Finding a great pair of trendy school shoes can feel like a challenge. School uniform can restrict your style, so you want to find ways to show off your personality. Sometimes it can feel like there’s not much room for individuality.
You’ve just got to make sure your school uniform shoes are comfortable and practical, while sticking to the dress code.
Read on as we explore what shoes to wear with school uniform this term, and help you find a pair of school shoes you’ll love.
Get excited about heading back to school with our handy guide.
What’s on this page:
Before we dive into some of our favourite , here are a few tips to consider:
- Before you start shopping, it’s often a good idea to refresh your knowledge of the school policy. It’s best to know what shoes you can wear with your school uniform.
- Find inspiration from current shoe trends. Brogues, Mary Janes and T-Bar shoes are already trending, just make sure they’re appropriate for your uniform. Some schools allow black trainers, but others may ask for more formal shoes.
- Likewise, when shopping for trendy school shoes for teenage girls and boys, look at current casual shoe trends and see which ones you could wear to school. Ballerina pumps and chunky shoes are on the rise, so perhaps consider a smart pair of these in black.
- Don’t forget, back-to-school trends aren’t just about shoes. You can express your personality with accessories and school bags too.
Sometimes you might feel like you don’t have a say in how you dress. Especially if you don’t like your school uniform – trust us, we’ve all been there. But there are always styles that can help you add something a little bit different – it’s just about choosing the right pair.
Here are a few great ideas to help show off your style without breaking the rules:
Try different shoe styles
We all have a personal sense of style. Different shoes appeal to different people and, just like with your casual wardrobe, you know what you like and don’t like..
Maybe you tend to love a certain style of shoe and wear them into the ground. Or, perhaps you prefer having a small selection to choose from during the week? Whatever your wardrobe and uniform, get inspired with some of our top trendy school shoes.
Add a pair of smart loafers to your school wardrobe, ideal for a range of uniform policies. Loafers are unisex, so they’re available in a wide variety of styles.
Our top pick:
Smart and practical, brogues are some of our favourite trendy boys’ school shoes. Perfect for formal uniform policies that don’t allow canvas shoes or trainers, brogues are unisex, so anyone can wear them.
Our top pick:
Dainty ballerinas are back in style, both in and out of school. They’re a great shoe for variety, ideal for the start of term, at the end of summer and heading into autumn.
Our top pick:
Chunky lace ups
Stylish and resilient, chunky lace up shoes are perfect for all seasons. Following the right winter shoe care, they’re great for protecting feet right into the colder months.
Our top pick:
Perfect for the colder months, a sturdy pair of flat boots can be an excellent way to add some winter style to your uniform. Keep your feet warm and look good while doing it.
Our top pick:
Knowing how to style school uniform can be tricky when there’s a dress code to follow. Another way to express your personality through your uniform is with accessories. Add creative flair from head to toe with:
- Belts – Keep it smart with brown or black leather or try statement patterns and textures.
- Watches – Choose from digital, analogue, retro and skeleton watches to stand out from the crowd.
- Shoelaces – If your school policy allows it, why not customise your shoes with contrasting shoelaces?
Bags and backpacks
You may think that a school bag is more of a necessity than an accessory, but it doesn’t have to be that way. At school, expressing yourself and feeling like you fit in is important – and bags and backpacks can help show your style.
- Backpacks – Add some colour and design with a trusty backpack. You might appreciate a neutral look, or something with extra storage for all that extra homework.
- Satchels and shoulder bags – A great alternative to a backpack, satchels are available in a range of styles, from simple patterns to block colours.
- Drawstring bags – Super versatile and easy to grab and go. Drawstring bags are ideal if you have less to bring into school – or for hauling in a PE kit.
We know that everyone will tell you that practicality comes before style – but who says you can’t have both? Check the school guidelines and see what coats you can wear before heading out.
Some schools can be particular about colour or style but, if you’ve got the green light for bright colours, outerwear is a great way to sum up your personality.
- Jackets – Throw a puffer or bomber jacket over your uniform for extra layers.
- Coats – Choose a raincoat on wet weekdays or a duffle coat in winter.
- Cardigans – Perfect for summer weather, cardigans are great for light layers and cool breezes.
- Gilets – Grab a gilet to beat the chill during transitional weather. These jackets really look the part with school jumpers.
How to style your school uniform: Should I follow the trends?
Finding out how to feel and look good in school uniform and shoes is all about confidence. Foot fashion can sometimes dictate what is ‘cool’ at school – which can be frustrating. You may feel especially under pressure to wear popular or branded shoes and clothes at school.
School uniform often doesn’t allow you to display your personal style through your clothing, so you can often use your shoes to stand out. Finding the balance between following school guidelines, fashion trends, and your budget can be challenging.
Our top tips
Here are a few of our top tips for deciding what shoes to wear with school uniform this year. Time to do some homework (sorry):
- Get inspiration from branded designs – Branded shoes provide great inspiration for footwear trends. If you or your parents are sticking to a particular budget, try and find the same great design in a more affordable, unbranded shoe.
Meet in the middle – if your school may have a set of rules, or your parents are pushing you in a certain direction, it’s always best to meet in the middle. Find the perfect compromise between practicality and fashion, and have a discussion with your parents about what you feel happy wearing.
- Do your research – whether that be looking at recent trends, asking friends or checking the uniform policy, you want to make sure you grab the perfect pair. Don’t jump at the first shoe you see, it might not be right for you.
- Don’t forget about PE shoes – your school may ask specifically for black trainers, or you may be allowed to add a little more colour. Either way, you want to find a pair that’s comfortable and sticks to your budget and school policy.
- Shop early – Last but not least, to avoid feeling stressed about securing the best shoes for your school uniform, don’t leave it too late before the start of term.
Finding trendy school shoes doesn’t have to be a head-scratcher. There are plenty of different styles available that use the same trends as outside the classroom – you just have to know where to look.
Get inspired by our tips and top choices, and you’ll find a great pair of school shoes in no time. For more advice, read our complete guide to the best back-to-school shoes.
Discover more shoe guides and style advice on the shoezone blog.