back to school with The Athletes Foot

This post is brought to you by The Athletes Foot

Guess what? You’ve just recovered from Christmas, you’ve been back to the shops for the sales and before you know it you’ll be thinking about back to school. Not the early mornings or the school run or making lunches. But getting ready to go back to school happens in January and guess what. We’re in January! Keira only asks me every day when we are going to the mall to get her school supply list. I loved getting new school shoes, trainers and my school supplies and looks like I have a mini me. Only thing is now I’m the one footing the bill. But at least I’m grateful I only have 1 at school at the moment.

Now when I heard that I was taking Keira to The Athletes Foot Warringah Mall to get new shoes fitted I have to admit that I thought The Athletes Foot was just for the serious runner or die hard exercise enthusiast. And neither Keira nor myself all into that category. I’ve just never really thought to take my little ones to the store and I’ve never been in before to get my own running shoes. But I have to say that we received amazing service and it wasn’t just us that were receiving the royal treatment – it was every single person in the store. There were older guys in there getting fitted for their everyday walking shoes and younger women getting their trendy Nike gym shoes.

I won’t preach to you about the importance of a good fitting shoe with your little ones. I’m sure you already know that. I remember getting my own shoes properly fitted at the start of every school year – I have a particularly wide foot that would take a F width so getting the right shoe that was wide enough was always important. Keira takes a G fitting at the moment! Our little ones will wear their school shoes and sport shoes more than any other shoe so you want to get it right plus their feet are always growing so it’s important to get a shoe that will allow for growth without being too big

To prove how much our little ones put their shoes through the paces, Keira and I got to wear a pedometer for a few days in her last week of school. The plan was to wear it all day and take a record of our total steps at the end of the day. A boy in her class resetting her pedometer after lunch time was not part of the plan! Poor Keira was devastated when she came home with only 500 steps on it at the end of the day. I was surprised  that Keira and I had fairly similar steps on one day – that’s a lot of steps for a little one in her school shoes. She did 6411 in one day and I did 7457. Here she is on the last day of school with her pedometer!

When we arrived at my local The Athlete’s Foot store, we met the lovely Hugh who looked after us. He was so obliging when I asked would he mind posing for my camera. I’m sure it’s not everyday he gets asked to do that on the job.

First up keira’s feet were measured and I like that they have a little notepad to jot a few things down while they’re measuring and getting the right shoe for you. We then hopped on the Fitprint machine which looks at how you bear weight on your feet, both standing and moving, and what shoe style will be the best match. Now Keira is still young so you wouldn’t expect to see too much weight on the sides of her feet.

What we saw on the screen was quite typical for some one of keira’s age. As her foot grows and when she reaches say 8 or 9, her foot will change and cartilage will turn to bone and her footprint will change. I did not know anything about cartilage and bone in a growing foot so that was something new for the day. Thanks Hugh!

Now Keira is just 6 so it’s all about colour of the shoe rather than fit and comfort. The Athlete’s Foot had a great range of shoes in Keira’s size and I liked that they asked what her favourite colours were and what kind of sports shoe she was wearing at the moment. We tried a few shoes on – trying to get the right fit with a little bit of room to grow into. And I had never seen this before but Hugh took out the insole from the shoe to put keira’s foot onto it and do another check of her foot. Makes sense and again – I’ve never thought to do that before – luckily we’ve got the experts here to help us.

These were the shoes she first tried on. This is the Ascent Cluster Jnr – it’s pink and girly for my girly girl. This shoe is also mostly white leather (which makes it great for school) and also comes in a range of colours like black and blue. In the end we got a pair of New Balance with a touch of lilac just like two of her friends.

Kiera also didn’t mind a few photos while Hugh went off to get some more shoes for us to try on.

A big thank you to The Athlete’s Foot Warringah Mall. That would have to be the most thorough shoe fitting we’ve ever had and Keira loves her new shoes so much that she puts them back in the box at the end of each day. I don’t expect it to last too long but it’s nice to see her loving her new shoes. I usually go to a children’s shoe store for my back to school shoes but I was so impressed with the fitting and service we received.  And I’ll definitely go back again to get Keira’s school shoes.

Especially now that The Athlete’s Foot stores are stocking Clarks as well as the Ascent brand for school shoes this year. You can view the School Shoe catalogue here or check out their Clarks range or Ascent range directly online here

And thank you to emerson and elodie my little shopping buddies who were so patient while we had the shoe fitting.

And guess what, one lucky reader will win a $100 The Athletes Foot gift card. Use it for yourself to keep your new year’s resolutions or for your little ones and your back to school shopping. All you need to do is tell me what you look for in a school or sports shoe. Whether it’s for yourself or your little ones.  Full terms of my giveaways can be found here and competition closes 15th January 2012.

You can find your nearest The Athlete’s Foot store here and if you need a laugh you have to watch this ad which is totally unrelated to shoes for your little ones but absolutely hilarious. I had to wipe away the tears on this one. I’ve also just seen their newest ad which is definitely related to active school kids – another great ad! (check it out here)


  1. I just look for ones that fit my boy. His foot is about size 13 mens – so trying to get him shoes is really difficult

  2. We love Athlete’s foot. That’s where Alex got his first pair of school shoes and what a great pair they were – lasted all year, and still looked good at the end of the year.

