Back to School Shoe Fitting Advice

We believe it is extremely important to have school shoes professionally measured and fitted, as your child will wear them up to eight hours a day. It is just as important to provide support and protection to growing kids, pre-teens & teens in all the activities they undertake. School shoes should be sturdy, supportive and breathable. Here we have provided some top advice about what to look for when shopping for school shoes:

  • Check Uniform Regulations. Before you leave home please check what the uniform protocol is at your child’s school. In Edinburgh alone the mix of independent and state schools mean a varying degree of suitable shoes, from indoor canvas shoes to black lace up leather shoes. We know some but not them all!
  • Get a Professional Measure and Fit. In a professional children’s shoe shop the measurement of the feet will provide the length and width of each foot, as they can differ on most people. This measurement allows the shoe fitter a starting point for trying and fitting shoes. It is important to note here that the shoe fitter also identifies the shape of the child’s foot (longest toe, high arch, narrow ankle) as the measurement alone will not pick this up. It is however only once the shoes are being tried on, that the shoe fitter can test the width and the length for support and plenty of growing room. This may mean trying on a few shoes in different styles and sizes to get the right fit.
  • What Does A Good Fit Look Like?
    • The heel should grip the shoe well, and there should not be any gaps at the back and sides. This is checked by lightly pulling at the heel while the child is sitting, and also running a finger round the back while the child is standing.
    • The widest part of the foot should be in the widest part of the shoe, and by running your fingers down the side of the shoes you are checking to make sure there is no pressure or bulging.
    • Across the top of the shoe should be a nice ripple effect, no movement in materiel means the shoe is too narrow, and if you are able to pinch the leather the shoe is too wide.
    • Toe room is checked to ensure there is roughly a thumb nail width.
    • Finally a walk around in the new shoes should be comfortable, ensuring no slipping at the heels or excessive gapping down the sides.
  • A Choice of Styles and Brands. Start-rite offer a huge selection of school shoes in half sizes and different width fittings to ensure best fit. A choice of brands and styles will provide a selection of fastenings including rip tape, buckle and laces.
  • Look After Your Shoes. Clean regularly with polish to keep the shoes looking better and lasting longer. Woly do a brilliant shoe cream containing carnauba wax – specifically for smooth leather shoes, covering scuffs & scratches.
  • Regular measure checks. We know that parents want school shoes to last all year, however we would recommend having their feet measured and shoes checked every 3-4 months.
  • Avoid High Heels. There are a few reasons for this including a higher risk of injury in the playground and toes being squashed at the front of the shoe as the high heel forces the foot forward.
  • Avoid Sharing Shoes. Once a child has grown out of a pair of shoes, it is also common that the support has gone due to wear and tear. Remember all feet are different, even siblings, so why take the risk and damage future growth.
  • Remember Gym Class. Most schools will expect a change in footwear for indoor or outdoor gym class, as this will impact the comfort and performance of your child. Start-rite offer basic plimsolls for £12.