Caring for your children's school shoes

Simple Tips to Make Your Child's School Shoes Last Longer

As a parent, you understand the struggle of keeping your child's school shoes in good condition. They go through a lot of wear and tear, from running and playing to braving the elements. It's no wonder that the average child goes through three pairs of school shoes every year! However, with a few simple tips, you can make their shoes last longer and save yourself some money in the process. In this article, we'll share some practical advice from industry experts to help you keep your child's shoes looking new.

Remove Scuff Marks with a Rubber

It's common for children's school shoes to become scuffed or scratched after days of running and playing. However, there are easy ways to repair them that only require household essentials. For small scuff marks, particularly on suede or leather and black school shoes, you can use your child's rubber from their pencil case. Using small circular movements, gently apply the rubber to the affected area to polish any scuff marks, rubbing away any debris with a clean cloth once completed.

For areas that have seen more damage, grab your baking soda from the kitchen and mix 1-2 tablespoons with enough warm water to create a paste consistency. Once the paste is ready, apply it to a cloth and gently rub over the affected area. Once you're happy with the surface, use a damp cloth to go over the area and remove any excess paste.

Use a Small Brush to Target Tough Dirt Stains

School shoe cleaning with a brush

Before starting on the smaller details, make sure that you've wiped over the shoe with a mild disinfectant and a damp cloth. For mud and grit stains, take a shoe brush or an old toothbrush and begin to gently sweep away any dirt, starting at the sole of the shoe. Often, there are small stones stuck within the grooves, so don't be afraid to apply more pressure here.

Using small circular motions, move onto the front of the shoe to lift any remaining grease or grit, making sure to have a damp cloth to hand to wipe away any excess.

Freshen Up the Inside of the Shoe Using Mild Soap and Water

It's essential to clean the inside of your child's school shoes as well. Since children do a lot of running and walking in their school shoes, it can cause their feet to sweat, and in turn, cause the shoes to lose their freshness. One way to tackle this is to apply a mild soap, such as washing up liquid, to a damp cloth and work it into the inner shoe. It's important not to saturate the shoe when doing this, so make sure to ring out the cloth fully before starting and air dry the shoes for at least 24 hours before re-wearing.

Put the Laces in with Your Next Laundry Load

If the shoes have laces, a simple tip is to fully remove them from both shoes, soak the laces in warm soapy water for a few minutes, then squeeze the dirt and muck out. Once this is done, put them in the washing machine with your next load. Not only will this deep clean the parts of the laces that you once couldn't access, but it'll also give the shoes a moment to breathe.

Use Tweezers to Remove Dirt from Velcro

removing fluff from velcro shoes

Velcro fastenings are child-friendly and easy to use, but the deliberately sticky material can be tricky to keep clean. After a long week at school, Velcro fastenings can become gathered with dust, hair, string, grass, and other fiddly items. One way to remove these is to grab your tweezers and pick out the obvious pieces of dirt, before using a comb or old toothbrush to remove any further dust or debris. Alternatively, use a small wire brush to rub dirt away from Velcro.

Rotate Your Child's Shoes

Rotating your child's school shoes is a simple yet effective way to make them last longer. Wearing the same pair of shoes every day can cause them to wear out more quickly. Therefore, it's essential to have at least two pairs of school shoes that your child can alternate between. This way, each pair of shoes has time to breathe and recover between wears, ensuring they last longer.

Store the Shoes Properly

Storing your child's school shoes properly can help them last longer. Keeping them in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight and moisture, will prevent them from deteriorating. Additionally, it's essential to avoid storing them in a cramped space, as this can cause the shoes to lose their shape. Try to keep them in a shoe rack or on a shelf where they can breathe.

Teach Your Child to Care for Their Shoes

Teaching your child to care for their shoes is an excellent way to instil good habits and ensure their shoes last longer. Encourage them to remove their shoes when they come home from school and to store them properly. Additionally, teach them how to clean their shoes using the tips outlined in this article. By taking care of their shoes, they'll not only look better but also last longer.