  3. Fit has to be the first priority, fashion comes later. For kids though, they have to like them or they either won’t wear them or there will be dramas every time you make them wear them – experienced that first hand with my son, six months of whinging and crying every sports day. It didn’t help that he was very, very particular about his socks, and only certain brands and style of socks sat well on his feet! Don’t ask me why, I have no idea, I just humoured him to keep the peace!

  4. My daughter has wide, small feet. Finding school shoes for her first year of school that fit her properly while still being comfortable and looking good is no mean feat! (See what I did there?!)

  5. Jess Davis says:

    With my biggest girl starting school this year we will be looking for a runner and school shoes that are comfy and ones that will last!

  6. Aimee Tia says:

    We love Athletes Foot and have shopped there since my big boy started Prep…he is year 5 this year! Time flies :’)
    We look for light weight, good arch and ankle support, durability and what I love most about Athelets Foot is their fantastic after sales service and support :)

  7. Theresa V says:

    Supportive shoe definitely most important! Always in negotiation with looks too :)

  8. hahaha that video is hilarious!!! Love it!! I needed a good giggle today so thankyou!!

    I will have five kids going to school this year with my second youngest (first daughter) starting preschool….I’m delaying getting her bits and bobs for preschool, it’s just too emotional for me right now. She is excited though, so that’s what counts.

  9. I have ridiculously wide feet too and think my girls are taking after me – soo hard to get shoes that fit them and all they want to wear for school is sneakers, so first I look for shoes that fit them, and then they have to give them the ok or they won’t wear them.

  10. Oh I should have added…. we’ll be looking for comfort and knowing my daughter, something in Pink!

  11. I have to be honest and say I haven’t bought sport shoes in more years than I care to admit. If I were to get a new pair I would be looking for one that gave me the illusion that I am sporty.

  12. Kirstin Hansch says:

    For my little girl it’s definitely the fit, she is only 2 and a half so I’m yet to experience the back to school kit up:)
    For myself it’s the comfort factor and look… Haven’t been to the gym for a while so my old sports shoes are looking a little neglected… Would love to update them to get me back into a gym routine so I’m in good shape to try for number 2:)

  13. I used to LOATHE having to wear school shoes. My dad insisted on them. I used to sneak my shitty runners or kung fu shoes (remember them!) in my bag, change at the underpass, then change before I got home. That was until I got busted wearing them in my school photo. Not good.

    Now I am a mum, I know where my dad was coming from. Little feet need support. My 7 y.o is in serious need of shoes for this year, she’s had a growth spurt and nothing fits!

  14. I bought school shoes for 4 kids today – I am still recovering!

  15. AAAAarrrgh, it seems that all six of them are all needing new shoes at the moment. Just what do they do with their shoes? Run seret marathons when I’m not looking? At the moment, I must confess, I look for affordability in a shoe….

  16. My 4 boys all have different issues, some are a F width and others have narrow feet, with sizes from childs 13 to a mens 14+. My first priority is a shoe that fits and is comfortable. Second is affodability. Third is style, because if they don’t like them they won’t wear them.

  17. We always buy at Athletes Foot now that the kids have outgrown Clarke fittings at Myers. Never had one of those fitprints down though but both kids wear orthotics so the biggest issue is making sure the oaths fit well into the shoe and the staff always trim the inner sole to make sure the orthotic fits correctly

  18. Do Aussie kids really have to wear shoes and socks to school during Jan/ Feb in your heat????!!!!!! I’d be onto the school board or management asking that sandals be allowed! Clarks are cheaper in Oz than NZ too a lucky you!

    • yes Kimberley! I remember growing up kids could wear sandals in summer but we are a black shoes and socks during summer school here:)

  19. I love to get my daughter’s netball trainers at Athlete’s foot. They always fit her so well – she has wide feet, and needs support for her arches. Netball is such a stop and go sport that it’s important to get really good quality trainers.
    Thank you for the opportunity to win a voucher at this expensive time of year!

  20. I am looking for a good fit especially for their school shoes as they spend a lot of time in them. Didn’t know they now stocked Clarkes. We need black lace ups and sports shoes so $100 voucher would be well used.

  21. would love to win!! I look for comfort and a shoe that will last but we generally don’t have a budget that allows for brand name shoes. This year I will be looking for better fitting shoes for Miss 10 who has a foot that turns in.Probably due to the fact her foot has grown to quick too soon~she is in ladies 8-9.

  22. Elizabeth says:

    first year of high school for my son this year so making sure his joggers and school shoes are a good fit and also meet the school’s criteria. i hadn’t thought about athlete’s foot before this post, have shopped there for myself and found the service fabulous!

  23. I have 3 big boys now and with the eldest being 19 and in a size 15 (since he was 16) the next one in a 13 and mybaby (15) in a 12, the athletes foot have been fantastic fitting the boys. They carry larger sizes and if they dont have it they will get it in for us and quite quickly! DS #2 had issues with arches as well and had to wear orthotics, Athletes foot were awesome in helping pick the right shoe to accommodate both.

  24. My mum always taught us the importance of getting a good quality school shoe. Even though there was 4 kids she always paid for Clarks and I have carried that with me. My daughter starts school this year, and there are some very cheap school shoes out there, but I am happy to pay the extra for quality and a well fitting shoe knowing that the kids wear them so much. Our shoe fitter this year took out the inner sole of the shoes to show us how much growing room Ella had – I was quite shocked and impressed, even though it is actually quite a logical thing to do.

  25. I love athletes foot too. I wont ever buy gym shoes from a regular sports shop again. They know what they’re talking about and work with you to find the best fitting shoes for you.

