It’s been a long time coming, but the new school year is almost here, which means it’s time to buy those all important supplies.
Your children may not have had a full academic year out of their last school shoes, but chances are their feet have grown, so you’ll be on the lookout for some new ones.
From shoes and trainers to book bags, rucksacks and more, there’s no end to what the kids need before they step inside the classroom.
And with retailers fighting it out for that all-important back to school custom, there are more ranges than ever.
We’ve been taking a look at some of the best picks on the high street and online to help you find what you’re looking for this year.
Kickers has been synonymous with school shoes for years – it’s actually their 50th birthday this year and there are more than 130 styles available.
They sell around 500,000 pairs of school shoes a year and their most popular product is the Kick Hi, which celebrates its 45th anniversary this year too.
As well as being available from other retailers, you can also order from the main Kickers website.
The classic Kick T-Bar Teen, also £57, is a popular style for girls and gives added support with the buckle fastening strap.
You can find a Back to School hub on the Kickers website featuring a sizing tool, shoe selector and more.
There’s free express delivery available and returns are free.
Deichmann’s popular back to school offer is running once again to buy any school shoe and get another pair half price, regardless of style or size.
And even if you’ve not got two children to buy school shoes for, it applies to brands such as Nike, Skechers, Fila and Adidas too, so you could kit the one child out for the classroom and PE lessons.
There are branded and non-branded trainers available so there’s something for all budgets, from the Graceland Navy Blue Casual Lace-Up Trainers, £24.99, to the classic Nike Wearallday Black Lace-Ups, for £49.99.
Our back to school favourites include the leather Memphis One Twin Strap School Shoes, £24.99, with durable rubber outsole and the Graceland Girl Leather T-Bars, also £24.99, with a fully cushioned memory foam inner and a chunky sole.
The buy one get one half price deal also extends to Deichmann’s exclusive real leather Hush Puppies range.
Prices start from £14.99 and the offer is available now until September 6, online and in-store.
Standard delivery is free over £35, or £1.99 if you’re spending less.
Marks and Spencer
Popular for its wide range of uniform options – both style and colour options – M&S’s school shoes also tick a lot of boxes as far as parents are concerned.
The rip-tape design on many of the shoes, like these leather uppers with triple strap fastening, from £22, makes it easier for those who’ve yet to master doing laces and the scuff-resistant patent leather on pairs like these Kids Leather Freshfeet shoes, from £32, gives them much more chance of lasting the school year.
A huge plus point for the footwear is the choice of fit, with standard, narrow or wide fit available in many of the designs, including these classic black leather trainers, which comes in sizes 13 small to 9 large.
When it comes to P.E or sports clubs, there’s a big selection of trainers too, like these navy lightweight Kids’ Knitted Trainers, £25, or the sturdy black sports trainers, with a rip-tape fastening, £19.
And no matter what size backpack you’re after, there’s something to suit everyone, from this Kids’ Space Design Water Repellent School Backpack, £20, to the Kids’ Tropical Print Mini Backpack, £16, which can also be worn like a bumbag.
Home delivery is free if you spend over £50, or you can order by 8pm for next day delivery for £4.99 or free store collection.
Matalan’s uniform range is another popular one with parents because of the wide choice of styles and colours.
There’s a big selection of footwear too, with the likes of these Girls Black Coated Leather School Shoes, from £14 and up to a size 3, to these Girls Black Patent School Shoes, from £15 and up to a size 5, featuring a grooved sole for added comfort and grip and a sturdy buckle strap.
For boys these Black Coated Leather School Shoes, from £14, and the Leather School Trainers, from £17, both up to a size 6, are a great smart casual option with leather upper, chunky soles and easy riptape fastening.
If you need a decent pair of school trainers without wanting to shell out too much, then these Kids Grey Lightweight Trainers, from £12, are ideal and come in plain black too, infant size 10 to older 6.
And whether it’s a fancy rucksack you’re after, or something to hold your sports gear there are plenty of options.
There are brands and characters, including this Marvel Avengers School Backpack and matching swim bag, both £12, and stylish yet practical backpacks such as the Quilted Heart School bag, £11, which features a handy leopard print purse that fits inside the front pocket and is attached by a gold chain.
There’s free standard home delivery if you spend over £50. Spend less and it’s £3.95, or next day home delivery for £4.95.
Treads sells itself on the durability of its ‘playground-ready school shoes’.
So much so, that all its shoes come with a 12-month indestructible guarantee.
Designed by a parent – for parents – the London shoe from Treads, £45, is just one of a range of leather school shoes that come with the guarantee. This sporty leather style is popular with both boys and girls, with features including scuff-resistant bumpers, soft and flexible Permair leather and shock absorbing, cushioned insoles.
Treads’ own measuring gauge and tape, £4.99, make it easy to order the perfect size from home, with half sizes available too. And the company’s dual fit technology, which allows you to remove the base layer from the shoe, means you can easily change it to a wider fit.
Removing the footbed also gives more depth, making them ideal if using orthotics or your own insoles.
The Start-Rite brand has been around for a long time but has really grown in popularity over recent years.
For parents it’s a trusted brand when it comes to looking after children’s feet and it sells itself on working with ‘biomechanic experts to create shoes that not only support a child’s developmental needs, but also their modern lifestyle needs’.
Its new AW20 Collection features designs like the girls Impulsive leather lace-ups, £57.99, with a chunky sole and brogue detailing. If you don’t want the thicker laces then a second set of standard round laces are included within the box.
The boys range includes the popular Extreme rip-tape design, £49.99, with a durable leather and toe bumper for enhanced protection.
The hard-wearing vulcanised rubber soles and scuff-resistant bumpers gives them much more chance of standing the test of time. And the flexible, cushioned soles and padded collars gives added comfort and support.
There are half sizes for more accurate fittings, as well as different widths to choose from, including narrow and extra wide.
Free Standard delivery if you spend more than £30, if not it’s £2.99, or £4.99 for next day delivery.
Start-Rite has been doing its own research about children returning to school and the impact on children’s mental health.
After finding that 32 per cent of children are nervous about returning to school and one in 10 admitting to being scared, it has worked with clinical psychologist Dr Julie Smith to put together a seven-point plan to help families with the transition back to school. Find out more here.
When it comes to getting the kids kitted out for PE and sports clubs, there are lots of products to choose from at Decathlon.
There are bigger brands, including the likes of Adidas and Nike, or Decathlon’s own brands like Newfeel and Domyos.
These are reasonably priced, with these Newfeel NW 580 Nordic Walking Shoes in blue and peach, or black and lime, for £24.99.
And whatever sport they’re into, there’s a bag to match, from the Kipsta 45l Team Sports Bag, £14.99, designed with a large separate compartment for muddy boots, to the Quechua 10L backpack, £12.99, which comes in aubergine, blue or grey.
Shoe Zone is another popular choice among families for its branded and non branded footwear.
Its Kickers start from £39.99 a pair, while its own brands of school shoes start from just £7.99.
These simple black lace-ups are coated leather and cost £16.99, and if it’s basic black trainers you’re after, you can pick up a pair of the black easy fasten trainers, in sizes infant 6 to older 3, reduced from £12.99 to £9.99, or the knitted upper black trainers, in sizes infant 9 to older 5, for £14.99.
There are a few bonuses with Shoe Zone in that there’s free delivery on everything with no minimum spend and there’s a whopping 12-month return policy, so providing you have the dispatch email or store receipt, you can return an item in its original unworn condition for up to a whole year from the date of delivery.
And if you join the Shoe Zone Club you’ll get £5 off your next purchase of £25 or more.