When our kids first start school we soon realise that it can actually cost a small fortune to get them kitted out with all of the right stuff. One of the most important (and sometimes expensive) items that we have to buy are their school shoes. But with such a wide variety of options to choose from, finding the right balance of quality versus price can be quite a challenge. So, I thought that I would share with you my latest experiences and hopefully how I finally found the right shoes at the right price for my two young boys!
As a mother of two young boys, I completely understand the nightmare of finding good quality school shoes that don’t cost the earth. I know that some people feel that spending that bit extra is worth it, but for me spending £40 – £50 on a pair of school shoes (that they might grow out of in a few months) just seems a bit too much.
So, if I don’t want to pay the prices of shops such as Clarks (I know that they are good quality, they’re just a bit dearer than what I would want to pay) then what are my other options? Well, most supermarkets nowadays have their own clothing range which are usually priced very reasonably. For instance, the last few pairs of school shoes that I bought from Asda and Sainsbury’s ranged between £12-£16 and even though the shoes were cheap, my youngest son Malachi has always found them comfortable and durable (now that his phase of scuffing his toes as he walks has passed), so for him I definitely feel that they are good value for money.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for my eldest son Isaac. Since September Isaac has been over the moon because he has now moved up into the juniors playground, where he now is able to play football during every playtime! Don’t get me wrong, I am happy that this little bonus makes his school day that bit more bearable. However, playing football on a concrete pitch 2-3 times a day has really been putting his school shoes to the test. Since going back to school in September he is now on his fourth pair of shoes, all because of the wear and tear from playing football! Not all of these shoes were from a supermarket, though. When we were getting the boys some waterproof coats from Trespass we noticed that they had some school shoes on sale from £26 down to just £6! We were so chuffed with our bargain, we felt that they should definitely last Isaac much longer with them being from a brand with a good reputation for quality clothes. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. I think they only lasted about 6 weeks before the shoe came away from the sole. Brilliant!
After trying shoes from a good brand (albeit in the sale) that seemed to fall apart quicker than the supermarket shoes, I gave up and got him another pair of school shoes from Asda. I bought him the same pair of shoes that he had a couple of years ago which seemed to wear well, hoping that this would still be the case. After a short while, however, he was complaining about having wet feet at school. One morning he was even in tears because his feet were so wet they were unbearable. So, after sending him into school all teary-eyed, I raced home and picked up his waterproof walking boots (just to be on the safe side) and a fresh pair of socks, there was no way I could leave him all day with wet feet, so the school completely understood why he wasn’t wearing school shoes that day. When I looked at his shoes, I noticed that the sole had worn right down and was covered in holes, all because he loves to play football. This meant that my search for the right pair of school shoes was on again!
Well, by this point I was well and truly fed up with all of my local shops that I had bought his shoes from in the past. So, I made myself a coffee (to calm myself down) and sat down on the sofa to have a look at my online options. I must admit here that I can sometimes get a bit overwhelmed when I’m looking for something in particular online, so after I had got all confused with about 20 different tabs open of all the different shoes I was looking at, I got my husband to take over and see if he could narrow the search down a bit, and of course he did!
He found a pair of Skechers shoes for £14.99 instead of £34.99 from an online shop called mandmdirect.com. The postage was a bit more than normal with standard delivery being £4.49, but we thought that paying just under £20 for a good quality brand like Skechers would be worth a try. They were delivered within the time frame that they stated and I was so pleased with the quality of the shoe. They felt very sturdy and they had a rock solid sole which would take a lot of battering to put some holes into (I hope). Isaac was thrilled with them as well, which was a relief because he can be quite fussy when it comes to buying shoes. For Isaac they always have to be comfortable and most importantly good for football.
Have they survived?
So, you are probably wondering if these shoes are any better than the others. Well, he’s been wearing them for a week now and he seems happy enough. They seem to be wearing well but it is still early days. If they do last him then I will definitely be buying them again. I think that paying about £20 for a good quality pair of shoes is good value for money. I’ll let you know how we get on with them by writing a review, let’s just hope that the hunt for good value school shoes is finally over.