    What I look for in shoes… I have bad ankle alignment so anything that will support them and is comfortable and easy to move in. Oh and colour/look may also factor in a little bit 😉

  26. We are an Athletes Foot Family. DH easily goes through two pairs a year and Amelia requires a sports shoe and a pair of black dress shoes. I always recommend Athletes Foot when people ask about school shoes. I don’t think you can go past the service and did you know that Ascent shoes come with a 6 months guarantee. I look for size and feel in a pair of shoes (Amelia however is simlar to Keira and is all about the colour, she did have ones with blue on this last year)

  27. My daughter needs to wear orthotics so the fitting of shoes that she will be in for most of the year and the fact that she is a dancer too is extremely important to me. I always look for a shoe that will be deep enough to fit her orthotic into without her back heel sliding out. We have been going to Athletes Foot for her school shoes since she started needing orthotics, they have a great fitting service and they also cut down the inner sole for her so that her orthotic fits in perfectly.

  28. Melissa Curtin says:

    I don’t have school-aged kids yet (next year!) but I recently treated myself to a new pair on sneakers (to replace my target cheapies which used to cramp my foot up!). The lady that served me was really lovely and fitted my foot perfectly. She even threw in a free pair of socks!

    My husband has a sneaker fetish so we are always going in and checking out the latest models 😉

  29. We all have wide feet so fit is the most important to us. We need comfortable shoes! I have purchased expensive shoes in the past and my daughter refused to wear them after a couple of days. Too narrow, too tight….. And they were fitted in a shoe shop. Had to give them away! There is enough to worry about in the morning school rush without shoe complaints. Will try Athletes Foot for school shoes this year for both kids.

  30. Janelle Smith says:

    I am looking for comfort, fit of the shoe, quality and a good price.

  31. Chris Anthony says:

    Good fit and comfort are definitely what I look for! Thank you for the chance to win.

  32. A voucher towards school shoes/sneakers would be great, both my girls are going to need new shoes for school and I could do with some new sneakers with good support. Thanks for the opportunity retro mummy!

  33. Kerryn Flood says:

    I always buy more sports shoes from Athletes Foot. The New Balance brand fits my foot perfectly. They always take the time to find the right shoe for my wide feet. I am also impressed with their school shoes for my teenagers. My 16 year old son’s school shoes have lasted for two years and he insists on the ascent brand because he reckons they are the most comfy shoes he has worn.

  34. Athletes foot is great! My girls all have very narrow feet so a good fit with good support is very important – also have to make sure that they’ll like them enough to wear them!

  35. My boys walk to and from school so they are in their shoes for a long time each day. Being boys, style is not so important but fit and durability sure are!

  36. Kate Inglis says:

    I too have been very impressed with the service at Athletes Foot. With 3 school aged children we will be starting the new shoe buying very soon. L:uckily my 2 boys aren’t that fussy about what they wear (colour/style wise) but Miss 7 is another story – it is all about the look!

  37. We love athletes foot! I love that the shoes are fitted and the shoes last, which with 4 children and each of them close in age and growing rapidly, is very important to us. We are heading there very soon to be fitted again and I also love the rewards program they offer as we tend to get to the $500 minimum limit very fast with a family of 6!

  38. I need to buy my little one starting school this year some school shoes. I will be looking for comfort as they do a lot of walking and running. As well as looking for the support she needs to keep her feet growing healthy. I will definitely be going to Athlete’s Foot to get her ready for starting school.

  39. I look for a shoe for my son that he wont wreck! He is particularly very rough on the toes of his shoes; running and playing soccer before school, during recess and after school (every chance he gets!). I have found the sports shoes that have the rubber come up in front of the toes are the only sports shoe that can withstand his wear and tear.

  40. Fit is the most important thing, but the child also has to like the shoe. After a huge shoe-buying tantrum today with my son I will have to give Athletes Foot a try. By the way, he is 16!

  41. We also buy our school shoes from Athletes foot. They give great customer service and a good fit :)

  42. OzKnitter says:

    I’ve had a lot of issues with my feet (ingrown toe nails and plantar fasciitis), so buying shoes just because they’re the “in” brand just isn’t worth it. They MUST be comfortable and fit my feet well. My current runners are so comfy I can walk and walk all day in them with no pain or blisters!

  43. Having lost 60kgs over the past two years and hoping to loose the last 10 this year I need my shoes to be the perfect fit! I look for light and comfortable shoes that will help me get up everyday to exercise and be a fit and healthy me! It makes it so much easier with the right fitting shoes, and and a bit of style is always good too!

  44. For the kids I always check for a flexible sole and that they are leather.

  45. Catherine Walsh says:

    How hilarious….we just purchased my son a pair of Nikes from Athletes Foot today for the very first time! The service was great, they sure know their stuff. We wanted a good fit and a good look too. My son, at 12 is just starting to want ‘cool’ clothes. I’m sure my daughter will now request a visit for a new pair of shoes too!

  46. Definately a supportive fit, especially for my 4.5 year old who with a disability rolls her ankles easily with ill fitting shoes. Although my girls are likely to say that the colour is pretty important too 😉

  47. My eldest son will be a Preppie in three weeks! Agh! This is totally unchartered territory for me. We will be going to The Athlete’s Foot for a good quality pair of dark coloured runners with Velcro straps (we’re still working on his shoelace tying technique :)) – wish me luck!

