Girls School Uniform

Should school shoes last longer than 6 weeks?

The school holidays are an opportunity for many breaks.

A break from the school run, a break from packed lunches, a break from the relentless routine and homework and after school activities…

It can be a break for mum and dad as much as the kids. But in our house, it’s also a much-needed break for my daughter’s school shoes!


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She’s had them for just 6 weeks – and they’re already starting to fall apart.

We purchased them from a well-known brand at Robina Town Centre – I won’t name and shame publicly, but let’s just say she doesn’t usually have sketchy taste in shoes.

Her school requires black shoes, and she’d grown out of the black sneakers we bought her in January, so in late July I took her shopping for another pair.

It turns out, options are quite limited when it comes to finding black running shoes for kids in the middle of winter!

After Big W, Kmart and Target proved fruitless, we began looking at the more expensive sports shoes. When she spied this pair of black sneakers with hot pink laces, she was instantly smitten. I didn’t love the $60 price tag, but I thought: it’s an investment in her feet. She’ll get at least six months out of it. Let’s do it!

Unfortunately, within a few weeks, the shoes were showing massive signs of wear.

I’m talking: fraying at the top of the shoe, and parts of the rubber at the front of the shoe rubbing away, or rubbing off entirely.

When I took them back to the store just 5 weeks after the date of purchase, I was told: “That’s just wear and tear. Your daughter must cross her legs a lot.”

Um, year, she’s 6 years old – crossing her legs is a big part of her day! As is running, jumping, climbing, playing, and doing all sorts of active things one would expect of a grade one student.

I tried contacting head office, but we met with the same “wear and tear” response.

In my view, a pair of kids’ sneakers should be able to handle wear and tear for more than six weeks.

But hey, what would I know? I’m only two years into a 20-year journey of buying schools shoes, every year, possibly twice a year, for each of my three kids.

That’s up to 80-odd pairs of kid’s shoes over the next two decades. And I know exactly which brand I won’t be buying them from!

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To the “your daughter *must*…” retort, the answer you ned to give back is “No. She doesn’t. These shoes are defective. Please repair or replace.” They are simply throwing it back on you to prove something that cannot be proven: obviously you do not monitor your daughter’s use of the shoes. She’s at school all day. Secondly, how many of the described actions constitute “a lot”. Don’t defend, block.

If they respond with “well no-one else has complained/returned them” then that bolsters your argument that the shoes you have are defective.

The shoes are meant to be worn by a kid, therefore they should last. In my experience/expectation, school shoes should last a year. They’ll look pretty ratty by then, but the should be wearable.

Meddler, if the shoes are failing, DO SOMETHING, don’t just sit there moaning and whining. Tell us the store and the brand of shoe. MAN (or WOMAN) up. Shame them on Facebook, march up and down outside the shop with a placard and loudhailer. Go to your state consumer affairs dept or ombudsman.

also what is the child doing to them while wearing them.

You are so not alone, I am a Mum of 3 and am so thankful that 2 of my kids have grown up and left school now. I understand why my football made son would wear through his shoes, he is being very active and kicking footballs over the posts over and over again as well as running around etc. but I never understood why my daughter’s shoes never lasted when they didn’t do too much other than the occasional game of catch & kiss (haha).

I have to buy new shoes at the start of each term. It doesn’t matter if I spend $100 or $10 they are all worn out after 10 weeks (let’s put that into perspective – 10 x 5 days = 500 wears give or take). That seems like a lot but as a kid my parents would buy my brother and I a new pair of shoes in January and they lasted us till December.

Perhaps this is just another indication that we are well and truly in the disposable error and nothing is made to last anymore.