Ah, school shoe shopping. Three words that fill every parent with dread. Well, fear not, mamas and papas, we’ve done the legwork for you. I know some people worry about buying shoes online, but most sites have a size guide you can print out, or you can buy your own foot measure. Alfie’s not keen on other people fiddling with his feet, so we’ve always measured at home and bought online. I used to have a Saturday job in a shoe shop so I feel confident about fittting, but basically just get them to walk around in the shoes and feel where their toes are. There’s a wealth of barefoot options out there now and they’re great for growing feet. On the high street your options are Clarks, M&S, Next, Start-Rite, Zara et al, but I’ve tried to hunt out something a bit different. Anyway, as usual in these matters, there are more stylish choices for girls than boys, and I know many schools are strict about shapes and styles, but hopefully you’ll find something a little out of the ordinary for your school starter. Keep an eye on Livie and Luca, Pediped and Bobux as well.
Spiral Comet, £45, Camper. Cool take on the classic Mary Jane from the Spanish cordwainers with Velcro fastening. Available in sizes 8.5 to 12.5 (26 to 31).
Lynn, from £46, Step2wo. Another modern version of the Mary Jane with Velcro in super-shiny patent. Available in sizes 8.5 to 2 (26 to 34).
T Bar, £42, VivoBarefoot. Love this simple t-bar and the ergonomic shape is bound to be ultra comfortable. Available in sizes 8 to 2 (25 to 34).
Everley, £50, Dr Martens. These timeless DMs work just as well for boys and girls. Available in sizes 10 to 2 (28 to 34). If you need a smaller size the Colby, £40, comes in sizes 2 to 9 (19 to 27).
Kick Lo Aztec, £40, Kickers. These patent t-bars are totally adorable and, as they’re Kickers, tough, too. Available in sizes 5 to 12 (22 to 30).
Gabor, £44.95, Licorice Laces. If you can get away with it, this star motif is a funky twist. Available in sizes 8 to 12 (25 to 30).
T-bar, £35, La Redoute. Another t-bar suitable for boys or girls from the French mail order company. Available in sizes 8.5 to 2 (26 to 34).
Natik Achille, £45.70, Sarenza. Versatile suede Velcro ankle boot – just remember to Scotchguard! Available in sizes 4.5 to 13 (21 to 32).
Angulus Chelsea, £72, Igloo Kids. Yes, they’re pricey, but Angulus boots are built to withstand whatever’s thrown at them. Available in sizes 7 to 2 (24 to 34).
MacAlister, £74.92, J Crew. High-end, high-price again, but a desert boot transcends fashion fads. Available in sizes 7 to 5.5 (24 to 39).