  48. I look for great value! Style and comfort are of course crucial – but there’s nothing like a bargain :)

  49. That’s great Corrie. I only just learned that if I take out the insole it can make it a half size roomier so I don’t have to box up last years pair of school shoes after all!

  50. A good fit and comfort are definately the main concern followed by durability I love to buy my shoes where they are properly fitted and not just help yourself to what you think.

  51. Leah in the Kia says:

    I only buy school shoes from athletes foot, with 4 at school it’s expendive but so worth it in the long run because its best for the feet and backs!!! They also last heaps longer than the cheaper shoes. We love athletes foot and are off to buy school shoes next week as our closest store is 160 km away

  52. I need new shoes for me to keep working toward my goal weight! :)

  53. I need new joggers or that should be walkers, I usually look for something that I can afford but still look great. My tip for buying kids shoes is was ALWAYS buy what the kid likes or wants within reason because then they will wear them. If you force your choice on them they will not wear them or damage them so they have to get new ones, or even loose them to get them replaced, don’t ask how I know this one.

  54. Katie Peake says:

    My son hates shopping! So whilst I am concerned about fit, I am really interested in prompt, child friendly customer service! I want to get in there and be shown 2 or 3 pairs of shoes that fit the description I have provided, get my son to try them on and then purchase them and get out. Preferably before and tantrums or embarrassing behaviour……………..

  55. Getting fitted properly is the most important aspect of getting shoes for my kids. Thankfully we only have 1 at school, he’s starting this year and getting his new shoes for school was a breeze with super helpful service in a busy store! Especially with the 2 younger ones being over it before we even walked in! I must add that I recently forgot to pack my running shoes while on holiday and went to an Athletes Foot to buy a new pair and was totally impressed with the attention given to me by the sales assistant, fitting me for a great pair of runners that make exercise a teeny bit more enjoyable!

  56. A good quality shoe that is going to last the whole year is most important to me! Last year, my daughter started Prep so it was very exciting going out and buying school shoes. We ended up buying a pair of New Balance as they fit the best and were mostly white. And guess what…. they lasted the whole year!!

  57. My daughter will be joining her first school this season and everyone of us are excited. Started hoarding the stuffs already and your article did remind me “How much a little one actually walks around and how important certain aspects are.” Thank you for this Retro Mummy!! A TRUE MUMMY INDEED!

    When I buy a shoe for my kid, these pointers, I try to check as much as possible !
    3.The shape of the shoe following the shape of my kid’s foot. ( The Athlete’s foot in-depth measurement is just what we need).
    4.Made of natural materials which allows my baby’s feet muscle to work naturally.
    5.The hard part (extended rear part) should give firmness .which will avoid any foot problems in future.
    6. Yes… It should look preety and my baby girl will like it! :)
    7. Should serve its worth of price.. For SURE!!

    Enjoy the back to school shopping for the kids Corrie!! This is what we mummies love doing and not just the kids ..Hugs

  58. With two active boys at school this year, we need full rubber capped toes, to stop them wearing through them by running and scraping their feet in the playground. We went through 4 pairs of runners for one kid last year!

  59. My DS 12 has flat feet that slightly turn in (thanks to his Grandma for passing on that inheritance!). Great shoes have always been a priority for him and I particularly look at the arch support and depth for his orthotics.

  60. Previously, I used to look for the cheapest school shoes I could for my kiddies. Now I have realised they just fall apart, and I am always at the shops buying new ones for them, and they are not a good fit for them anyway. So this year, probably next week or the week after, I am taking all the kiddies out shoe shopping for properly fitted shoes, even the 3yo who isn’t at school yet. I want them all to have GOOD shoes! I am going to look for good ankle support, easy buckles, and no plastic covering type material that just flakes off. I know it is going to hit the bank card hard buying at least 8 pairs of shoes, but I know it will be worth it. Thanks for the opportunity to win the $100 gift card, it would be very much appreciated if I do win!

  61. Glad I read this as I have bought most back to school things but haven’t got round to shoes yet…. :-)

  62. Natalie Earl says:

    I had no idea that they stocked Clarks shoes as well, never would have thought to go there for our back to school shoes. Sounds like Keria had a fun trip there and her new shoes sound lovely :)

  63. I look for leather and laces for durability and fit, along with an experienced salesperson to size and fit my children.
    I too previously went to a children’s shoe store at Chatswood, but recently purchased son#3 a new pair of sand shoes at Athletes Foot. I was very impressed with their staff and the service provided, along with the knowledge and assistance fitting my son who wears orthotics. I will be returning next week for school shoes and sand shoes for all my other children. Thanks for the chance in this competition.

  64. My kids both have wide feet so we always look out for shoes that will fit them. Usually we buy Clarks or New Balance.

  65. Proabably the same as every mum – A well fitting shoe that will last the distance and not cost the earth that my kids will wear. One with a built in locating device would help for those mornings where one has gone AWOL

  66. Comfort. My son is very picky about shoes being flexible enough for him.

  67. For my school boy I look for a narrow-fitting, black leather sports shoes with velcro, not laces. And let me tell you, that is not an easy combo to find when most Aussies (including me) have such wide feet! Would love to check out Athlete’s Foot and see if they can meet the challenge.

  68. For darling son it’s shoes that last
    He ‘seams’ to wreck them really fast
    Now, quality from Athletes Foot
    Means no more shoes that go caput!
    Bad fitting shoes are in the past
    At Athletes Foot the choice is vast.

