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Back-to-School Shoe Shopping Guide and $200 Converse Giveaway

According to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey, total spending on back-to-school items are expected to reach $74.9 billion – up about three percent from $72.5 billion in 2013. One of the most popular must-haves on the back to school shopping list: shoes, of course.


Like many parents, I face the daunting shoe challenge with my daughters each August: cool shoes versus solid podiatrist-approved shoes. So, how do I meet the wants of fashion-cool kicks and promote healthy, growing foot development?

Below are some tips and trends for selecting the perfect back to school shoes.

Selecting “Good” Shoe Tips

  • As a general rule, avoid heels, backless or slip-on shoes for kids. Not only is it difficult for kids to walk in heels, they are particularly bad for proper foot development. Stick with flats and even soles.
  • Look for shoes made from breathable materials, such as canvas or leather. They tend to keep the child’s foot cooler and dryer, helping to prevent blisters, discomfort, and smelly shoes.
  • Pick a pattern or textured sole, which will provide traction and help prevent your child from slipping on slick surfaces.
  • Shoe shopping should always be done in the afternoon or evening, since feet swell throughout the day.
Checking the fit of my youngest daughter's shoe.

Checking the fit of my youngest daughter’s shoe.

Now, how about those Hot Back To School Shoe Trends?

Get Wild!
Wild print designs have been popular for several years and fashion publications like Teen Vogue predict the wild theme is here to stay for quite sometime.

Denim Craze
Head-to-toe denim is one of the hottest trends for back-to-school, and it’s a necessity for this season’s shopping lists and shoes in denim shades are no exception!


Various, seasonal shades by Converse.

Seasonable Shades
Greens and reds are the to-die-for colors this fall season, especially when paired with basic neutral colors, such as camel, gray and cocoa (mix n’ match colored shoelaces to make this fashion pairing).

It’s All About Style
This year look for ankle booties, combat boots, studded flats, skater sneakers, boots with shearling, colorful Converse, futuristic styles and fashionable loafers.

CONS Weapon Skate by Converse. Image courtesy of Converse.

CONS Weapon Skate by Converse. Image: Courtesy of Converse

Don’t Overspend & Oversize
Avoid overspending (ahem) as children outgrow shoes quickly and new shoe occasions seem to sneak up on you. Also, don’t buy shoes too large in anticipation of growth spurts. Too big of shoes are a recipe for tripping. Buying a shoe with a thumb’s size cushion between the toe and end of the shoe as a general guideline.

So, now that we’ve considered common sense and fashion style, one final tip to keep in mind is parental mindset: With some guidance, I need to allow my children to pick out their favorite color, design or style when it comes to shoes. This strategic parental tactic will not only relieve shopping tensions, but hopefully start everyone off on the right foot for the upcoming school year.


Converse has offered on OC Mom Blog family a $200 gift certificate to use towards sneakers, hats, backpacks, etc. Enter to win in the form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kristal Zacharias is the mother of two beautiful, vivacious girls, and wife of a hunky husband who works in the action sports industry. For the past 15 years, Kristal has worked for several Fortune 500 companies as a professional communicator. Follow her journey at Clearly Kristal or on Facebook and Twitter.
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  14. The must have item is definitely shoes, and a backpack

  15. New sneakers are definitely a must-have.

  16. Backpack and shoes.

  17. some new kicks!

  18. New clothes!

  19. Backpack is a must have

  20. This year, I think it’s gonna be printer ink.

  21. Our must have is t-shirts, shorts and shoes of course!!’

  22. Shoes, backpack, lunch bag and school supplies.

  23. Shoes, backpack, lunch bag and school supplies.

  24. My must have back to school item is comfortable shoes.

  25. a really cute affordable backpack or purse. That’s a total must have.

  26. My must have back-to-school item for our four kids is a pair of new shoes for each one of them.

  27. We used to go for the cheap shoes, but halfway (sometimes even less) through year all 3 were destroyed! Now we go high quality and save some by shopping for them online.

  28. New backpack and shoes

  29. New clothes and shoes!!

  30. backpack and shoes

  31. My must have back to school item is a brand new pair of sneakers!

  32. backpack and shoes

  33. Shoes and shorts! It’s going to be warm for a while, and I think shorts will come in handy. My little one needs some new shoes since he outgrows them faster than I can buy them!!

  34. Classroom supplies and good shoes that’ll last!

  35. All necessary supplies, clothes and SHOES! 😀

  36. A good backpack is absolutely necessary!

  37. I would look into a backpack that can hold my laptop and maybe some shoes.

  38. A Nice Pair Of Shoes Is My Back To School Must Have!

  39. A new bookbag and sneakers

  40. New clothing and shoes

  41. glue sticks and magic markers

  42. h

  43. A new reliable backpack is a must.

  44. New clothes and shoes are essential. Kids grow a lot during summer.

  45. Nice collections!

  46. A very good backpack…but Converse would be up there!

  47. Jeans are a must have item.

  48. new clothes & shoes!

  49. New shoes and a new backpack!

  50. My grandkids must have back to school item is a backpack.

  51. Shoes, clothes and lunch box

  52. shoes and backpacks. also various writing instruments.

  53. New shoes and jeans

  54. Clothes and shoes

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  58. Love this! Thank you! Shoes and jeans are alway at the top of the list!

  59. Shoes And socks.

  60. New shoes and new jacket.

  61. My must have item is shoes

  62. I definitely think it’s important to get shoes at the beginning of the year that my kids won’t trash in under a month; which negates most shoes at my fave store of Target. 🙂 Loose fitting clothing for the optimal monkey bar adventures is also important.

    At least in Southern California, the kids can wear their summer clothes well into the fall, so I probably won’t do any school clothes shopping for a few months.

    “All work and no play makes mommy a disgruntled chick.”

  63. Paper & folders and writing equipment.

  64. New clothes

  65. Shoes are my #1 must have new item for the school year!

  66. a good backpack and good tennis shoes

  67. bsckpack and lunch bags

  68. New Shoes

  69. A backpack is a musthave!

  70. A new back pack and good shoes

  71. We always go through a lot of Pencils.

  72. backpacks, shoes and jackets

  73. A favorite pair of jeans is def a must have!!

  74. My bts must have is a coat.
    i find it hard to get my dd a good winter coat,b/c she refuses to wear polyester. It makes her staticy.

  75. My Kids have to have new shoes and new jeans! They can use their backpacks for a couple of years if it’s a good brand.

  76. The perfect first day of school outfit!

  77. must have new purse and new shoes

  78. Our must haves are new socks, shoes, and notebooks!

  79. Our must have item is a nice backpack and waterbottle! Its so hot in so cali right now!

  80. Shoes, clothes and supplies are needed for my 5 kids and it can be difficult doing it alone

  81. Our must have is a backpack & crayons right now. Yay for preschool!

  82. A new backpack and sneakers.

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  85. New shoes and pants for sure!

  86. nice Backpack.

  87. Every year new sneakers and a new backpack are a must!

  88. A nice, high quality backpack.

  89. A great backpack.

  90. Shoes!

  91. Jeans

  92. must have back to school item for me is a great pair of sneakers.

  93. Uniforms! (and cute shoes to match!)

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