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5 Hacks To Make Kids’ School Shoes Last Longer

School shoes are tricky things to make last a term let alone a whole school year. If your kids feet are still growing, then you will most likely be buying 2 or 3 pairs of school shoes throughout the year. But if your kids feet aren’t growing as much, then you may be lucky and get through the year with the same pair of shoes.

The best recommendation I can give to making kids school shoes last longer is to buy quality from the get-go. Good quality rubber soles will help support feet but will also last a lot longer in the playground. When kids are running and jumping for 7 hours a day, the soles cop a fair bit of the brunt. Cheaper manufactured soles will split and peel, causing you to replace the shoes sooner.

Leather is also the best option for school shoes. It is the most durable and will soften and mold to your child’s foot. Canvas and synthetic shoes are not recommended as the materials are not as hardy and will wear a lot quicker.

Now we covered that, how do you make those quality school shoes last even longer.


This is a really important tip to put into practice when it comes to school shoes. Dirt and grime can become embedded in the grain of shoes and cause them to deteriorate quicker. Cleaning with a soft damp cloth as soon as they gather a build up of dirt or mud is the best way to get longer out the shoes. And, it makes them a lot easier to clean.

For younger kids, cleaning school shoes also involves removing that inevitable sandpit-full of sand from inside the shoes on a regular basis! Don’t forget to take out any removable innersoles as sand often gets trapped underneath there.


A wax based polish or protective cream is the best thing to use to protect the leathers. Beeswax creams are ideal as the oil absorbs into the material and gives it an all over moisture boost, a bit like applying your daily face moisturiser. If you can’t find a good one, then your local supermarket will have coloured shoe polishes waxes that will do the job just fine.

Dry them with paper / towels

Wet school shoes are more common than we care to think about. Especially at this time of year and of course, the kids find ALL the puddles! The best way to dry out wet leather school shoes is to place balls of newspaper into the shoe. This helps to keep the shape, but also draw out excess moisture. You can also wrap the newspaper around the exterior of the shoe if need be. Avoid placing shoes in front of the heater or fireplace as the heat can over dry the shoes and cause the leather to become too dry and crack.

Waterproof treatment

While waxing and polishing leather shoes provides a bit of a barrier on shoes, a good waterproof treatment is a good idea as well. Something like scotch-guard from Woollies gives an extra layer of waterproof protection to really help those leathers look their best and stay that way.

Fix Promptly

There is nothing worse than school shoes that look ratty. To help school shoes last longer, fix them at the first sign of wear. Glue soles back on as soon as they start to peel away and replace shoelaces before they snap. Velcro and buckles can be fixed at your local Mister Minit or shoe repairer for a fraction of the cost of a new pair of shoes.

So there you have it, 5 hacks to make your kids school shoes last longer. Of course, there is always one who likes to buck the trend or push the limits. All we can say to that is… we’re up for the challenge!

Looking for a good quality pair of school shoes? We stock shoes that are guaranteed to last well past their first day of school. Built to last and made for play.