Review: Start-rite Tough Enough school shoes

A selection of images showing Start-rite school shoes.

Look away now, kids. We’re halfway through the summer holidays so it’s time to start planning for the new school year! Shoes, of course, are always high on the list of new things to get.

Fortunately for us, Start-rite sent a couple of pairs of Tough Enough school shoes to review. Dylan and Xander have quite literally been putting them through their paces for the last few days.

As is the way with a lot of kids’ shoes these days, the design is more in keeping with trainers. I wish my school shoes had been like that! Both pairs look robust, well made and comfortable. They also have riptape fastenings which, as far as I’m concerned, are a must as both boys struggle with laces.

In addition, they have scuff-resistant toe protection as well as breathable linings for comfort among other features. This is all well and good, but the most important factor is what the boys think. I therefore asked them to share their thoughts too.

Extreme Pri

I thought these would be a good choice for Dylan and so it proved. Both boys take after me in having wide Hobbit-like feet – him in particular. Sorry, son! I was pleased to see his size readily available. Recent trips to other shoe retailers had seen us come away empty handed – or should that be empty footed?

He looked comfortable both standing and walking around in them and soon forgave me for making him wear his school trousers during the summer for the photos.

Dylan’s verdict: “They look very nice and are cosy too. I’m going to run around like The Flash in them.”

RRP: from £52.99


I chose these for Xander as they are billed as ‘super tough’. This is an especially important consideration with him as he is energetic and prolific when it comes to damaging things. They look like they’ll provide good support everywhere which is great as he’s going to cover some distance in them!

He looked very pleased with himself the moment he put them on and was soon legging it around the house – a sure sign that they’re a good fit.

Xander’s verdict: “They’re comfy and I’m going to enjoy climbing on the play equipment in them.”

RRP: from £49.99

Both boys are happy with their new shoes. Indeed, they didn’t want to take them off after I’d finished taking photos! They look the part, seem comfortable and I’m confident that they’ll stand the test of time that is the 2017-18 school year.

Disclosure: I was provided with two pairs of Start-rite shoes for this review. This post also includes an affiliate banner.

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