The best vegan school shoes for your little ones

Closeup of legs of 3 schoolgirls in uniforms

by Piper Huxley |

Looking for some of the best vegan school shoes? Of course, picking school shoes can be a nightmare, and if you’re going for a vegan option – well, it seems almost impossible. When buying the right uniform for your child, you need to think of fit, style, comfort and cost. Yet you also need to remember that your child’s shoes should fit the dress code that their school puts in place.

Don't get us started on tying laces!

School shoes need to be comfortable and easy to fasten. On the other hand, they need to be durable and survive a long school day. For instance, your child’s shoes need to endure the myriad of playground games, lunchtime sports and everything in between. Also, they need to be suitable for as long as they can be. Unfortunately, children’s feet can grow fast and unpredictably. Sometimes, opting for something cheaper is tempting, but you need to prioritise quality and how they support your little one’s growing feet instead.

Luckily, some brands are taking the hint and are making some awesome vegan footwear with rip-tape and laces. So, Mother&Baby have put together a comprehensive guide and list of the best vegan school shoes available right now.

Don’t worry, we've done most of the work for you. Buckle up and walk this way…

The best vegan school shoes available in 2022

Start Rite's Vegan School Shoes

Start Rite, established in 1792, is a children's shoe manufacturer.

Their vegan shoes are soft and water-resistant. They have padded ankles for added comfort and support, too. The linings are breathable and help to keep feet dry and unrestricted. The sole is flexible and lightweight for healthy foot development. Likewise, there is enhanced protection around the toe, heel and side of the foot.

Here is the range:

Bliss - Vegan Black Synthetic Girls Riptape School Shoes

Bliss - Vegan Black Synthetic Girls Riptape School Shoes

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These rip-tape fastening can be adjusted easily by little fingers.

Size Range: S9 - L3.5
Width Options: F and G

Engineer - Vegan Black Synthetic Boys Riptape School Shoes

Engineer - Vegan Black Synthetic Boys Riptape School Shoes

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These rip-tape fastening can be adjusted easily by little fingers.

Size Range: S9 - L3.5
Width Options: F and G

Isaac - Vegan Black Synthetic Boys Lace-Up School Shoes

Isaac - Vegan Black Synthetic Boys Lace-Up School Shoes

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These lace-ups are contemporary and robust.

Size Range: L2 - L10
Width Options: F and G

Impact - Vegan Black Synthetic Girls Lace-Up School Shoes

Impact - Vegan Black Synthetic Girls Lace-Up School Shoes

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With a chunky sole and fashionable laces, these are a winner.

Size Range: E31 - E43
Width Options: M and W

These are made in European sizes for some reason. So, here is Start Rite's handy conversion chart.

Brogue Pri Vegan Black Synthetic Lace-Up School Shoes

Brogue Pri Vegan Black Synthetic Lace-Up School Shoes

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These brogue-styled faux leather shoes are so smart.

Size Range: S12 - L4
Width Options: F and G

Related: Brogue Snr Vegan Black Synthetic Lace-Up School Shoes

Schuh's Vegan School Shoes

Schuh is one of the biggest names in footwear, stocking shoes for everyone.

Their vegan range is well-stocked and better if you're on a budget.

Black Lavish Butterfly Girl Toddler Shoes

Black Lavish Butterfly Girl Toddler Shoes

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This shoe is black, patent, and upper-paired with a durable outsole that's no match for the playground.

Size Range: S6 - S9

Black Lavish Butterfly Girl Junior Shoes

Black Lavish Butterfly Girl Junior Shoes

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Just like the previous shoes, this design is black, patent, and durable.

Size Range: S10 - L2

Black Lacy Loafer Girls Junior Shoes

Black Lacy Loafer Girls Junior Shoes

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Arriving in black, this patent shoe has a chunky rubber outsole, classic stitched panels and real comfy footbed.

Size Range: S10 - L2

Black Lovely Heart Dolly Girls Toddler Shoes

Black Lovely Heart Dolly Girls Toddler Shoes

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Classroom style? Schuh has got you covered! Look how adorable the heart stitching is.

Size Range: S7 - S8

Black Lucky Glitter Bow Girls Toddler Shoes

Black Lucky Glitter Bow Girls Toddler Shoes

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Kickstart the new term with these cool patent shoes, which are paired with a cute bow.

Size Range: S7 - S9

Black Luminate Glitter Star Girls Toddler Shoes

Black Luminate Glitter Star Girls Toddler Shoes

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These are finished with an easy strap for independent wear.

Size Range: S7 - S8

M&S - Vegan School Shoes

M&S is a reliable retailer when it comes to bits for school. Here are some of their vegan shoes that (would probably) be suitable for school. Make sure to check with the dress code if you're unsure. Feet will stay fresh thanks to their odour-combating Freshfeet™ technology. They look super comfy:

Kids' Freshfeet™ Trainers

Kids' Freshfeet™ Trainers

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Soft collar padding and sturdy design support growing feet, while Light as Air™ construction helps these shoes move in comfort. The rip-tape fastening means easy dressing - which is a 'must' for the morning rush.

Size Range: 4S - 13S

Kids’ Freshfeet™ Sports Trainers

Kids’ Freshfeet™ Sports Trainers

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We've included some sporty trainers, which also happen to be vegan.

