Is it really that time of year again?
Every summer, parents up and down the country resign themselves to the fact that new school supplies must be bought. It's a time-consuming but necessary endeavour, but one that can mean a lot to your child, to whom new uniform, stationery and school shoes are a form of self-expression in the year to come.
Finding quality, long-lasting and good value kids' school shoes that your child actually wants to wear is something of an art. We're all looking for something durable and affordable, but where's the best place to look? We rate Clarks, Start Rite and Treads as among the best go-to brands for growing feet, providing good-quality and hard-wearing shoes in a range of school-appropriate styles.
Sporty styles with easy-use velcro straps often work best for younger, more active boys, whilst Doc Martens and Kickers make a good case for trendy shoes for teens that actually last. Patent leather can be a good option if you want something easy to clean, though we find they tend to be less popular with boys on the whole, which is why we haven't included them here (we're keen to recommend shoes your son will actually want to wear!).
Whatever brand or style you're looking for, you're sure to find something of interest in our handy list of the best school shoes for boys.
Image © iStock
Kidadl's Top Pick
Though all our picks of the top school shoes for boys are highly recommended, this is our top choice based on quality, price and durability.
1. Clarks Scape Flare Black Leather School Shoes
You can always count on Clarks to provide some of the best black shoes for school. They specialise in quality and durability (every shoe endures rigorous testing before being allowed on the market), and they all come in a huge variety of sizes, including half sizes and four different widths. This cool, sporty style is designed to fit the natural form of the foot, making them streamlined and comfortable. Extra protection around the toe and heel make these super durable and scuff-resistant and a special hygienic lining will help retain freshness all school year. Velcro tabs make them a great option for younger kids, but the style is versatile and there are plenty of sizes to fit teenagers, too. An all-around winner.
Best For Durability
2. Treads Brooklyn Trainer-Style Kids' School Shoes
Newcomer Treads are making waves in the back-to-school shoe market, and with good reason. Specialising solely in school shoes, the brand makes each pair using the 'strobel technique', meaning the leather upper is put into a mould and the sole is injected around it, creating one, inseparable unit. Not only does this mean that holes and splitting are far less likely, but it also allows for extra flexibility, making these a great choice for kids who love to run around at break time. In fact, Treads are so confident in the durability of their shoes that they offer a '12 month indestructible guarantee'. These trainer-style pair are cool, casual and super hard-wearing, and the padded heel/foam footbed combo make them seriously comfortable too.
Best for Under 10s
3. Start Rite Bolt Black Leather Riptape School Shoes
Start Rite shoes are a tried and tested brand when it comes to good, sturdy school shoes that support your child's foot development. These ones feature easy pull-back velcro straps and handy reflective strips that help you keep track of your little wanderer on the walk home. Complete with scuff-resistant leather, an anti-bacterial lining for long-lasting freshness and a biomechanically engineered sole for prime flexibility these some of the best school shoes you could choose for your little boy.
Best For Teens
4. Dr. Martens Junior 1461 Mono Softy T Leather Shoes
The school range from this uber-cool British brand has been popular with teens for a few years now, but the original models were meant to be work boots, meaning they can withstand pretty heavy-duty wear and tear. They may not be cheap, but their imperishability makes them great value; many owners claim a pair will last a lifetime. These chunky leather lace-ups are cool, comfortable, and rain-proof; a good investment.
5. Kickers Kick Hi Classic Teen
They may look 90s, but Kickers shoes are all the rage again, especially in secondary school schoolyards. These classic hi-top boots feature comfortable leather uppers and that trademark Kickers rubber sole; a well-made, comfortable and supportive pair of shoes. The chunky boot style also makes them great for keeping feet dry in the wetter months. At £62 they're hardly a steal, but they are known to last, and if you want to treat your son to a pair of shoes his friends will covet, these should be your go-to. They're also unisex, making them easier to pass down to a younger sibling if you want to try and get your money's worth.
6. Treads Monaco Black Leather Slip On School Shoes
Another great school shoe from Treads, this laceless pair are quick to slip on and easy to clean, perfect for boys starting secondary school who don't have much time (or the wherewithal!) to think too much about their shoes. The removable shock-absorbing insoles and padded collar make them super comfortable and Treads' trademark 'strobel construction' and reinforced heels make them extra sturdy. Plus, the versatile style makes them suitable for school and special occasions. Worth every penny.
7. Clarks Scala Loop Youth Black Leather Shoes
If you're looking for a more formal school shoe for little feet, Clarks' Scala range is a great place to start. These lace-up shoes are sleek and smart without being too clunky. The rubber sole is lightweight and embossed with flex grooves, allowing for enhanced movement in the playground, and the eco foam lining keeps them smelling good all year. And as with all Clarks shoes, they're available in a wide array of sizes.
8. Geox Federico H Boys' Derby Shoe
Say goodbye to clammy feet! Geox shoes are known for their breathability; these ones are made up of a leather footbed, perforated soles and a special inner lining that allow the feet to truly breathe. Combine this specialised technology with soft leather and padded support around the ankle and this result is a supremely comfortable pair of shoes. Perfect for hot summer months, or for boys with a long walk to school.
9. Start Rite Tailor Black Leather Lace Up School Shoes
These slick black brogues from Start Rite are made with premium quality leather; the perfect smart option for older schoolboys. Featuring a specially-designed shape for rapidly-maturing feet, you needn't compromise on your child's foot health in favour of a more sophisticated style. The leather is dyed-through for extra scuff-resistance, and, as with all Start Rite shoes, they're built to be hard-wearing.
10. Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Mono Low Top
Finding it hard to persuade your son into anything close to a formal shoe? A simple, understated pair of Converse may be the answer. Lightweight and breathable, these are great summer shoes (though a leather option (£37) is available if you're looking for something winter-appropriate). At £30, they're good value, though they're not quite as sturdy and durable as a Clarks or Start Rite shoe, so in that way, you get what you pay for. Bear in mind that schools with stricter dress codes will not allow trainer or skate shoe styles; be sure to check before you purchase.
Kidadl Best Buys selects the top parent-recommended products across the web for families of all ages. If you liked our suggestions for best boys' school shoes then why not take a look at our girl school shoes, or for something different take a look at roller skates.
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