School Shoes for Girl?

Updated on August 01, 2011
K.. asks from Phoenix, AZ
21 answers

My DD is starting Kindergarten & I'm just wondering what type of shoes your girls wear to school? DD has only been in a very casual Pre-K setting, so she could wear flip flops to that, but I know regular school isn't as flexible. Is there something stylish & functional, at the same time, that she can wear?

I know some of you will probably say "Twinkle Toes" by Skechers, but, as cute as Twinkle Toes are, I won't be spending my money on them - she got them for Christmas last year & they barely made it through 4 months of very light use. The bottoms ended up with holes in them & the lights stopped working pretty quickly. Not worth it, IMO. We need something that will stand up to a full day of school but hopefully still are cute.

ETA - yes, I know that flip flops aren't practical, nor would I want her at school for several hours in them, plus I'm pretty sure they're not allowed, anyway... hence the post :-) The reason she could wear them to Pre-K is because it was in home & they went barefoot most of the time.


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So What Happened?

Thanks for all of the great input!

We went shoe shopping today at our local Stride Rite Outlet & got a good deal. They were having a B1G1 1/2 off (included ALL shoes in store, even sale & clearance, I was so stoked!) so I let her choose one practical athletic shoe & one "pretty" athletic shoe. I decided against Mary Janes or athletic type sandals because I just want her to be comfy & not worry about what's in her shoes or if they are falling off, etc.

Thanks again!!

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answers from Chicago on

Do you have a Stride Rite Outlet nearby? I was just there today and everything was buy one get one 50%. Got leather shoes and leather boots for $40 for both. The Stride Rite shoes from last year made it through the entire school year so I'm sold.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Madison on

I like my girls (ages 5 and 7) to be in shoes they can run around in. I don't get dressy shoes for school. Only tennis shoes, sport sandals or more stylish shoes that are still good for being active. Try Stride Rite. They have good quality shoes that are cute and still practical. For sandals, Keen makes great quality sandals that are really good for being active. More expensive but they really last!

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answers from New York on

I always spent the money on good shoes for my kids. Actually the shoe
store finally closed last week after 45 years of incredible service. Stride
Rite you can never go wrong with and they have some cute shoes for
girls. Just make sure she is fitted for them. As someone who has problems
with my feet, I believe good fitting good shoes are a must. To get thru a schoo year it would mean probably one pair of shoes and one pair of
sneakers in the fall and then a repeat late winter or early spring.

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answers from Redding on

Definitely no flip flops for kindergarten.
My kids' schools didn't allow them at all for safety reasons in any grade.
My daughter was a bit of a shoe diva, but when it came to school, practicality always had to come first.
You need something that will stay on her feet and that she can run around in all day comfortably. Anything with open toes just leads to stubbed toes on the playground or someone accidentally stepping on them.
They make cute functional shoes and my daughter liked getting different laces that would match different outfits.
My kids, even my son, grew out of their shoes before they thrashed them so I never bought them really expensive shoes.
They make LOTS of cute shoes for girls, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding something.

Best wishes!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I've always had my daughter in sneakers or athletic style sandals. She needs to be able to run and play and be comfortable. I've never allowed flip-flops as they are bad for feet and cause injuries. I've tried various brands, and don't have one favorite, as long as they seem sturdy, fit well, and my daughter likes them, I'm OK with them. I don't pay a lot as they will be grown out of in less than one year.

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answers from Denver on

I am a big fan of Mary Jane-style shoes. I pick the ones with a thicker sole on them and they stand up to most anything put in front of her. I also like Chuck Taylors and plane old tennis shoes. I would stay away from sandals, flip flops, or anything with holes or gaps. These shoes are terrible for the playground in particular and that is one thing they do every day is the playground.


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answers from Washington DC on

I would just get some basic tennis shoes. I got my daughter some from target and they were great. She has P.E. in her K class, so they worked great. She did have twinkle toes before that, but because she had PE class, they got worn out really quickly.


answers from Santa Fe on

I always look in local thrift stores for the good brands of shoes (like Stride Rite. I WISH I lived near a Stride Rite outlet!). Sometimes I find them in perfect shape at a thrift store! Or I sometimes buy shoes at Lands End for my kids bc they are good quality. The ones I've gotten at Target and at Payless just did not last very long :( But my son is super tough on shoes so maybe they will be fine for a different kid.



answers from Chicago on

Land's End mocs- my son gets a pair every year for school! They are durable and always still in good enough shape to pass on when he outgrows them. For girls they make both a slip-on style and a Mary Jane with a velcro strap in all sorts of colors, so you can do a practical black or navy blue or brown or a pink or something fun. I have been buying these shoes for years now (my son is almost 12) and have always been happy with them. Go to and check them out :)


answers from St. Louis on

Ahahaha I was going to say don't get twinkle toes, they fall apart too easily!