Get your little one ready for PE with these comfortable and supportive shoes.

Size Range: 10S - 7L

Kids' Freshfeet™ Chunky Trainers

Kids' Freshfeet™ Chunky Trainers

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These lace-up trainers have a chunky design that kids will love.

Unfortunately, they're quite low on stock online. We'd suggest looking in-store for the other sizes.

Size Range: 13S and 1L

Happy Little Soles - Vegan School Shoes

Happy Little Soles is a family business dedicated to the importance of the correct footwear to allow children’s feet to develop naturally. They have their own sizing. They have a few pairs of school shoes which are also vegan:

Livie and Luca Alunno Black

Livie and Luca Alunno Black

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This shoe is made from high-performance vegan-friendly leather with vegan suede trims and a breathable mesh lining. Believe it or not, It is machine washable in cold water and has a double velcro fastener for an excellent fit.

Aren't they cool?

Size Range: S 8.5 and S 13.5

Livie and Luca Amica Black

Livie and Luca Amica Black

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These patent shoes are fabulous. They're flexible and durable, coming with a rip-tape buckle.

What more could you want?

Size Range: S 9.5 and J 2.5

Livie and Luca Libra Black

Livie and Luca Libra Black

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This is our favourite from Happy Little Soles because of it's pretty decorative buckle detail. Not only does this shoe have a vegan-friendly upper and a breathable vegan leather lining, but it's also machine washable in cold water.

Size Range: S 8.5 - J 2.5

Will's Vegan Store - Vegan School Shoes

Will's Vegan Store have been making it easier for people to make a positive choice for almost a decade.

This store makes women's, men's and children's shoes with sustainability in mind. Created with Italian vegan leather, made with plants using bio oil sourced from organic cereal crops grown in Northern Europe in a carbon-neutral process. We're loving the quality of these vegan school shoes.

These shoes are breathable and water-resistant. Likewise, they're also durable, grippy and have flexible rubber soles. If that wasn't enough, the cushioning insoles were made from recycled rubber. We love it.

Kids Velcro Strap Shoes

Kids Velcro Strap Shoes

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These shoes an old-faithful if you're looking for something easily adjustable for your little one.

Size Range: S 10 - J 4

Kids Ballerinas

Kids Ballerinas

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These ballerina-style vegan school shoes are so smart - plus they have an adjustable rip-tape fastening.

Size Range: S 10 - J 2.5

Kids Brogues

Kids Brogues

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These smart, black brogues are a classic for your young person heading off to school.

Size Range: J1 - J6

FAQs

What are vegan shoes like?

In general, vegan clothing isn’t that much different from normal clothing, except it’s made ethically without any animal products. For instance, vegan clothing would not allow fur, leather, silk, feathers, and some wool. Instead, it’s usually made from acrylic or other synthetic fibre, for example.

As for shoes, there would be no suede or leather. For your little’s shoes for school, typically smart, black leather shoes are worn. So, what is the replacement? Well, the patent, faux or vegan leather is made from plastic and then is treated with products to create the colour and texture.

More FAQs

How do I care for vegan leather?

Unlike leather made from cowhide, you can use water on vegan leather. As faux leather is not made from any animal products, it won’t absorb any water – nor will it be damaged by it. Result. All you need to clean faux leather is some soapy water and a cloth.

As for keeping the vegan leather shoes shiny, use polishing cream sparingly. Don’t go overboard. Likewise, make sure to use colourless polish – or one that is the same colour as the shoes.

Related: Kaps Shoe Care Cream – Transparent (£6.29)

Once you’ve given them a gentle wipe down, wait a day to ensure your shoes are fully dried out before you next leave the house in them. You can machine-wash the shoes, but it’s recommended to handwash them. If you insist on using a washing machine, make sure the water is cold to warm – and that you’re using a gentle detergent.

They’re only suitable for airdrying.

How do you measure your child’s feet?

Ideally, children’s feet should be measured every six weeks to ensure that the shoes still fit. According to Shoezone, a good thing to remember: “the younger the foot, the faster it grows.” Though it’s true that children should have room to wiggle their toes, you should avoid buying shoes to ‘grow into’ - because shoes too big can cause just as many problems as small ones.

Neverthless, we recommend using the longer foot as a guide when choosing the right shoe.

Each foot can be different sizes and the difference in length can be up to half an inch.

How to measure feet

1 Find a flat surface

2 Place a piece of paper with the edge against the wall

3 Stand on it with your heel also against the wall

4 Make a mark on the paper where the longest point of your foot is

5 Repeat this process with both feet as they may be slightly different sizes

6 Measure the length (which is heel to toe)

7 Use an online guide to find your shoe size

8 We recommend Shoezone’s guide: Girls & Boys

Related: How to measure baby feet

How can you tell if your child is wearing the wrong size?

There are some signs that your child may be wearing the wrong shoe size:

Foot pain – if the pain persists, they could be wearing the wrong size

Damaged toenails – any sign could be an indicator; it can lead to ingrown toenails

Having trouble walking – wearing ill-fitting shoes can cause a change in the way children walk

Changes in foot appearance – foot deformities and changes in appearance are often caused from wrongly fitted shoes

Your child is complaining about their feet – check in with your little ones

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9 inspiring family cookbooks to get creative with the kids

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