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Caring for new school shoes – how to make them last

School girl wearing black leather shoesIs your child one of the ones who needs new school shoes just about every term?

Okay probably not as often as that, but sometimes it can feel like it – especially in terms of your wallet.

After spending hours choosing the school shoes that suit your child best, it’s disheartening to have to buy new ones so soon again.

There can be a way around this though. Taking good care of your shoes is half the battle to make them last the whole year, or as much of it as possible before your child grows out of them.

How to care for your child’s new school shoes

Air them out

Get your kids to take them off as soon as they’re home, and put them outside in the fresh air for a few hours – providing the weather permits. You can also sprinkle baking soda in the shoes overnight to get rid of any bad odours and moisture. Just empty the shoes in the morning and wear them again.

Dry them out

If they’re wet, for example from walking in the rain, stuff them with newspaper overnight – the moisture will be drawn out of the shoe. Avoid using a hairdryer or heater to dry them as it may cause damage to the shoe.

Clean them

Wipe off any excessive dirt or grime whenever possible to keep the shoes protected. Also, buff out any scuff marks you see at the end of the day, as any damage done can usually be reversed if treated straight away. However, don’t machine-wash them. This can damage them more than clean them.

Polish them

Polishing the shoes every week keeps them looking their best. This also helps to make the last longer. You can even do this as often as every day, if you think there is a lot of wear happening each day.

Have back-ups

If for some reason your child’s shoes can’t be worn one day, you need an alternative that is still appropriate for school. Maybe a pair worn normally on weekends or outside of school hours can suffice. A cheaper pair from online can work, if you can get the size right.

Keep spare laces

Shoelaces can break for any number of reasons, so keep some spare laces for these times, and when you can see the laces starting to wear out, change them. Having spare ones at home won’t do any good if your child’s shoelaces are so worn they break on the way to school. Also, make sure your child unties the shoe laces in order to take their shoes off. This will maintain the shape of the shoe, and also keep the laces from wearing out too quickly.

Have them resoled

If the sole of the shoe wears out while all the other parts are still good, you can have them resoled if it isn’t too expensive. This way you can keep the shoes for longer.

Waterproof them

Do this as soon as you get them with a non-silicon based waterproofing spray, as anything with silicon will clog the pores of the shoe so it can’t breathe.

Keep your shoes on a rack or in boxes

This helps maintain their shape and won’t get them dirty again by being strewn across the floor.


Following this simple advice to take care of your new shoes will make them last, and keep your kids in there new school shoes for as long as possible. You won’t have to buy multiple pairs each year, unless your kids undergo a growth spurt, that is!

Check out more great info in our Back to School Hub.

Image credit: gow27/123RF Stock Photo

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