They make some very colorful athletic shoes for girls. They are pretty enough to still wear with dresses but practical enough for everyday school.


answers from Boston on

Try to get away from cute and stylish - she's only in kindergarten. She needs something sturdy with a non-slip sole. It could be a sneaker or a sandal with a good strap that won't fall off during play. She'll be running around at recess and going to phys ed - give her a good play shoe that won't slip off. Too much emphasis goes on pushing our girls into fashion - and if it's not a functional shoe, then it's really a waste of money. Their clothes take a beating in school too - they spill their juice, they get finger paint on it, they get dirty on the playground. It's more important that they have fun and can do all the activities without worrying about ruining clothes. Save the good clothes and fashionable items for special occasions and not everyday use. You'll get more for your money and have a lot less frustration.


answers from Dallas on

All children at our elementary have PE and are required to wear shoes fit for PE. They do have an option to change shoes before PE but if they don't change or don't have proper shoes for PE, they sit out and it goes on toward the grade for the period.

Children are rough on shoes... I don't think my daughter ever made 4 months with a pair of shoes and we always went with Stride Right and then on to cute things she liked. I did not go cheap on her shoes.. they need good supportive shoes.



answers from Tucson on

My daughter wears the sandals that have tennis shoe bottoms but are cute enough to wear with dresses. I also got a pair of tennis shoes with velcro. She still has troubles with tying shoes and I feel it is my job not the teachers to teach my kids that lesson. Walmart has good prices. It seems no matter how expensive the shoe they still fall apart just a quickly as the cheap ones. So if I have to replace them I would rather spend $7-13 vs. $24 a piece. She has a cute pair of garanamals tennies, and white sandals, I did buy her some brown dress shoes like mary janes just cause they were on a good sale at payless and I had a coupon.



answers from New York on

I would recommend a good pair of sneakers.

Also, whatever type of shoe you decide to go with, it should secure to the foot; like a sandal that has a strap around the ankle. Nothing that can slide on and off easily.


answers from Austin on

In our daughters elementary school all students were to wear tennis shoes every school day, because they ran or walked track every day.

We purchased the best we could afford for her first pair and then I realized her foot was growing, so then I purchased a tennis shoe that fit her well and looked like it had good support, but did not spend as much money.

She would go through 2 or 3 pair a year depending on how fast her foot grew..

It sure made show shopping easy.. no worries about shoes that matched outfits, mary janes, cute sandals.. Just Tennis shoes..



answers from Seattle on

Several little girls at my school have worn the Champion sneakers from Payless. They get dirty, but seem to hold up. I like the TKS brand from Sears; it seems to hold up for us, but my daughter is only 3.



answers from Oklahoma City on

I always get Sketchers but the regular ones. The extras don't appeal to my pocketbook and I just don't.

Any shoe that is a non-shoelace shoe should be fine.



answers from Kansas City on

I agree with cute but sturdy Mary Janes for most days. I think that even those will probably be okay for most days at recess but you will need to either have her wear or send her with real tennis shoes for PE. If she is particular about her shoes and is good at taking them on and off quickly then I'd consider getting a sandal (with straps) but sending tennis shoes (or leaving them there, just check with the teacher) for recess and PE. She'll probably have PE at least 2X/week.



answers from Los Angeles on

My daughter is only 3 yrs old and she is pretty rough on her shoes but I buy her shoes from either payless,kmart or even walmart and they have some really cute closed toed sandals that are sturdy and last =). Oh and like Corie R said the TKS brand from sear is and awesome brand and they have a program called kidvantage that if and when the shoes get work out you can exchange them for a brand new pair =) I hope this was helpful! Happy shoe hunting =)


answers from Rochester on

Whatever happened to Eastland shoes? I think that's what they were called...remember, the brown leather oxfords everyone used to wear (at least when I was in school) and would curl the ends of the laces, etc? They came in low and high top. I think I might go look on Amazon.

A good sneaker would be appropriate, but I don't have a truly inexpensive answer. I would suggest investing in a good pair of Adidas or Etnies (the skate type shoe) because they do last a long time for the money, making it worth it.



answers from Phoenix on

I am a Substitute Teacher and I am in different classrooms with different grade levels each day. I see a range of shoes from flip flops to boots. My daughter has always worn tennis shoes because she likes to run around and play at recess, but I see many of the girls wearing flip flops and the sparkly tennis shoes. Personally I like the Mary Jane style shoes that have in casual looks now ....they can run around in them and they go with a variety of outfits. I see some girls wear these. Flip flops are not allowed in school, it's in the handbook, but most schools do not enforce it. With so many active children running around and so many desks in the classroom these days, my children wear tennis shoes for protection and we buy good ones with good soles on them.

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