19 to buy: School shoes for every budget from $15
They say you get what you pay for, especially when it comes to kids' school shoes.
From Aldi's $15 range to Ascent and Clarks' $100-plus shoes, podiatrists say choosing the right shoe is more about protecting your child's feet than trying to save money.
With children's feet developing until the age of seven and the bones in the foot having not yet fully formed, Dr Steve Parkinson, a podiatrist from the Foot Hub, says it's important to not settle for cheaper options as they may hinder development.
Dr Parkinson said higher-end brand were worth the investment to avoid future problems that can arise from ill-fitted or poor quality footwear.
"The established brands that sell footwear at the top end of the price spectrum dedicate a lot of time and resources into perfecting their product," Dr Parkinson said.
"These higher end brands tend to have far better durability and on the whole, offer products that provide greater comfort and support.
"It's obvious when a brand can price a shoe at $10 that the midsole construction and footbed quality will be questionable."
As students begin returning to school this week, parents should consider replacing older shoes.
"Your child's feet do not grow in alignment with the school calendar - growth spurts are sporadic," Dr Parkinson said.
"The decision to replace footwear should be based on sizing- correct length and width- and signs of excessive wear and tear."
He said never buy shoes too big in anticipation of growth, and avoid buying online so shoes are correctly fitted and suitable for their intended use.
"Often primary school children can make do with a solid pair of cross trainers while teenagers will need a few different footwear options based on their chosen activity or sport.
"Don't give in to the pressure of letting your child wear skate shoes or Chuck Taylors - these shoes are fine for every now and then but shouldn't be worn daily."
Shoes from $30 - $120 are a "better price range" but experts caution against shoes priced around $15 as the soles aren't as good.
Cheaper brands should be comfortable, have rubber soles and room for toes to move.
Expensive shoes come with more attributes, such as toe box protection, shank, stitching and glue and are generally better quality.
For a higher price point, Clarks are recommended over Kmart $30 school shoes. But you may need to buy a few pairs as they're less durable.
GUIDE TO WHAT PARENTS SHOULD LOOK FOR:
- Rubber soles, with a deep tread, to prevent slipping.
- Shank in shoe to make the shoe more rigid.
- Lace-ups, to help with tension on the foot - and to make tighter or looser.
- Higher heel counter to hold foot in better.
- Comfort, shoes shouldn't require a "break-in period". Discomfort or irritation in store is unlikely to improve with use.
- Correct size and width fitting. A good guide is a thumb width between the end of the longest toe (not always the big toe) and the end of the shoe.
SHOES IN EVERY PRICE RANGE:
Leather School Shoes - Mary Jane $15
Lace up or Mary Jane -$30
School Shoes -$15.00
Senior T-bar School Shoes -$24.00
Senior Lace Up School Shoes -$24.00
Gro Shu Lace Up Leather School Shoe - Black $45
Gro Shu T-bar Leather School Shoe - Black $45
Gro Shu Twin Tab Leather School Shoe - Black $45
Harrison Dawson -$80
Daytona Youth -$112
Intrigue Junior -$112
Daytona Senior -$119.96
Glory Yths-Cf Black -$129.95
Solar Snr Black Leather -$159.95
Roar Yth C Black Leather -$149.95
Originally published as 19 to buy: School shoes for every budget from $15