Best School Shoes for Elementary

Are you looking for the best shoes for elementary? The new school year comes around and brings with it several firsts both for you and your child. You need to get a new uniform or new clothes and this includes new shoes. Some of the things you will be looking for include comfort, style, and durability. It is also always great to have waterproof options for the rainy and snow seasons.

Your child will need a bit of time to break into his of=r her new shoes before having to wear them every day. Elementary school is a time for your child to explore and discover so much. They are still at an age where they are inquisitive and they need to be in clothes and shoes that support this new adventure. This is why comfort and durability are of the utmost importance in shoes for children in elementary school. Your child should not have to be self-conscious of his or her feet as they go about their day.

In a Hurry?

There are a couple of factors that need to be taken into consideration when going shopping for school shoes for elementary school children. One of these factors is how the shoe fastens. Laces can be great however they are disadvantageous if your child is not great at tying them. Velcro, on the other hand, is easy to use. Take into consideration, how the child handles his or her other shoes, this will guide you in terms of the style to get. 

Consider the weather in the area your child will be going to school. This will help you know what type of traction to look for, how much insulation they should have or the amount of air they should let in. Also, consider how comfortable they are and how durable they are as well.

Our Favourite

Hush Puppies Gavin Uniform Dress Shoe

We have done our research and found the Hush Puppies Gavin Uniform Dress Shoe (Toddler/Little Kid/Big Kid), as our favourite pick. They have a rubber sole, memory foam footbed, and a sock liner with antimicrobial treatment to beat odour.

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Stride Rite Claire Mary Jane (Toddler/Little Kid/Big Kid) 

If you fancy the Mary Jane design, here is another one. The first thing that you may notice that would set this one apart from the others is its seemingly lightweight. That is not to say that it is the lightest shoe on our list. It is certainly one of the lighter ones. Perhaps “seemingly” is not the best way to put it. It is light and looks light. Others may be light but do not necessarily look it. 

The upper part of the shoes is 100% leather. This gives you the peace of mind of knowing that it will last. The tread on the soles provides good traction and grip for your child when they are on the move. We all know how important this is for active children. The outsoles are non-marking. To give you that added bit of comfort, the collar of each shoe is padded. Another thing that we loved about this shoe is that the outsole is not only lightweight but incredibly flexible. It permits the child’s feet to move at will. Within the footbed is a memory foam insole. 

To secure the feet in you have the hook and loop closure. This a mechanism that is very easy to operate. It is even better for those who do not like tying shoelaces, those like me. The seams of the shoe are tonal. There are no care requirements that are out of the ordinary.


  • The shoes are lightweight.
  • They have a hook and lock mechanism.
  • The outsoles provide a lot of grip.
  • There is a memory foam insole.
  • The upper is made of leather.
  • The shoes are very flexible.


  • There are some defective pairs reported.
  • Quality control could be better.

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French Toast Mike Oxford Shoe (Toddler) 

These are the sort of shoes that remind all of us that the two people who wear very comfortable shoes are the little ones and the elderly. The rest of us lose our heads in pursuit of what is fashionable. Having said that, French Toast is not a brand that we were familiar with prior to this. That is a clean slate to start our relationship. The first thing that will catch your eye about these shoes is the hook and loop system of fastening. It makes it incredibly easy to put the shoes on and to remove them. This can be done in a matter of seconds. The upper part of the shoes is made out of synthetic material.

The heel of the shoe rises up just an inch. This is enough to give some cushioning without making them too high. You will also note that the shoes are square-toed. They have a double stitched overlay. Another key feature that we can all appreciate is the padded collar. They fit perfectly into any school uniform guideline.


  • The shoes are easy to put on and to remove.
  • They have padded collars for enhanced comfort.
  • They are quite lovely looking.
  • The workmanship is impressive.
  • They are reasonably priced.


  • They do not always run true to size.

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Hush Puppies Gavin Uniform Dress Shoe (Toddler/Little Kid/Big Kid) 

We love our Hush puppies, do we not? If you have yet to get a pair of them for your child, this is always a good time to give them a go. They are a staple American brand that has been around for generations. The upper part of the shoes is made out of leather. This is a great sign that the child will have some cover from the rain and other weather conditions. It is also a good indicator of durability. There is minimal stitching involved in the manufacturing process, which always guarantees that there are fewer seams for water or cold air to get through. They do have a mesh lining in place to ensure that air is permitted to move around and allow some breathability.

Inside the shoe is a footbed that is cushioned with memory foam. It provides both underfoot protection and comfort as you get through your day. There his an antimicrobial treated sock liner as well. That guarantees that the shoes stay bacterial and odour free for much longer. And if you are wondering, yes, these shoes comply with school uniform guidelines. The outsoles are non-marking. The closing system on the shoes is made out of velcro. It makes them very easy to put on and to remove. This does not come at the expense of any of the other features. The feet are kept secure.


  • The shoes remain odour free for long.
  • They are very comfortable.
  • They are somewhat water-resistant.
  • They provide a fair amount of grip.
  • They are known to be durable.
  • They are highly breathable.


  • There seems to the inconsistency in product quality.
  • The strap could have been longer.

