Review: The Search For School Shoes Which Can Survive School

I have no idea what my daughter does at school all day. If I ask her I generally get “I don’t remember”, but whatever it is it’s clearly pretty tough on her shoes. Last time I bought her a new pair they looked awful after just one day. Term Footwear have a new range of school shoes and they offered us a pair to review. Would they survive better than her previous two pairs bought from a popular high street shoe shop? 

A pair of bruised legs, white socks and Term Footwear school shoes

I’ll admit I was nervous about this review. In her first year at school M has destroyed two pairs of shoes. We didn’t have to replace the first pair because her feet had grown, but because they were so worn through on the toe. The second pair has survived a little better with the application of liberal amounts of shoe polish, but I was nearly in tears when I saw them after one day of wear. New Brands Ltd (who developed the Term Footwear school shoes) told me they had designed their shoes to survive school and they were still happy for us to review them when I warned them what had happened to the previous pairs.

One of the challenges we have is my daughter wants pretty shoes. It might be more practical to buy her a pair of trainers (her school allow plain black trainers, but not every school does) but she would refuse to wear them. I logged on to the website and showed M the Term Footwear school shoes so she could pick which ones she liked. She went for the Janine T Bar Brogues and she loved them so much when they arrived that she insisted on wearing them to school the next day.

A young girl in a green checked school summer dress, green cardigan, white socks and black t bar shoes sitting on a park bench.

With the excitement of the new shoes I managed to get M out the house early for a few photo’s before school. I thought I better get some pictures before she had a chance to ruin them.  Then we started a series of tests to see just how good they are.

Test 1: How Do They Look?

M might only be 5, but she loves pretty shoes. When I asked her what she thought of the Term Janine T Bar Brogues she said “they are pretty, I like the bit that goes down the shoe" (the t-bar). After I explained how rating systems work she gave them 4 out of 5.
I like them too because they are “sensible”, the velcro makes them easy for her to put on (so she doesn’t need any help) and I love they still smell of leather after several days of wear.

Test 2: Surviving The Playground

With play time before school, lunch time and breaks as well as the park after pick up great school shoes need to have good grip, be flexible and stay on. We went to the playground to run, jump, climb, swing and hang to test them out. The Term Footwear school shoes managed brilliantly scoring 5 out of 5.

A close up of black t-bar brogue school shoes on a climbing wall

Test 3: Surviving The School Day

After the playground we headed to school. When I picked M up 6 1/2 hours later I was happy to hear the shoes were still comfortable. They have a soft collar around the heel and an insole with some cushioning to make them last the day without complaints.

I was impressed to see that although the shoes had some scuff marks they were still black and they still looked good. M's last pair of shoes (from a well known high street shoe shop beginning with C) were heavily scuffed and white on the toe after just one day so it was interesting to see the contrast. Term school shoes are manufactured from high grain leather and it shows that they are better quality than other school shoes I have seen. I can't rule out there may be other brands of shoe which last better so I'm scoring them a cautious 4 out of 5.

A close up of black school shoes with a small amount of scuffing
What they looked like after being worn to school

Test 4: Wet Weather

I was a little bit worried about the grip of the shoes in wet weather, in fact it was my only concern about the shoes when they arrived. The sole of the shoes is patterned, but they looked a little too shiny to grip well. I know M won’t slow down in wet weather so grip is important. Fortunately the weather was pretty wet last week so we got to test out how they manage when the ground is slippy. After the first day's wear the soles no longer looked like shiny plastic and I was more confident in them. The soles are made from “flexible thermo rubber” and they grip well for girls shoes. I rate them 5 out of 5.

Overall Rating

These are the best school shoes I have found; combining style with durability. There are some shoes my daughter thinks are prettier, but they aren't practical for school.  The Janine T Bar Brogues look good enough to keep her happy and they have what I look for in a good shoe too.

A pair of black t-bar school shoes on a shoe box

***Disclosure: we were sent the shoes for the purpose of an honest review. We have previously reviewed a pair of wellies from Term Footwear and you can read that review here***


  1. These look lovely! I need to get my daughter a pair of school shoes for when she starts in September so I'll have to take a look at the website as I haven't found any I like in the highstreet or supermarkets as of yet x

  2. I need to get Anya her first pair of school shoes ready for September so thanks for the recommendation!

  3. I'm amazed at how quickly your daughter can get through shoes! Glad you've found done that can withstand a bashing though

  4. i love those shoes! seeing as its summer holidays soon and almost new school shoe shop time ill book mark this post :)


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