Hard-Wearing & Scuff Resistant School Shoes

young boy putting on hard wearing school shoe

What Makes A Hard Wearing School Shoe? 

Identifying hard wearing school shoes can at times be harder than first thought. This blog will provide you with all of the information and features to look out for, avoiding any unwanted stress during the hectic back-to-school season.

Firstly, you need to know what features to look for. When we decide if a school shoe is hard-wearing or not, we look to identify if it meets the following criteria:

  • A Rubber Bumper
  • Easy to Clean and Maintain
  • Leather Uppers
  • Injection Moulded Sole
  • Build Quality and Price Trade-Off

There is a really important compromise to consider between hard-wearing shoes and shoes that are just hard on your feet. We all know that welly boots can take a beating, however, they can be really bad for your feet over extended periods.

Thankfully there are some great hard-wearing boy’s and girl’s school shoes on offer. The best of them make use of very clever design, carefully chosen materials, and top manufacturing techniques to minimise the potential drawbacks of hard-wearing materials. We think about the placement of stitching, the use of soft leathers in the right places and soft but strong inner linings when picking our ranges. Some of these make shoes more expensive, but will genuinely provide a great fitting, comfortable shoe that breathes really well and can stand up to some serious wear, tear and scuff resistance!

Begg Shoes are one of Scotland’s longest-standing independent shoe retailers having been established in 1866. Six generations of the Begg family later, the business now boasts a team of footwear experts – many of whom are fully qualified from The Society of Shoe Fitters.

Boys Hard-Wearing School Shoes

1. Geox New Savage Tex, £59

Geox New Savage Tex Boys Hard Wearing School Shoe

The Geox Savage is robust and hard-wearing, with additional overlay panels and reinforced toe bumpers for durability. The rugged design offers fantastic durability and grip for a range of activities and the bungee lace system means they are super quick to put on in the mornings.

 2. Superfit Storm Shoe Gore-Tex, £69.99

Superfit Storm Shoe Gore Tex Boy's School Shoes

At the higher end of the price scale is Superfit’s Storm Shoe. Featuring a GORE-TEX membrane, these waterproof school shoes for boys are designed to keep feet 100% dry whatever the weather. GORE-TEX is also breathable so maintains a cool and comfortable climate for little feet. We also love the toe rugged toe bumper, which can handle serious hard wear.

3. Clarks Scooterspeed, £48Clarks Boy's Scooterspeed

The Clarks Scooterspeed is a great value leather school shoe, with tough wearing features. The breathable textile lining has been treated with Agion technology which prevents odour-causing bacteria to help keep little feet fresher for longer. The rubber sole has a grooved design for additional traction and the all-important toe bumper to protect the shoe from wear and tear.

4. Vans Seldan Youth, £40

Vans Seldan Youth School Shoes

Vans are known for their comfy and casual styling and these all-black Vans are the ideal school shoe for fashion-conscious teens. Still on-trend but without breaking the rules, these boy’s black Vans have a vegan leather upper. The rubber waffle sole unit offers additional grip and the rubber toe bumper is a key feature.

5. Start Rite Tarantula, £48

Start Rite Tarantula Boys School Shoe

The Start Rite Tarantula is ideal for budding adventurers. Featuring a cool spider and web design on the riptape, these school shoes are certain to meet the demands of the playground. Made from soft black leather with a flexible sole and cushioned footbed, this is a brand new addition to our hard-wearing school shoe collection in 2022.

Girls Hard-Wearing School Shoes

1. Lelli Kelly Meryl T Bar, £59.99

Lelli Kelly Meryl T Bar Hard-Wearing Girls School Shoe

These Lelli Kelly girl’s shoes have a robust, chunky sole that will stand up to the ravages of the school day. The Meryl T Bar has a patent leather upper which is easily wiped clean and cushioning around the collar and footbed to provide a comfy fit throughout the day.

