It may seem an impossible dream, but there are steps a parent can take to help school shoes last longer than a few weeks. As you send them off proudly on the first day of term in their pristine uniform and new shoes - it doesn't matter if they are boys' school shoes or girls' school shoes - you know it is only a matter of time before they and their shoes will return home in a different state. So, be prepared for the worst and follow this advice:
School shoes will be more long lasting if wiped down on a daily basis with a damp cloth. Do not allow mud and grime to build up, as this will compromise the durability of the shoe. If you need to apply a little more moisture to remove dirt, let the shoe dry in an airy place, not in front of a direct heat source as this can damage the upper.
High quality polish will clean and help to protect leather from scuffmarks and general playground abuse. If your child has a habit of jumping into puddles, there are special waterproofing products that can be applied to protect shoes. Some canvas shoes and trainers can be knotted into a pillowcase and cleaned effectively in the washing machine, although do not try this with leather unless the shoe is specifically labelled as machine washable.
It makes sense that the better quality the shoe, the more longevity it should have but it needn't cost the earth. The most important thing is that they fit properly and are comfortable, giving sufficient growing room and support to your child's growing feet.
Keep school shoes just for school. Get kids into the habit of removing their school shoes once they get home, thus avoiding unnecessary wear and tear.