  69. Lisa Oliver says:

    When buying shoes for myself and my children i always look for Longevity, comfort, quality and fit! I actually bought two pairs of sneakers for myself from athletes foot last September and the service and range were FANTASTIC!!! I really couldn’t recommend them enough. I actually wear my sneakers around the house, even whilst cooking! I would love the get my children a pair for the upcoming school year and one for hubby (yes his current pair of nike’s have turned grey in colour!)

  70. I only walked past Athlete’s Foot yesterday with my children when one of them pointed to it and reminded me that we have to go in and buy new runners for school! When selecting runners for my two, I look for fit first, then fashion and lastly price.

  71. I think firstly comfort, the quality of materials because I don’t like some of these mesh type shoes as they just stretch anyways! Then price :) haha

  72. I look for shoes that will last. With 4 little people to buy school shoes and sports shoes for doing it once a year is painful enough! I really don’t want to be back again every term because they have worn holes or have fallen apart.

  73. I look for Asics shoes as they seem to be the best fit for my foot. I love the feel of a new pair of runners… so comfy!

  74. FIT is what i look for in shoes. i have a difficult foot too. Size 11, high instep, wide foot, narrow heel, large big toe LOL……it’s very difficult to find anything in my size or fit, so when i do, i buy them in every colour they have just in case i can’t get anything else for a few years!

  75. Having been in a wheelchair for years I have a lot of trouble walking anyway, so a good fitting shoe is essential for me! My kids though tend to burn through shoes, so I think a good pair of Athletes Foot shoes are in order for this year!

  76. Nicole Romano says:

    Most important to me when buying sports shoes is comfort. As soon as I put my feet in the shoes it has to be immediately comfortable. Next comes colour but I’m not really that fussy. I Just like a really comfortable shoe that ill enjoy walking in.
    My husband and I were fitted for sport shoes a little whole back at athelete foot and we too are impressed by the service provided to us. Definitely recommend going yo them to purchase shoes.

  77. I look for a sports shoe that provides really good support as I like to walk a lot. Well done Keira on the number of steps – I use a pedometer to record steps as well!
    Would love to win the voucher


  78. For the little ones, we look for fit and then something that they are happy with and that they will actually wear!! For us it has to be price first and then what it looks like. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  79. Shoes and growing feet sometimes not such a fantastic combo however to be wearing the same shoes each day all day comfort and proper fit is imperitive. Thanks for the chance to to win a voucher. Thanks

  80. I always look for shoes that are orthotic friendly- my ‘little one’ is now 21 and heading overseas backpacking. She really needs some great fitting sports shoes for all that walking!

  81. Siobhan Johns says:

    The biggest of my 3 boys (giant size 13 flippers!) was born with talipes & after several operations and procedures as a newborn and kinder kid, he has been left with what we affectionately call “mangled feet”. His feet are especially required to be fitted correctly & Athletes Foot have been terrific in the past. Now with such huge feet, $100.00 would go a long way towards saving me from having to wait a few extra weeks before purchasing them!

  82. I’ve just moved to Australia from the UK and accidentally stumbled into Athletes Foot. I was completely amazed by the experience, especially as I had no warning and thought it was just a normal shoe shop!!!! Although it was very expensive (hope they last all year – son’s feet grow incredibly fast…) the service was great. How sweet that Keira’s keeping her shoes in the box!

  83. Rachael Elswyk says:

    My 12yo is growing at a rate of knots, last year we went through 3 sizes! That’s 3 pairs of school shoes in one academic year! URGHY! But as he is growing ALOT, the thing i look for most is foot support. Athletes foot is a bit of a hike from where I live now, but well worth the trip for the care & service.

  84. Tracy Williams says:

    I look for something that is comfortable and easy to do up for my kids, my daughters runners from athletes foot lasted 2 seasons of netball! I think it’s the perfect place to go for shoes as it’s such an expensive start to each year and knowing you may not have to do it again for a while is a bonus!

  85. Emma Mapley says:

    Fit is most important for us, my son has a wide foot and add in the fact he also wears AFO’s to help with his cerebral palsy finding shoes that fit and are a good quality is just about impossible, I had never thought to check out Athlete’s foot but I will now!

  86. Definitely the colour and style is a big thing for the kids, but for me having a great supporting shoe is what matters the most and that means sometimes paying that little bit extra to get the quality, which I don’t mind at all, but the $100 voucher would certainly ease that expense! :)

  87. I look for a funky shoe (crazy neon colours are best) that needs to be super bouncy as I run …

  88. I look for something that will fit – my son has a size 12 men’s foot that it also wide – 4E. The Althlete’s Foot is the only place in our town that can accommodate both needs.

  89. Catherine says:

    I look for high fashion but always choose comfort above style. I don’t know whether it’s my feet or tolerance that has changed but I just can’t get around in spindly heels there days.

  90. deborah neill says:

    i look for value for money since having 3 in school every $ counts as well as something that we get the best wear out off and support as having very flat feet myself and my oldest as well it has to be comfortable!

  91. Melanie Gray says:

    For myself and my children it’s support, comfort and quality. But for me I also want fun colours in a sports shoe.

