We've Got Back-to-School In the Bag!
Hello everyone! Austin and Paul here with our latest Blog Post on ‘Back to School Shoes – Practical Tips for Buying the Perfect Fit’ Yes indeed it is hard to believe that another Summer has rolled by as we anticipate the start of a NEW academic school year. We know that as a conscientious parent, you have lots to contemplate and much to budget for from schoolbooks and uniforms to school transport and nutritional meals, not to mention the ongoing daily challenge of what to put in the ‘school lunch box’! But we understand that at the very top of the School Checklist, consistent with a ‘feet first’ approach is shopping for ‘Back-to-School’ Shoes. Did you know that if you take the time and ‘Shop Smart’ your child can get 9-12 months out of a pair of School Shoes? Taking all factors into consideration we are only too delighted to share some of our valuable tips and insights (as well as a selection of our Back-to-School styles) to make this whole process as easy as possible. So, if you are looking for a few useful Back-to-School pointers, then please READ ON!
According to a recent report by SouthDublinPodiatry.com (July 2021),
“In the first 11 years of a child’s life, feet grow through around 17 shoe sizes until they reach 18 years of age… Children spend around 30 hours a week in their school shoes, or more than 15,000 hours during their school years, so it’s vital they’re fitted properly”
At Finn Footwear our entire team are qualified professional shoe fitters, so our first recommendation is that you begin your Back-to-School Shoe shopping expedition with having your child’s feet professionally measured by a qualified shoe fitting professional.
As a starting point, and to give you a rough guide to your child’s shoe size, please refer to our 'Children’s Sizing Guide’ on our website and our step by step technique to measuring your child’s feet at home.
1.Get Your Child’s Feet Measured by One of Our Qualified Shoe Fitting Professionals
While the above approach can be completed at home by yourself, please be advised that this is merely a ‘starting point’ giving you a guesstimate of the size of your child’s feet but our clear recommendation is that you avail of a professional shoe fitting service by bringing your child in-store to one of our shops to get their feet measured by one of our qualified shoe fitting professionals. Do you Know that Finn Footwear has 47+ years’ experience in both measuring children’s feet and selling Back-to-School Shoes? We take the time to begin each journey by securing a proper measurement of BOTH of your child’s feet including length AND width. With our professional in-store shoe fitting service, you can have the utmost confidence in securing the perfect fit for your child’s Back-to-School Shoes.
2. Buy with a Little Room but Do NOT Size Up!
While it is commonplace to size up for things like School Jumpers, School Shirts and School Pinafores, the same logic is ill-advised when it comes to Back to School shoes. As iterated by professional podiatrist Thomas Farrel from Dundalk Foot Clinic in his article ‘Top 5 Tips When Buying Kids School Shoes’ (August 2019)
“Don’t be tempted to buy shoes that are too big to allow your children to ‘grow into.' Shoes that are too big wear out more quickly. Your child will drag them along the ground causing the soles to wear thin and they may also be easily scuffed as your child won’t be able to pick their feet up properly. Consequently, you will likely end up paying for new school shoes sooner than if you were to buy the correct sized shoes. Also have shoes fitted to both length AND Width”
The perfect fit should allow about the width of one finger from the top of the longest toe (note for some children the longest toe is not always the big toe!) to the top of the shoe, giving room to wiggle the toes without any discomfort or constraint. The heel should fit securely in the heel cup of the shoe. It is a good idea to bring your own school socks with you so you can optimism the fit of the shoe since school socks tend to be thicker than most other socks that your child might wear on a regular basis. According to the South Dublin Podiatry
‘Shoes will Often Last a School Year…. Your Child’s foot will grow about half a size every six months, meaning that school shoes will generally last between nine months and a year.’ However, it is not unheard of for some children to have a growth spurt during the school year, their feet may have shot up in size’ so it’s always a good idea to reassess midway through the academic year.