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vivobarefoot Wyn Kid’s Classic School Shoe 

Vivobarefoot was not around when I was dashing around classrooms and playgrounds, all those years ago. Having used them, I can say I would have been keen on a pair for school. Let us look at what kids today can look forward to from these shoes. The first thing that you will notice is that this is not a design that will stand out in any way. They have taken an old, familiar design and made it barefoot. That wear, the child can wear a shoe that they are familiar with, and experience a level of foot freedom that they may not be as familiar with. The aim of the design is to give them a natural feel as they move whether they wear it in school or elsewhere. They are amusingly flexible shoes that allow your feet absolute freedom of movement. 

The upper part of the shoes is made out of wild hide leather. It is a very strong material, that is synonymous with durability. It is a fairly simple design, that is capped off with a simple velcro strap bar. This is a very simple shoe fastening system that is secure. It ensures that the child does not have to struggle to get the shoes on and off. 

The soles feature vivobarefoot’s own Pro5 layer. It is a patented, puncture resistance that ensures that not only can we be in touch with the ground, but are also safe while doing so. It is said to be more puncture resistant than a sole of standard thickness. The front of the shoes is slightly raised to protect the toes. 


  • The shoes are very comfortable with or without socks.
  • They allow your child’s feet more natural movement.
  • There is no doubt as far as durability is concerned.
  • The design is simple and familiar.
  • The sole is incredibly puncture resistant.
  • The leather hide upper does not easily scuff.


  • The midfoot width may not be ideal for those with thin feet.
  • They are pricier than other shoes.

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Buyer’s Guide

There are quite a few factors to consider when looking to buy new school shoes for a child in elementary school. Remember that this is a very active age group. 

What shoes are best for new walkers?

Your baby’s first steps may seem as if they are all entirely up to them. However, your baby has help from various factors. You may have noticed your baby grabbing onto different things to stand better and hence take their first steps. One of the most important things to remember is that your baby’s feet are still getting used to the new phenomenon of walking. This means that the muscles in the foot are still adapting to walking and how to grab the ground. The foot has its natural way of doing this. The best shoe, in this case, is one that allows the child’s foot as much contact with the ground. This means the less material there is between the child’s foot and the ground, the better. The best shoes for new walkers are shoes that do not create a synthetic environment but rather shoes that mould to the baby’s foot. Look for shoes that have a soft sole. 

How long do Clarks guarantee shoes for?

Clarks has an unwavering one year guarantee. The shoe company prides itself on making quality shoes that can withstand everyday schoolwear for at least twelve months.

Can you return used shoes?

Several retail outlets across the world do not accept returns on shoes that have been worn. The first and most obvious reason being the hygiene aspect. The other reason being that our feet are shaped differently and the shoes we wear normally mold to our feet. This means the next wearer may think the shoe is warped because it does not fit them as it did the previous wearer. However, when it comes to returning policies, you must understand them before you make the purchase. Stores differ in how they handle returns.

When should a child start wearing shoes?

Shoes are meant to protect your feet as you walk. This means that the best time for your baby to need shoes is when he or she starts walking. And even then, make sure the shoes are minimalist. Before this, it is not necessary, but it is still cute!

How do I choose my toddler’s shoes?

When your baby starts moving around on his or her own, the best thing for the feet is to walk barefoot. However, when you need to leave the house this may be unwise. The dangers far outweigh the benefits. So which shoes do you choose?

The first thing you will need to do is get measured. This is so you make sure you get the right size. Online buying may seem convenient but when it comes to baby’s first shoes, you need to walk into the store and try them on. This way you get the child’s true size. Kid’s feet grow super fast so you may want to get them measured every two to three months or at least before you but the next pair. Make sure that your child is standing straight up when they are being measured. 

As your child tries on different shoes, make sure that they are wearing the same type of socks they are likely to wear with the shoes. Make sure there is a bit of wiggle room in the shoe. The best shoes for toddlers should allow for a thumbs width between the toes and the tip of the shoe. This will ensure that the shoes are not too tight and will allow the child to go about their activities. 

A common mistake made by most is buying shoes for a toddler that is a size bigger so that you can get a few extra months of wear out of them. You need to get the right size. When shoes are too big, the friction can cause the child’s foot to blister. 

When it comes to kid’s shoes, trends are great but they should never be put over the child’s safety and comfort. That means no matter how cute the cowboy boots look, they are not your best bet. The pointy front, Complicated buckles, and sharp accessories are not in the child’s best interests.

Check on the material the shoe is made of. The best are made of canvas, cloth or soft leather. Anything that allows the child’s foot to operate as naturally as possible. Also, make sure that the shoes have good treads. They should not be smooth.

Your child’s first shoes should be new. Let your little bundle of joy be the first to break them in. Hand me downs are not the best choice for a first shoe. Finally, never underestimate how well children can make choices. Take your child with you to buy shoes. Allow your child to tell you which shoes are more comfortable for him or her.

Final Thoughts

Get your child the right shoes for their new adventure in elementary. You want to make sure that the shoes are not just comfortable, but that they allow the child to explore and play and be a child without having to worry about their shoes. The right shoes can make all the difference. There are a few factors to consider and we hope this review helps you make a wiser decision for your child’s feet. Happy shopping!

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