  92. I love athletes foot as does my family! My son is very hard on shoes. The additional expensive of these better quality shoes is well worth it. He lasts in them for 18months, sometimes more. He only lasted 3-6 months in cheaper shoes. He loves the option of being able to chose from a variety of styles, not normally an option at size 13-14. My daughter at age 10/11 was fitting into a ladies size 11 until we went to athletes foot. They fitted her into a size 6! I learnt that it was the width that was the problem and they had several width options as well as a number of additional inserts that ensured the shoe was a perfect fit. Well done athletes foot. Now I don’t bother to go anywhere else and with their free athletes foot club, they reward you with cash vouchers. I got $50 off my last pair, very timely before Christmas. :)

  93. My son has extremely wide feet and unless he has a proper fit his back will suffer. (Having poorly fitted shoes can be the cause of foot, leg and back pain). At the moment we have to buy specially ordered shoes for him through Athletes Foots 2 or 3 times a year (he grows super fast) which cost about $170 each. But what’s more important than a child’s feet since having the correct fitted shoes can make a huge difference to their overall comfort, wellbeing and performance in their action packed days.

  94. Kate Pereira says:

    I have never shopped at athletes foot but after your rave review will def be going their first next time I am in the market. I look for comfort and fit and then style – I like something a bit different. My last ones from about 10 years ago were red which was a bit out there for the time!!

  95. My little girl has long, narrow feet. Such a pain. Sneakers fit her best. Last year for school shoes I got her a pair of Grosby Durables. Best school shoe ever!!! Little girl is extremely rough on her shoes. Normally after a few hours, a brand new pair of shoes will be scuffed with the top layer of leather taken off. Not these ones. They made it the whole year still looking brand new.

  96. I look for something that looks like it will standup to some schoolyard wear … my boy looks for flashing lights … Sigh!!

  97. I look for shoes that fit as I have a wider foot and two different sizes. I also need shoes that will last a day on my feet without complaining too much. I’m always on the go when I’m at work.

  98. I always get my kids fitted for Clark’s school shoes (except for last year, big mistake!). I grew up with them too. New school shoes & school supplies was always a favourite part of the year for me too! School supplies are included in our fees and all suppliedat school, so I miss that part now. I tried a different brand of school shoes last year – same price as Clark’s, but I was disappointed that the inner soles fell apart & had to be replaced – 3 times!!! So it’s back to Clark’s from now on.

  99. I have two children, one has a high top and uses larger fits, and one has small feet and uses smaller fits. I was not lucky enough to get my shoes fitted for myself as a child, therefore have experienced some temporary and permanent wrong-shoe-wearing related issues. However, the positive side of it I guess is that it made me extra careful and it is always about the right fit for my children more than anything else even though I do try to cater for their needs as well such as colour choices. The voucher from The Athelete’s Foot store would be well appreciated and spent just before the schools start this year!

  100. Jess Powell says:

    We were recently at The Athletes Foot buying our son his first pair of school shoes (prep boy wahhhh :( lol). I had no idea what I was looking for I just knew that they had to be black runners and was hoping to get Velcro instead of laces as he struggles with putting his shoes on (he has mild autism). I knew I wanted them to be versatile, so able to go from the classroom to the yard and not big heavy clunky shoes. So I went in and told the guy in TAF what we were after and he showed us two pairs and we let Master 5 decide on a pair. He picked the asics pair over the brooks pair. The brooks were much heavier then the asics. The asics were a cross trainer type shoe. We loved our first TAF experience and hope to return soon :) with a voucher perhaps 😛 lol x

  101. Gayle Richardson says:

    I look for comfort. Simply comfort. I don’t fancy or colourful

  102. Tracy barnett says:

    Shoes that last is the most important factor to me, we live 200 km from major shopping centers and mymiddle son is very hard on his shoes and can wreck a pair in ten weeks, sometimes it can be as little as 6 weeks it usually dosn’t matter the brand( we have tried a lots as he is in year 6 this year) We brought a pair from athletes foot last June ( was a little unshure of the cost, the value for money thing) and they are still going I am totally amazed and worth every cent. One day I asked him what he does to wreck them his comment back was, well mum I use them to slide in hand ball, sometimes as breaks for the skate board or bike and mostly I use them to kick the ball at lunch time, when walking home I like to kick the rocks this I have noticed.

  103. look for a very good shoe that will last and is comfortable and that they will wear and that looks good and is in style. Value for money.Don’t want to spend money on shoes that wear out quickly or came apart at the seams.

  104. Comfort on a budget that’s cool enough for him to be seen in!

  105. Shoes that will last the distance, not wearing out before they are grown out of.

  106. comfort and support – especially when shopping with my little ones.

    will check out AF – thank you for the introduction :)

  107. Comfort & quality are the main concerns, while style does play a factor its by no means a deal breaker when it comes to a comfortable quality shoe, much to my kids dismay haha. Sometimes you just have to be the bad guy to do whats best for them

  108. I always look for comfort. I have wide feet and not all the latest shoes can fit my foot. I want something that will ‘shape’ my feet

  109. Comfort, durability & I must say, I do like a nice looking shoe too.

  110. A great fit with lots of support. Being a busy mum i spend alot of time in my runners; gym most mornings, quick walks to the shops and ofcourse chasing after my busy 2 year old!

  111. Catherine Pitt says:

    I look for room for orthotics, comfort, and one that is a little bit funky.

  112. After buying shoes from Big W and Kmart i have came to the conclusion that School Shoes MUST be brought from quality stores such as The Athletes Foot as my son needed new shoes every 4 weeks.
    From sport to just running around the play ground, the fit is essential, the older they get the more particular they get about the style and colour.
    My children are always enjoying riding their bikes and playing football so the thing that we most look for is Quality.