3. Know your Child’s feet
Each child’s pair of feet is unique. While most younger children tend to be flat footed until they get older and their arches properly develop, there are often other factors that deserve fair consideration when buying children’s shoes. For example do they have any joint pain? or any previous injuries? Which foot is slightly bigger than the other? How about any ingrown toe nails? or hammer toes etc. All of these factors can influence the Back-to-School Shoe Brand Choice AND Type that you ultimately end up purchasing. Take the time to review the wear and tear of previous shoes to see what information can be learned and shared when you visit us in store. Finn Footwear sells a host of professional brands such as Ecco, Ricosta, Skechers, Adidas, Pablosky, Dubarry Dubes, Vans to mention but a few. All these brands offer their own unique selling points in terms of quality, structure, support, and flexibility. So, it’s important to take the time to choose the best fit for your child.
4. Fastening & Closing But no Slip-ons
A key consideration in choosing the perfect fit for Back-to-School Shoes is the fastening. Whether you choose Velcro fastening or Lace-Up will depend not just on convenience but also on the child’s age. However, Slips-ons are not a good choice for Back to School. Apart from the obvious liability leading to slips, trips and falls due to the lack of a secure close fastening, Slip-ons often do not have enough support or cushioning to buffer the running and racing which are all part and parcel of a daily run around the school yard and playground. Ensure that whatever fastening or closure you choose is secure, and one which your child is comfortable in closing for themselves.
Taking all the above tips on board, below is a sample of our Top Quality Back-to-School Shoe brands for 2022. Click here to check out our full range of Back-to-School shoes for 2022.
Spanish Company Pablosky is one of the leading international brands of children’s and teenager´s footwear, dedicated to the designing, manufacturing, and marketing of shoes. Made in Spain, Pablosky produces more than 2 million pairs of shoes every year and they design more than 1,000 models per season. They have their own distinct technology the Pablosky System: Bovine leather outer, Intech absorbent inner lining, Heel and toe guard, Absorbent, antibacterial insole, and non-slip rubber sole.
Our Pablosky Boys Double Velcro Black Trainer Style 725115 combines comfort, durability and versatility with a casual modern look adapted to the latest trends in 100% Spanish Footwear design. It ticks all the boxes making this shoe the ideal Back-to-School Shoe for Junior Boys including:
- Manufactured with top quality materials, it has a leather lining and insoles.
- Anatomic and absorbent insole for better comfort.
- Flexible, non-slip and tear-resistant rubber sole.
- Traditional Velcro closure for perfect fit on each foot.
- Bumper toes for added protection.
- Excellent light weight trainer.
Our Pablosky Girls Patent Strap Shoe style 345519 incorporates the exclusive Pablosky Technology and combines a range of features which makes this shoe an ideal Back-to-School shoe for Junior Girls including:
- Premium natural leather which ensures a high level of breathability
- Seamless Intech lining, a neutral and friction resistant microfibre 7 times more absorbent than leather.
- Superabsorbent and antibacterial cushioning insole.
- Anti-slip and high resistance rubber sole, which combines the SUPERFLEX system to stimulate normal foot flexion, and AIRBAG foot damper.
- Inner protectors on heel and toe with ping-pong effect, which restore THE feet's initial position.
- It incorporates an internal system with tensor threads, providing better adjustment for longer time.
- Adherent closure straps ensure correct and convenient fastening and closure.
As Hello Magazine recently described California Based Footwear Giant Skechers (August 13th 2021)
“Look to footwear giant Skechers for an array of smart, supportive back to school shoe styles that toe the line between meeting uniform regulations and the type of styles that your child will actually want to wear”
This season we are proud to present our Skechers Boys Uno-Air Blitz Velcro Trainer Style 403673L.
A favourite sneaker look gets even easier to wear with the SKECHER Street Uno - Air Blitz shoe. This shoe is characterized by a smooth leather-textured synthetic upper in a slip-on, stretch laced, classic fashion sneaker with stitching and perforation accents. Air Cooled Memory Foam insole, visible air cushioned midsole ensures all day comfort. This Back-to-School shoe includes:
- A Smooth clean leather-textured synthetic upper
- Slip on stretch laced front fashion sneaker design
- Stitching accents
- Perforation accents on front panel and collar
- Embossed side detailing
- Heel panel with SKECHER Street Diamond S logo
- Stretch laced front panel for easy slip-on fit
- Instep strap with logo detail and adjustable hook and loop closure
- Padded collar and tongue
- Soft fabric shoe lining with moisture wicking capabilities
- Air Cooled Memory Foam cushioned comfort insole
- Air cushioned midsole with embossed texture detail
- Midsole with visible air cushioned shock absorbing heel pad
- 1 1/4-inch heel height
- Flexible traction outsole
This shoe is ideal for your ‘Little Guy’ if he wants the look and feel of a sneaker with the durability comfort and support of a shoe!
