The Best School Shoes Of 2016

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This year I’ve narrowed down the best school shoes for non-injured feet with the particular interest of buying my own son’s first school shoes. This meant I had the full experience, including my boy complaining of tired shopping legs after only two stores in.

The four most important features of the ideal shoe are:

1. Light weight for minimal impedance & best economy to run & walk

2. Flexible to allow the foot to move with natural biomechanics

3. No heel differential – the difference between the heel & forefoot height, a flat shoe allows for optimal range of the calf & achilles to develop strength

4. Minimal cushioning to develop an excellent shock absorbing technique in walking or running

Have a look at our 2015 blog for more information on why these features are most important.

I was also looking for velcro instead of laces for Tom’s first year & I had the heads up from a school librarian who refuses to tie kindergarten boys laces after 11am (it’s something about developing a coordinated aim at that age).

Here’s my top picks for this year, but as always a shoe which fits the criteria above of another brand is just as good:

Overall the school shoe range hasn’t changed significantly, with most stores continuing to push heavily cushioned, highly wedged, stiff & supportive shoes. Which makes it a long walk between shops to pull out one minimal style shoe per store, try it on for size & then repeat if it’s not a good fit. The industry will have to change to supply shoes for non-injured feet if everyone keeps asking for minimal style shoes, to encourage our children’s development towards strong & durable feet. 


Some great discussion came from last year’s blog, including:

  • the safety requirements for woodwork class, emphasised the importance of puncture resistant soles & a leather upper which is covered by the vivobarefoot range who also has lace ups for big kids.

school shoe review 2016 Ra shoe

  • when  choosing a school sports shoe the same four ideal criteria should be applied. the dunlop volley international comes in white, as does the vivobarefoot neo.

school shoe review 2016 white shoes

  • having non-painful “flat feet” is not a condition to be concerned about, it’s merely a sign of flexibility & just like being able to do the splits (well done if you do!).

We love talking about footwear, so join the discussion on facebook if you have any questions or comments.Tom's new school shoes

I must admit I was rather pleased that he dislikes shopping as much as I do & in future we shall conspire to send his mother to the shops on her own, in all circumstances (that’s a win-win for all..I think).

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