  113. Silvia Steinhardt says:

    My two older kids have worn Athletes Foot shoes for school and they have lasted them the whole year. My daughter has chosen to wear Ascent shoes and my son has chosen New Balance. Now with my youngest son starting school this year, I will be off to Athletes Foot again for another round of school shoes. I have convinced some of the other mums that it is worth their while buying school shoes from Athletes Foot as they last for the whole year and my kids always comment on how comfortable their shoes are. Great job Athletes Foot!!

  114. I look for lightweight and perfect fit! I would LOVE to make my choice on colours alone as tere are some gorgeous ones out there but being a running adict I must find the correct shoe to take care of my feet.

  115. Andrew Mc says:

    I look for shoes that fit properly, are supportive, are comfortable, are aesthetically pleasing and adhere to the school guidelines BUT don’t look either too cheap or too expensive.

  116. MIchelle Lofton says:

    I need something which is supportive and sturdy and has a good arch support

  117. Becci Cowling says:

    My 11yr old has feet bigger than me! We look for fit and durability especially as he has a child’s foot but in an adult size.

  118. Kaz Purtill-Wright says:

    I need my girls sports shoes to be all leather. They can’t have any of that mesh type material that you see on many runners. Our school seems to be sitting right on top of the biggest pile of red Mallee sand in the world (not really lol) and their shoes get filthy. With leather I can use a baby wet wipe each day to give them a clean but with that mesh material, well they can’t be salvaged and it turns dirty red on the first day. .

  119. my sweet 4yo starts school in a few weeks, and she needs new school shoes to go with her uniform. I’ll get her shoes that are good quality and fit her feet well.

  120. Ian Hawkins says:

    I look for durability of the toe and the heel.

  121. Amanda Gorton says:

    Style, fashionable and on trend – because I believe if you look good you feel it too!

  122. In a sport shoe I like to be a little bit pretentious and buy the latest, coolest, best labeled shoes I can.

  123. Colour and style. It’s all about the look!

  124. Both my daughter and I are very sporty so I always buy our shoes (and socks) from Athletes foot. I am doing my first tri soon and as a reward I’m buying myself a new pair of runners! My daughters last pair of runner was a size 9! Two sizes largers than mine (and she was 10 at the time!!) and she needs a new pair too as shes worn the bottom off them!! We love Brooks for runners! Getting a good pair and having them fitted professionly is very important!!

  125. Whether its a sports or school shoe, the number one priority is comfort, because any pain caused by a shoe is causing you some damage to your feet.

    Your feet get you everywhere, take care of them now, and they will walk you to your future.

  126. Kevin Kelly says:

    Comfort, one thats going to support me in exercising and looks stylish with it also

  127. Christy Vander Jagt says:

    The best quality I can afford at the time. Last year it was Clarkes and they lasted the whole year (worn by a little boy who goes a mile a minute). I was impressed. I also go for velcro closures at the moment, seeing as though he is only 6 and can’t tie laces yet.

  128. jenny mountford says:

    i love Athletes foot and the cute guys who dote on you and ensure you purchase the best possible fit for your feet. I love the fact i can walk out knowing I have done the most caring and responsible thing for myself and not just bought a pair of trendy shoes. Which down the track (pardon the pun if you get it) is going to save me a lot of headaches and cost in podiatrist bills.

  129. andreea nicolescu says:

    My son has wide chubby feet,so i need the perfect fit that only professionals like Atheletes can provide,comfort and support are important for growing precious little feet,for my son.

  130. Adequate support is what I prioritise when selecting shoes so the correct arch length and fitting is my focus. I select shoes that conform as nearly as possible to the natural shape of my family’s feet and thus avoiding health issues later on. This is especially important to young growing feet.

  131. I always go for the comfort factor in any shoe, but especially school ones! The most worn shoe for my kids all year. I have never had my kids fitted at the Athletes foot, maybe it’s about time I did!

  132. Amanda Kimlin says:

    My little man starts Kindy this year and is growing like wildfire! Would be great to have someone fit his shoes properly do they fit now but give room to grow. He is on his third pair for the year, as he keeps growing out of his shoes! Thanks for all the great info Retro Mummy!

  133. I think I’ll be looking for Hugh when looking for school shoes for my boys.

    • Sarah Best says:

      I look for a the least amount of pain for all in this process1 A good fit, something they like to wear ( looks good) , without costing the earth , that will last the distance…….. I don’t want much do I?

  134. I have not used them, but after your good experience would like to try them.

  135. Kristy Elks says:

    I always find school shoes tricky to buy for my primary school girls. Their school requires them to wear black shoes, even for sport and most black sports shoes are too ‘boyish’ [my girls words] for them. I haven’t tried Athletes foot before but may have to have a look to see if they have some girls shoes that are appropriate for sport as well as not for sport as they do spontaneous sport which also makes it hard to know what shoes to put them in. A pair that is suitable for everyday wear, sport included will be what I’m looking for this year :)

  136. I have twin girls just starting prep but they have different sized feet. We still need the EXACT same shoe though :-) Their school requires an all white shoe which is difficult to find !

  137. My daughter has a very narrow foot and skinny ankle which makes fitting very difficult. I will have to take a look at Athletes Foot this year. I have been putting off the school shoe shopping as it is one that I dread as she is very fussy with look and fit of her school shoes.

