happy with how they have held up. The velcro still works okay so that’s a plus.
- Clarks Ventura (middle $$, although expensive for sneakers) – Velcro Sneakers: These are totally trashed. Ha-ha. My son is SO hard on his school shoes. This holidays, I purchased him new shoes and discovered he has grown TWO SIZES in the last 6 months. I wanted to try another brand with him this time, so I went with Sketches. Haven’t purchased this brand before so it will be interesting to see how they hold up to the very vigorous testing my son will inflict on them.
At the One Year Mark
Brands (L to R): Clarks Daytona ($$$), Clarks Daytona ($$$), Sketchers Mega Flex Hexomax ($$$) – only used for 6 months
- 2 x Clarks Daytona ($$$) – as you can see below, these are still holding together well. I haven’t polished them yet, but after I polish them, my two older kids will use them again this year, at least for the first school term. They have lasted extremely well and worth the cost for sure.
- As I predicted (above in my 6 month note), the Lynx Jupiter Mary Jane style shoes didn’t last the entire year (made it three quarters the way through). I decided to get cheap $ canvas shoes to see my daughter out for the rest of the year. She went well with those shoes in terms of comfort and function, but we did go through 2 pairs of them during the last couple of months of school.
- My last child is very hard on shoes, and the Clarks Ventura didn’t last past the 5 month mark (see the picture above). I decided to try a different brand (went with Sketchers sneakers $$$). My son has used them for 6 months, and they are doing okay but the soles are starting to come lose, and I don’t believe they have lasted well enough to justify the cost. I’m not sure what to try for my son this year!
I’ve been buying school shoes for 10 years now, and how well shoes last really comes down to a combination of the particular child and the quality of shoe. In my experience it certainly pays to invest a bit more into the quality of the shoe for support and longevity.