2. Superfit, Heaven Mary Jane, £52

Superfit Heaven Mary Jane Scuff Resistant Girls School Shoes

This is your answer to a modern Mary Jane shoe, with a black leather upper and lining making for an incredibly comfortable school shoe. This bestseller from Superfit is complete with a cute flower detailing on its Velcro strap making your little one stand out from the rest in the playground.

3. Geox Casey T Bar, £57

Geox Casey T Bar

Geox are well known for their harder-wearing shoes and these Geox girl’s school shoes are just that. The chunky sole unit offers additional traction whilst the patent upper is easy to maintain. Geox also combines a perforated sole with a breathable membrane to allow natural temperature regulation to stop sweat building up throughout the school day.

4. Start Rite Leapfrog, £45

Start Rite Girls Black Leapfrog Hard Wearing School Shoe

The newest addition to our school shoe collection, the Start Rite Leapfrog is a smart and stylish black leather school shoe. In addition, the handy rip tape strap and breathable textile lining make these an excellent value for money option that competes with Clarks when it comes to quality.

5. Primigi Olea Mary Jane, £39.99

Primigi Olea Mary Jane School Shoe

Simplistic yet stylish, this school shoe from Primigi can certainly endure the demands of school life. Featuring a smooth black leather upper, a secure Velcro strap and a grooved outsole make these both comfortable and supportive.

6. Superfit Bill, £19.99

Superfit Bill Unisex School Shoes

Whether you call them indoor shoes, gymies or plimsolls, these Superfit school shoes are an ideal choice for long-lasting gym shoes. Superfit uses high quality materials which are lightweight, flexible and longer lasting than cheaper alternatives. The key difference is in the sole, which uses injection moulding instead of cheaper glue, to bind the shoe together more strongly allowing them to stand up to the wear and tear of gym class.

Top 5 Features of Hard Wearing School Shoes

1. Rubber Bumpers

Hard Wearing School Shoes Rubber Bumper

Some of the best examples are inspired by street and skate fashion, with great examples in our Geox kid’s range. A rubber bumper on the front and back helps fend off the bumps and scrapes. Fitting these well is the key to doing it right – the hard rubber toe cap needs a careful fit check to ensure toes have the right amount of room to move. We recommend getting a qualified fitter to check these over every time to be sure.

2. Easy Clean & Care

Hard Wearing School Shoes Easy to Clean

Keeping muck off can be hard work and contribute to the early end of a pair of shoes. Shiny patent shoes are easy to wipe clean and do not require polish either. Ask any colleague in our stores whether you can throw a shoe in the washing machine. It can be really damaging to a shoe – unless it has been specially designed to withstand the machine. There are however a couple of handy options for this, including Clarks kid’s school shoes.

3. Leather Uppers

Hard Wearing School Shoes Leather Upper

When shoes are going to get scuffed, beware of the false economy of a cheaper man-made leather upper. A leather upper is a flexible and breathable material (great for healthy feet) but more importantly for hard wear, you can polish it back to near-perfection when it gets a scrape.

4. Injection Moulded Soles

Hard Wearing School Shoes Direct Injection PU Soles

Sounds clever and it is. The soles are injected in by a machine and the bond is way tougher than glue. The Polyurethane material used is also much harder wearing than rubber or resin soles and even better, it’s lighter and more flexible. Check out our Primigi Kids shoes for PU choices and usually pretty similar in price to Clarks, which does not use this technology.

5. Build Quality & Price

We work hard to source quality and value for money in our kid’s shoe range. Generally, a higher price means higher specification and that often means both stronger and lighter materials are used. Leather which has been carefully selected – not just the cheapest – is naturally tougher but also more flexible. Little details like a premium Velcro will last a little longer. A cleverly designed sole unit will wear a little harder but remain flexible and supportive (not just stiff and hard). Every stitch and spot of glue will be done with more care and attention when the quality control bar is set higher.

All of these subtle differences mean that paying more can be well worth it in terms of hard wear. Don’t be afraid to pay more for shoes that can and will look good, and feel good, for longer. It is worth noting that designer labels and high-fashion styling can cost a lot more, but not wear very well at all. Ask us for advice if you are not sure, we’re happy to help and advise.