  138. ugh, my kids go back to school next week (yes, that’s right, the 23rd, a week earlier than most) and I haven’t even thought about shoes. Except for this morning lol
    They both need new shoes and we were given a little note about ‘school acceptable’ shoes at the end of term last year. They both need black jogger type shoes, the eldest with laces, the younger with velcro.

    I just look for somewhere that will fit shoes correctly, put up with my boy child fidgeting constantly and get us sorted quickly and efficiently lol I’ve been to The Athlete’s Foot to get my own runners (love New Balance), but hadn’t thought of taking the kids there. Probably a good idea, so thanks! :)

  139. My little girl is really complicated as she has autism which means there are many other factors that have to come into pretty much every purchase we make for her.

    I need to know a few main things before I can buy her a shoe firstly and most obviously like everyone else it needs to fit with some growth space she is 3 years old and in a size 13 already!

    The next big issue is it needs to be easy to be put on (I still have to get them on her even mid meltdown so simplicity is key) however they need to not be too easy for her to get off otherwise she will be bare foot in moments and the battle will begin again.

    Then and no less important than the first two would be can she tolerate its features for example is she able to stand the texture when she has it on or has to touch it? is it a colour which isn’t going to cause her to meltdown every time we need to put it on her? Does she have a reaction to the smell, some shoes have a very strong odour and that can wreak havoc on her senses.

    To be honest any item of clothing or belongings she has to have like her hat or backpack require the same basic check list which can make things quite difficult whenever she is in need of new gear.

  140. We love Athlete’s Foot! We did our school shopping last week when it was really hot in Sydney to take advantage of the air conditioning at the shopping centre and Athelte’s Foot was the first stop on the list. My eldest daughter is sooo fussy about shoes – we tried on a few and she wasn’t happy with the fit – not as comfy as her old school shoes. Our salesperson was so helpful – because we’d bought them at Athlete’s Foot last year, he was able to look up exactly which brand of shoes we bought last year, and fit them in a larger size. Fit and comfort are very important for us, as both my daughters have long skinny feet – sometimes very hard to find shoes that don’t give blisters! My youngest daughter is starting kindy, and it was so sweet to see her excited about her new black school shoes. We’ll have to go back next week for sports shoes for her. I’m pretty sure she’d love the ones Keira is wearing – purple is her favourite colour!

  141. Rebecca Ravenhill says:

    I just look for shoes for my two boys that they say are comfortable. Although the first thing they look at is the coolest looking shoe.

  142. Treann Clarke says:

    I have to admit we have never shopped at Athlete’s Foot, one reason is we do not have the store where I live but often think that it is a store for the more sporty people other than myself. But will have to check it out next time we see the store. I LOVE SHOES!! and when I shop for shoes for myself or for the family, I will always look for comfort, quality and of course colour and style….. regards, The Shoe Queen!

  143. My kids are aged ten and twelve and I always buy their shoes from the Athletes Foot as they are such good value for money.
    I always look for well fitting shoes that are also good quality rather than shopping by price since cheap shoes don’t last the distance, so you end up spending more in the long run.

  144. My twin boys usually outgrow expensive shoes before they wear them out …Blundstones boots last 6 months eeek ! We have no littler ones to pass them onto.
    Now I look for shoes that fit a comfortable innersole first and can be removed for extended wear.Plus durable enough for rough play in the playground , kicking a ball and sitting on concrete.

  145. We only ever go to Athletes Foot for joggers as my kids always want the coolest shoes. Mind you, I take them there as I think you get what you pay for, and have never skimped on shoes with my kids.


  147. Comfort…feet need to be cushioned but firmly held in place,
    Durability…a shoe that can take alot of running, walking, sports and fun!
    Price…its a factor to consider also!

  148. I look for comfort comfort comfort!1 But it’s hard to tell with little ones what’s really the right size.

  149. I always look for a shoe that fits well, I always waggle my toes, something that my mama taught me and it works.

  150. Gotta be comfort! I don’t want my kids getting bunions like me!

  151. My little girl loves to dance. She tries her best but it really does get very expensive buying shoes for 2 left feet!

  152. melanie w says:

    I look for something comfortable and well made. good value for money but also not too expensive either and of course approved by the wearer.

  153. Marcia Coventry says:

    When shopping for school shoes I look for trained staff first. Then I look for leather uppers for durability, rubber soles to help avoid any falls and comfort.

  154. Funny shaped feet with funny shaped toes ~ needing a little help to solve my woes…

  155. I normally just try them on and if they feel comfortable and don’t lift in the heel I get them. But I went with my parents a few weeks ago for dad to get fitted for some walking shoes as he was diagnosed with diabetes and had to start exercising and I was really impressed with how much I learnt! His foot rolls in like mine and so I learnt that my foot is better off in a wider shoe. Athlete’s foot really do know what they’re talking about!

  156. Kathleen D says:

    As a child I was subjected to skivvies and ugly, bulky, uncomfortable school shoes. I swore I would never to put my children through the same torture! :-) Comfortable school shoes, that don’t look too much like school shoes are top of my list!

    • oh Kathleen, yes! skivvies! that was so wrong. I had to wear white ones at one school and brown ones at another! brown skivvies – so wrong!

  157. Michelle Gray says:

    A good fit and a flat sole to look after those little feet.

  158. Bee Bowdlert says:

    As long as they fit correctly I pretty much go with the shoes my child picks, it’s no use buying shoes that they wont wear.

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