How School Shoes Have Lasted Over a Year

I’ve tried many different school shoes for my children over the years and from my experience, I’ve come to this realisation:

$ Cheap Shoes ($10-$40)

These have never lasted long for my kids. Maybe a month or so, and so it doesn’t tend to be cost effective in the long run. However, in saying that, one of my children is very sensory sensitive, and she likes the cheap canvas shoes, so I just keep buying her those (they cost about $10-$15) and they only last a month but it’s worth it for her to feel good in her shoes.

$$ Middle Range Shoes ($50-$80)

These are often a good option. It really depends on the brand of shoes and the child who wears it for how long they last. Some of my kids are really hard on shoes because they are so active. Middle range shoes tend to last half to three quarters of the year from my experience. 

$$$ Expensive Shoes (over $90)

There is no doubt that the expensive shoes like the Clarks Daytona style (pictured below) last really well so even though the initial investment is a bit OH-MY, over the year, they do tend to be cost effective.

 Below is a quick run down on the shoes I had for my four children over 2015.

At the 6 month mark

Brands (L to R): Clarks Daytona ($$$), Clarks Daytona ($$$), Lynx Jupiter ($$), Clarks Ventura ($$)

How long to school shoes last


  • 2 x Clarks Daytona (expensive $$$) – Lace Ups: They have lasted well. My two older girls find them comfortable and, apart from the scuffing at the front, they are still in good nick. They just need a bit of polish.
  • Lynx Jupiter ($$) – Mary Jane Style Velcro Strap: These will need replacing in the next month or so I think. They are quite worn now, and some of the stitching is just beginning to come apart. Still, I’m happy with how they have held up. The velcro still works okay so that’s a plus.
  • Clarks Ventura (middle $$, although expensive for sneakers) – Velcro Sneakers: These are totally trashed. Ha-ha. My son is SO hard on his school shoes. This holidays, I purchased him new shoes and discovered he has grown TWO SIZES in the last 6 months. I wanted to try another brand with him this time, so I went with Sketches. Haven’t purchased this brand before so it will be interesting to see how they hold up to the very vigorous testing my son will inflict on them.

At the One Year Mark

Brands (L to R): Clarks Daytona ($$$), Clarks Daytona ($$$), Sketchers Mega Flex Hexomax ($$$) – only used for 6 months

School Shoes - How they Last


  • 2 x Clarks Daytona ($$$) – as you can see below, these are still holding together well. I haven’t polished them yet, but after I polish them, my two older kids will use them again this year, at least for the first school term. They have lasted extremely well and worth the cost for sure.
  • As I predicted (above in my 6 month note), the Lynx Jupiter Mary Jane style shoes didn’t last the entire year (made it three quarters the way through).  I decided to get cheap $ canvas shoes to see my daughter out for the rest of the year. She went well with those shoes in terms of comfort and function, but we did go through 2 pairs of them during the last couple of months of school.
  • My last child is very hard on shoes, and the Clarks Ventura didn’t last past the 5 month mark (see the picture above). I decided to try a different brand (went with Sketchers sneakers $$$). My son has used them for 6 months, and they are doing okay but the soles are starting to come lose, and I don’t believe they have lasted well enough to justify the cost. I’m not sure what to try for my son this year! 

I’ve been buying school shoes for 10 years now, and how well shoes last really comes down to a combination of the particular child and the quality of shoe. For my four children, this is where I’m at for starting school in 2016.

Child 1: I won’t buy new shoes. Will wear the current Clarks Daytona for at last another terms. Needs polish.

Child 2: I won’t buy new shoes. Will wear the current Clarks Daytona for at last another terms. Needs polish.

Child 3: I will buy cheap black canvas shoes for her because they give her the least amount of problems. I will expect to buy 5 or 6 pairs over the year.

Child 4: Don’t know what to do yet! Any suggestions welcome! I tend to like to buy black sneakers for him to wear because he moves so much (rather than official school shoes).


