Shopping for shoes has come a long way since we were at school. Who can forget the annual ritual during which one longed for anything with a hint of heel or a smart buckle. You’d be presented with a regulation pair (ho-hum), known by parents as sensible shoes and, by us, as beetle crushers.
Now, thankfully, there are alternatives that celebrate this annual ritual and couple it with footwear that your kids will love for style and you’ll love for the way they fit their feet.
ECCO has been working with BritMums to highlight how you can make the school shoe shopping expedition more of a fruitful family outing, because of their styles that teens and tweens want to wear and that parents approve of too. ECCO is a family-run Danish company that is known for its style, quality and comfort. Its shoes embrace the Scandinavian philosophy of design that follows the foot.
For our #ECCObacktoschool project, ECCO provided school shoes for the kids and a pair of shoes for the mothers too.
Here are things that make shoe shopping with kids work
Turn shoe shopping into a treat
Clare from mudpiefridays.com decided that taking her primary school-aged son shoe shopping could be made into a mum-and-son treat – she built in a trip for cake and lots of time having his feet measured and selecting a style he loved. His black slip-ons are “basically everything that a school shoe should be”.
Get shoes that actually conform to tween & teen feet
“My daughter has only just turned 12 but she has already grown out of children’s shoes in most shops,” says Claire of clairejustineoxoxo.com, who took her daughter shopping at ECCO. “This means she usually has to have ladies-sized shoes that can sometimes be far too wide for a child’s foot.”
Luckily, ECCO’s child range goes up to size 7, and Claire and her daughter were able to find a “classic and timeless” ballet flat style that was a hit with both of them. With shoes, we know you often get what you pay for; their £60 pair look like they will wear well and keep last longer than many cheaper styles – she promises to update us on this in the autumn!
Combine the school’s criteria with yours
Jen from muminthemadhouse.com points out another potential problem with shopping for shoes with secondary school children – the endless regulations that the schools impose. In her case, her sons’ shoes must be lace-ups, so quite formal, but she knows they need to be supportive and flexible enough for an impromptu game of football at lunchtime.
Don’t be afraid of online shoe shopping
Unable to face a trip to the shops with her boys, Jen opted to buy online, something many of us feel nervous of doing with children’s shoes but, she explains, ECCO has “a handy kids size guide to walk you through making sure you get the best fit” as well as filters to make sure that you get the style you want. Her sons are now well shod and happy – result!
Focus on quality and comfort
Laura from sidestreetstyle.com has an elder son, still at primary school, who “is really fussy when it comes to shoes, if they are slightly uncomfortable he won’t wear them”. Laura really appreciated the range and quality and, much to her surprise, her son “has hardly taken his new shoes off since they arrived”.
See all the styles that bloggers and their children chose:
- Claire Justine’s walking shoes for herself and pumps for her daughter
- Mum in the Madhouse’s navy blue shoes and her son’s grown-up lace-ups
- SideStreetStyle Petal shoes and her son’s active and sporty Velcro shoes
- MudPieFriday’s soft high tops and her son’s “cool” no-lace shoes
6 top tips for school shoe shopping from Mum in the Madhouse
Check out Jen’s useful tips below for making sure that you get the right shoes for your school-aged children.
- Look for shoes that are flexible, but stylish.
- Take into account that the school may insist on laces from a certain age.
- Look for shoes that are easy to keep clean and insist that your child gets involved in looking after them (even if you have to polish them again at first).
- Make sure you insist that they try them on with their regular school socks.
- Don’t make them go to the store, take advantage of online shopping.
- Leather shoes are breathable and really will help with foot odour – active feet are prone to perspiration.
Disclosure: Bloggers worked with BritMums and ECCO, receiving shoes for their child and themselves. All opinions are their own.