BacktoSchool Shoe Shopping How to Choose School Shoes for Children

School shoes are chosen more for fashion than comfort it seems. That's not healthy for growing legs, back and feet. Here is my back-to-school shoe shopping guide for stylish, comfortable, reasonable priced kids shoes.

Most of us parents either are or will be starting our back-to-school shopping. Whether children are excited about school,dreading it or just trying to get the most out of summer break, they are unanimous on one part: school shopping. Personally, I love back to school shopping; fresh new clothes, brand spanking new notebooks, sharp pencils and crayons. School shopping brings back happy Sears catalog memories.

If you are gearing up for school,one of the most important items to consider during your shopping back-to-school shopping for your child is school shoes. As a child, school shoe selection was a sacred ritual. Your mom wanted to make sure that you had sensible, comfortable shoes and you wanted to be sure that she didn't buy shoes that you wouldn't be caught dead in. I've noticed as a teacher, the fashion side of the debate is winning out over the sensible side now. And that's not healthy for growing legs, back and feet. Fortunately kids can wear cute shoes that are still comfortable and sensible. Here is my shoe shopping guide to style, comfort, price and fashion for kids.

  • Don't skimp on quality. Kids need good, sturdy comfortable shoes for school. Cheaply made shoes wear out and begin to hurt very quickly.
  • Don't buy shoes from discount stores like Wal-mart of Dollar General. Bluntly, put I don't care how good the savings, the shoes are junk.
  • School shoes should cover the foot. Sandals tend to be uncomfortable. For the first and last few weeks sandals will probably be acceptable, but as it gets chilly, they don't work.
  • Don't buy these new 'jelly' shoes for school. They will make the child's feet sweat.
  • If your child requests a boot for school, it should not be insulated. This will be very uncomfortable. Even an uninsulated boot can be uncomfortably warm.
  • Shoes should have a sensible rubber sole and heel. Don't' let your little diva talk you into heels for school. She will be in agony all day.
  • Look for sales, discounts and coupons on shoe brands; I've found good prices on shoes at Pac-Sun, Journey's, Amazon (online) and occasionally Zappos. Ordering shoes online is risky, however as you haven't tried on the shoes.
  • Here are some brands that I have worn and purchased for my children that I trust for school shoes: Sketchers, New Balance, Avia, Etnie, Columbia, Docksiders, Crocs, Adidas, Puma, Dansko and Van's. Birkenstocks are quite pricey and they seem a little too flat for school use. There are other more expensive brands that I have not tried, but I doubt that the extra price is justified.
  • Converse All-Stars are quite popular; they are a comfortable shoe, but be aware that they wear out very quickly. If your child wants Converse for school, make sure you get them on sale; they don't warrant paying full price.
  • Meijer's MTA Pro can be a good shoe, but it depends upon the style.
  • A note about Crocs shoes; if your child is going to wear Crocs to school, they should be the Croc brand and not an imitation brand. Crocs cost a little more but are made of a more durable material. Cheap 'crocs' are made from foam and don't support the feet. If you are worried about cold feet, Crocs makes an fur-lined style that is quite comfortable. Do know that Crocs won't be acceptable for gym class.

All the best to you and your child in this new school year!