So the kids have had about 14 weeks off school and will shortly need to don the school uniform once again. After so long, chances are they’ll complain their school shoes are too small. But are they really? How will you know? We’re lucky to have a highly skilled Hills District Mum and owner of Sparks Shoes in Beecroft who can help us out with an at-home option to determine if it’s actually the case!


After an entire term off school, the leather in school shoes will have stiffened up a bit and the kids aren’t used to wearing anything that stiff of late, as they’ve been wearing either no shoes, just socks, Ugg boots and maybe sneakers at best.

First thing to do is give the school shoes a good polish – best to do this the old-fashioned way with a brush and tin of polish, which will help revive and moisturise the leather once again. Leather is skin and polish is like your expensive pot of moisturiser – apply liberally and allow to soak in for as long as possible (even overnight) to get the moisture back into the leather. Polishing regularly also helps make your shoes last longer too!

If you ask your kids to “go and check if your school shoes still fit”, chances are (if they actually follow through with your directions) they’ll grab one shoe, shove a bare foot into it and declare, “They’re fine mum!” This option rarely ever works!

We suggest having kids wear their shoes during online learning for a day or two the week before they head back to school. Their body heat will warm up the leather and help soften it. They don’t have to be walking in their shoes, just sitting in them for a few hours will help to soften them again. Make sure they’re wearing school socks and have their shoes done up properly too. After a day or two of this, your kids should be able to tell you if they are feeling too squeezy to wear to school.

If you’ve done all this and the kids still complain, then chances are your lockdown lunches have been too good and the kids HAVE grown!


So now what?!! There’s only one term left – in fact there’s only half of one term to go! What are your options?

If your school allows, your kids could wear their sports shoes (assuming they have a decent pair that still fit!) This might just manage to scrape you through to the end of the year.

You could scrounge around for a cheap pair that may not fit well and may not last. Or you could put that money towards a new good quality fitted pair.

Many parents feel that there’s not point to purchase new school shoes for such a short time, however an experienced shoe fitter will be able to fit your child in a new pair of school shoes allowing Christmas holiday growth so they can start next year off in the same pair of school shoes.

Fitting professionals can fit for 9 months of growth (that’s three terms) so you can expect to get the better part of next year out of a pair of shoes purchased for the final term of school.

I actually like getting school shoes for my kids’ mid-year as there is no crowds to battle and it’s another Back To School expense that I don’t have to face straight after Christmas. Also, the kids can have comfy, worn in shoes for starting the new year in the hot weather, which is a much more comfortable option!

Here’s to a great end of year and an even better year next year!

Jaythene is a Hills District Mum of 3 and knows kids’ shoes like the back of her hand. Her family has owned Sparks Shoes in Beecroft for generations and the store is a local institution. Sparks is now open to serve you in store, following Covid safe guidelines.

Sparks Shoes – 9 Wongola Crescent, Beecroft.