Your Guide To School Shoes: Brands And Care

Your Guide To School Shoes: Brands And Care

As the kids return to school, we’re guessing you’ve got them a new pair of Kickers or Clarks and will need to keep them in tip-top shape? Or, maybe you’re still deciding which brand is right for your children to rock on their first day of the school year? If yes, that’s excellent, you’re in the right place. 

By following a few simple steps and incorporating some good habits, you can extend the lifespan of your school shoes and keep’em looking fresh throughout the academic year. That’s why we’ve put this guide together – we’ve collated all the best ways to care for your Kickers school shoes (and any school shoes, for that matter) in the most efficient way. 

We’ll give you step-by-step instructions on how to clean tough stains, where to store school shoes, tips on how to choose the right pair – and much more. Think of this as your one-stop shop for all things school shoes. 

Now, grab your notebook, we’re going to give you all the school shoe information you need right now…

Choosing the right school shoes brand

Picking the perfect school shoe can be tough with the amount of choice. Which brand would be best for your child? Or, which style best suits their fast-paced lunch breaks and running up a corridor they’re not meant to? We’ve got a few favourites when it comes to the best school shoe brands. Let us explain:


Now, when we say Kickers are a cult classic in the school shoe game, there’s a good reason for it. They gained some serious popularity among parents across the UK 50 years ago. Kickers believe they “have a positive impact on the youth of today in the UK by providing products that help each of us to express ourselves, both in and out of the classroom.” 

With a huge range of school footwear available, if you’re looking for a trusted brand with buckets of experience, Kickers could be an old faithful for that September shoe. 


Clarks shoes are designed to provide support and stability for growing feet. It helps that they also have a huge of shoe styles suitable for school, including classic lace-up shoes, slip-ons with velcro, and trainers (we’ve got all the school shoe types here at TOWER, too, so no need to panic-search elsewhere!). 

Clarks school shoes often have reinforced heels or extra-secure fasteners to make sure there are no unnecessary accidents out on the playground. 

Dr. Martens

The underdog. Not always seen as a brand to run to for a school shoe, but why? DM’s are renowned for their well-made, durable footwear. It does beg the question – why haven’t we been putting our kids in Dr. Martens for school this whole time? Well, it’s time to do just that.

Dr. Martens are known for their longevity. With care and maintenance, Dr. Martens for kids can last for years, making them cost-effective. The cushioned insoles and air-cushioned soles help absorb shock and provide all-day comfort, sort of no-brainer choice for school shoes, right?

Related: The History of Dr. Martens

Caring for patent leather school shoes

According to the kings of school shoes themselves, Kickers state to “avoid using polish on patent leather and rubberised leather styles.” Who’d have thought? So, now we know to leave the polish firmly to the side when cleaning patent leather shoes, let’s go through exactly what you should be doing instead. 

Below are our easy-to-follow steps for cleaning and maintaining patent leather school shoes.

What you’ll need: a few clean cloths or soft brushes, mild soap or washing up liquid, clean water, and patent leather treatment. 

Step 1: Remove any dry dirt or debris

Grab a dry cloth or a soft brush and buff away any dried-on dirt. This will make it easier for the upcoming thorough clean.

Step 2: Prepare your solution

Combine a tiny amount of mild soap or washing-up liquid to make a soft cleaning solution. Make sure the soap doesn't include any abrasives or strong chemicals that might harm the patent leather. Mix it up and grab a clean cloth.

Step 3: Clean your patent school shoes

Now, dampen your cloth and gently clean your patent shoes. Try not to put too much pressure on the shoes. Repeat until all marks have been washed away.

Step 4: Drying time

You’ve guessed it, grab another clean cloth and absorb any excess water which may still be sitting on the patent leather. Leave them to naturally dry for the best results. 

Step 5: Treat them

To keep your patent leather school shoes looking this good for longer, you’ll need to treat them. If you have patent leather treatment, this is when you should apply it using the manufacturer's directions. 

Where to store patented leather school

When your kids get home from a long day of learning, store patent leather shoes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid stacking them, too, as this can cause creases or cracks in the finish. 

Caring for leather school shoes

If you’ve opted for real leather shoes for this academic year, you’ll want to make sure they stay looking fresh out of the box (to a certain extent, we get school shoes put the miles in!) Follow the below tips to clean and treat leather school shoes.

What you’ll need: a clean cloth, a soft brush, clean water, and leather treatment or soap.

Step 1: Remove excess dirt

Gently remove any excess dirt or debris with a soft brush or a dry cloth.

Step 2: Prepare your cleaner

Using a specific leather cleaner or mild soap, mix clean water with the mixture to the manufacturer's instructions. If you’re using soap, make sure the soap is mild and you only add a touch – you can always add more if needed.

Step 3: Clean and dry the leather shoes

Clean the entire shoe using your mixed solution, with more effort on the parts of the shoe with any stubborn marks or scuffs. Use as little as possible to avoid excess moisture damaging the leather. Using a clean cloth, wipe away any moisture before drying. Leave the shoes to air dry.

Step 4: Treat the leather with a conditioner

Following the directions in your leather conditioner, apply the treatment. This will help bring tired-looking leather shoes to appear box(ish)-fresh!

Step 5: Polish’em up

Although you don’t absolutely have to polish leather shoes after a conditioning treatment, it’s a nice touch to add now and then. Especially if you’re cleaning these for school photo day or the first day back after half-term. Grab your favourite protecting polish and buff away! 

Where to store leather shoes

There are a few options when it comes to storing leather footwear. You can opt for the classic shoehorn approach, or simply keep hold of the original shoebox and place them back in on the days they’re not being worn. As long as your leather shoes are stored in a cool and dry environment, you’ll be onto a winner!

Discover the best school shoes with TOWER

We’re a proud family-run business, passionate about footwear and embracing individuality, self-expression, and trend-setting. 

Explore our school shoe collection from the very best brands today: Shop School Shoes

And, if you’re looking for a little more, be sure to check out The Edit by TOWER. It’s a hub of information dedicated to educating and inspiring in classic TOWER style. 

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