Less than five months. That’s how long the average pair of the most expensive branded school shoes last if the latest research is to be believed, with some lasting as little as just three months.

According to new research by super durable school shoe brand Treads, set up by a dad fed up with the limited life span of his kids’ school shoes, buying big brand name shoes can be a false economy when you consider how long they actually last.

school shoes

Treads surveyed more than 1,000 mums and dads and found some of us shell out up to £8.16 a month for the most expensive and well-known brands, yet 40% of us admit they don’t last longer than a few months.

I’ve bought both branded and supermarket school shoes in the past and to be honest found little difference between the two, other than price of course. This year though, with the middle one starting reception in September, we’ve got two sets of school shoes to buy so I’m keen to shop wisely without spending money unnecessarily.

So, what do we need to think about when buying school shoes? Here are 5 top tips for buying school shoes from Treads (with one or two words of wisdom from me based on past experience!)

5 top tips for buying school shoes

1. Don’t leave it until the last week of the school holidays to go shoe shopping

Trust me: I’ve been there, done it and got the t-shirt! You might think you’re being super savvy by waiting until the last possible moment to go shopping – when their feet can’t possibly grow any more – but couple that with all the other parents who decide to do the same thing, the first-come-first-served ticketing system you’ll find in certain shoe shops and the lack of stock owing to the fact everyone has come at once, and it’s really not worth it.

2. Consider how long school shoes will last when assessing their cost

Of course this one largely depends on how quickly their feet grow. The oldest’s last pair cost £44, which sounds expensive for a pair of kids’ shoes. But they lasted the whole year, so that’s £3.66 a month, which is actually less than the £3.98 a month Treads claim for theirs.

school shoes

3. Look for independent product reviews from real parents and kids

If you really want to know whether something is worth it there’s nothing like hearing it from the horse’s mouth. Mumsnet and Made for Mums are both good ports of call for honest, impartial reviews.

4. Look for a genuine manufacturer’s guarantee

Treads, for example, come with a 12 month ‘indestructible’ guarantee. Which is quite a claim and one I’d be interested to put to the test!

5. Remember if your kids’ shoes should prove unfit for purpose, then you have the right to ask for a refund

As with most things in life, know your rights!

Will you be shopping for school shoes this summer? Have you already bought them, or are they still on your to-do list? I’d love to hear about your experience!

If you liked this you may also enjoy reading:

Our school countdown bucket list

10 sure-fire signs the school holidays have started

How to get the most out of your child’s school report