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Kelly loves life at both ends of the spectrum: wearing high heel shoes one day and hiking boots the next; sipping tea out of a pretty cup and slurping hot coffee from a camping mug; challenging herself physically and stopping for quiet unhurried moments to feel the wind on her face. Kelly and her husband Matthew seek to live a fun and adventurous life with their four children and pet bird.

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  1. Claire says

    My son was is his black Adidas sneakers for the whole of last year. Ok they where pretty trashed by the end of term 4 but I was really happy with how well they lasted. He plays soccer every break too, on concert…..

  2. says

    Interesting post and to see the difference over time. I certainly believe it’s a great idea to spend that bit more, especially when the quality is there and it is supportive on your child’s feet.

  3. Hannah gilson says

    Good to see however, the Clarks are a great shoe but the shoes in the picture are no longer good for your children’s feet, just by looking at the heels you can see that all the support is well and truly gone out of the shoes especially the backs of The heels just because they look good on the outside this deffinetly does not mean the insides are good and the soles can we see the soles of the shoes

  4. Kathryn Rodda says

    I have 3 boys and school shoes are a pain! I have to say, Clarkes didn’t last long for us either. Last year I bought the Aldi black sneakers and while they looked good from the outside for 6 months, when I looked at the inside they were completely shot and I was surprised my kids didn’t say something earlier. Then we bought New Balance from Amart. That was 3rd term last year, they are doing ok. At the same time our local sports store had a big sale on sneakers and I splurged on good shoes for general use, one adidas and 2 ascics. They will be their school shoes this year. Our school isn’t fussed on shoes. I have had ascics in the past and generally my boys outgrow them before they out wear them, then I’m able to pass them on to the next child – a very rare thing with boys! I will be buying ascics again next time our store has their sale, they are long lasting and very supportive. As my oldest has foot/leg issues, we were recommended them by the Physio.

  5. Naysie says

    I have been happy with the Ascent range from Athlete’s foot – for the past two years. My son started Prep in a $$$ pair of black shoes from Target (but were prob more $$ in a sale), but there was no way they were doing the distance and learnt then that sometimes you need to spend a little more to get more value from school shoes. My brother in law works in orthotics/podiatry/footwear industry and recommended trying Athlete’s Foot – for the fitting alone and the Ascent range, which other parent’s had recommended too. My son never wore out his first pair, he outgrew (and they still look fine, so my daughter will wear when she grows into them, has a bit to go!!), and I had him fitted today as I was pretty sure and he does – have another 6 months at least for growth in this pair, which still look amazing (for the whole of Year 1) unless he has a MASSIVE spurt, so no need to spend $85 on the same pair in a size up just yet. They also fitted my daughter for Prep, and it was only $59.95 for a pair of all black Nikes (she is more sporty and it suited and fit her best) so only time will tell with them, but they were closer to $80+ in other stores. I am also lucky that my sister bought black pairs of Vans back from the states, so we have them as an alternative – only requirement for school is Black, so as long as we adhere to that, we are fine. And I did buy my daughter a cheap $5 pair of Target casuals ‘just in case’. Plus the bonus for Athlete’s Foot – other than being measured and fitted instore, you accumulate towards a free pair of shoes – which once you start buying more than one pair a year and for more than one child – it adds up quick!

  6. Denise says

    We have purchased Asics for our boys for the last few years and they always grow out of them before the shoes show any real signs of wear and tear. My 12 year old has worn his everyday of the last school year and they still have plenty of wear on them. We have only replaced because his feet had grown.

  7. Tammy Hamilton says

    Great post. Kelly, I’ve been reading your post that you ended up buying the Asics. How have they been going for your son? My eight your old is an every day soccer player so nothing seem to hold up. We are getting six months average out of a pair of shoes. The annoying thing is that my son is a very slow-growing foot, so I seem to be buying the same size twice in a year.

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