School shoes vs. sports shoes (which are better?)
Traditional school shoes and sports shoes serve two very different functions and so shouldn’t be compared in the same context. The main hurdle is the school’s individual uniform policies; whether school shoes are required for day to day wear and sport shoes only used at time of physical education or in some school’s where sports shoes can be worn daily with the regular uniform. Given school shoes are generally non-negotiable at most schools, they provide a supportive, weather proof, comfortable uniform staple.
“Sports shoes are clearly the best option for PE classes and if there is significant distance travelling to and from school.”
In recent years, I have seen brands try to merge the traditional school shoe and sport shoe together to allow students to get the best of both worlds. However, some schools are deeming these inappropriate for main uniform days and I’m yet to find a style that gets this blend right.
For schools that allow sports shoes every day of the week- that will make some children very happy! However, I would still look for similar characteristics in the sport shoe that school shoes do have. For example, a leather upper rather than a mesh upper keeps them drier on wet days, more durable and less chance of toes ripping holes in the top of the shoe. I would also look for a sturdy and supportive sports shoe rather than the ‘flexible/ free’ styles.
“I caution against replacing a sports shoe with a leisure type sneaker in schools where there are no footwear regulations.“
For children wearing sports shoes to school 5 days a week, plus potentially playing weekend sport, training on weeknights and even just hanging out on weekends in them, be wary that they will wear out very quickly with this level of use. It would not be unusual to have to replace sports shoes at the four to six-month mark when children are wearing them this often for school, sport and leisure.