Older Junior Boys
For the Older Junior boys (up to about 12 Years) we recommend our Adidas Duramo Boys Trainer style GZ0607. Modern comfort and authentic Adidas heritage mix it up in this ideal Back-to-School trainer style shoe. These running-inspired shoes treat your feet to superior cushioning and an ultra-plush ride with a Cloudfoam midsole and soft sock liner. A sleek mesh upper features suede overlays and subtle 3-Stripes for a real sporty look! This is a Back-to-School style that your guy will wear not because he must but because he wants to!
Ricosta have been making Kids Shoes since the 1950s and this German Brand is a real winner year on year as a Back-to-School Shoe of choice for little feet. This year, we are delighted to present our Ricosta Beth Girls Velcro Strap Shoe Style 8626200/093 in Black Patent. This is a supportive, sturdy style shoe, great for those little girls who are hard on shoes. It suits a regular to wide foot and works very well with orthotics. The removable, washable insole, padded ankle and secure single strap make it an extremely comfortable choice.
A great equivalent for Boys is our Ricosta Tamo Boys Black Velcro Shoe. This sporty style Ricosta shoe has double Velcro fastening. It is Tex lined and the outer material is leather with a textile inner material. It is both comfortable and durable making it a hardy tough wearing option as a boys back to school shoe offering.
Ricosta Tamo Boys Black Velcro Shoe
It is impossible to articulate just how popular the Dubarry Admirals ‘Dubes’ Deck shoes are as a Back-to-School Shoe of choice for Senior Girls and Boys. This Unisex Deck shoe (also available as Brown Admiral Dubes) has managed to maintain its appeal and popularity for decades due mainly to its unique boat/deck shoe appearance which is based on a moccasin construction in authentic leather. This shoe is extremely hard wearing and although ‘not cheap’ at €100 a pop, its price point more than reflects the durability and longevity that these Back to School Shoes offer where many of our customers state that “We often get several seasons from investing in a single pair"!
Consistently popular is the old skool retro sneaker vibe that is a hallmark of the Vans Back to School range. This year’s 2022 New Season Back-to-School Van style means School Goers can choose between a canvas and/or leather option in our Vans Atwood Leather Ladies and Men’s Black Laced Trainer or Vans Atwood Canvas Men’s Black Laced trainer.
Please note this style is also available for juniors with our Vans Atwood Canvas Boys and Girls School Laced Shoe. The Atwood is a low top, lace-up shoe with a padded tongue and collar for extra comfort. It also features the Vans signature waffle outsoles for a firmer grip. The composition is either canvas or leather. The materials used in the manufacturing of these styles (including adhesives) are free of any animal by-products and therefore are 100% vegan.
Aimed at Teenagers, these athletic-inspired lifestyle sneakers come with an Arroyo Knit which offers lightweight breathability and comfort in a contemporary construction. A sock-like, stylish bootie fabrication allows for easy foot entry and secure fit once foot is inside. A one-piece lightweight knit upper offers maximum comfort and ventilation. Five striped webbing loop eyelet and stitched on heel counter provide supportive containment. Sector adds comfort to each step with soft and ultra-lightweight Surgelite outsole unit. Key feature summary includes:
- Mesh Upper
- Textile Collar Lining
- MEVA Outsole
- Ortholite Sock Liner
- Lace Closure
- Sporty style look and feel
If you are searching for the look and feel of a sporty trainer but equally wish to tick the Back-to-School durable shoe box for your teenager, then K Swiss is the perfect fit for you!
Click Here to shop our full comprehensive 2022 Finn Footwear Back to School Range.
If you have any questions why not give us a call, you can reach Austin in Kiltimagh on 094 93 81970 and Paul in Ballyhaunis on 094 96 30141.
Don't forget to stay tuned to our Blog 'Between Shoe And Me' for future posts on 'Footwear Trends', 'New Season Styles', 'How to Tips & Friendly Advice' and ALL things Shoe!