What Parents Look For in School Shoes

That they offer support and that the LAST.

These are the dominant responses in a BAFM Community Facebook discussion.

I’ve been buying school shoes for over 14 years now and I have tried so many over that time. Here’s a little snapshot of the first day of school from the last four or so years (the last year there are only 3 kids because my eldest child is now at uni).

best school shoes australia last long

Over recent years, I’ve had the best success with Ascent and then Nike (for my son in primary school). I was interested in what brand other parents find work well and below are the results. Seems like I am not the only one that finds Ascent a winner.

I’ve included the list below with links to some of the brands I had not heard of before that might be worth checking out.

  1. Ascent
  2. ASCIS
  3. Clarks
  4. Target/Big W/Kmart
  5. Colorado
  6. Skobi
  7. Nike
  8. Adidas
  9. New Balance
  10. Sketchers
  11. Doc Martens
  12. Lynx
  13. BATA
  14. Converse
  15. Pablosky
  16. Eloise & Henry


Below are some general tips for buying school shoes for kids.

  • Get them fitted if possible.
  • Avoid shoes with mesh near the toe.
  • If the shoes are a good price, consider getting another pair in the size up.
  • Check they have a bend in them across the sole

In my experience, just because shoes are expensive, doesn’t guarantee they will last until your child grows out of them. Many parents found cheap to mid-range shoes lasted well also.

Below is a summary of my experience with shoes of different price ranges.

$ Cheap Shoes ($10-$30)

These don’t typically last long for my kids. Maybe a month or so, and so it doesn’t tend to be cost-effective in the long run. I also worry the support is not there with cheap shoes.

$$ Middle Range Shoes ($4o-$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 and what sort of support they have. Some of my kids are really hard on shoes because they are so active. Middle range shoes tend to last about six months from my experience. 

$$$ Expensive Shoes (over $90)

Expensive shoes do generally last the best. Even though the initial investment is hard to swallow, they do tend to be cost-effective if they last the year.

How long to school shoes last

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    January 23, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    Ascent is the only shoe I have ever purchased which lasts for the whole school year (sometimes even into the next year!) I would never buy anything else.

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