Back to school shoe care

School shoes are an essential part of the uniform kit – protecting your child’s feet while they run and play on the school grounds, and keeping them comfortable while they sit at their desks.


With varying brands and costs on the market, parents purchase the best pair they can afford, and in order to reap maximum use of the school shoes, the onus lies on children, and parents, to take care of their shoes.

Michael Sithambaram, manager of Schools Division at Bata South Africa, manufacturer of the country’s most loved school shoes, Bata Toughees, said caring for your school shoes is essential. Bata South Africa produces over four million of the country’s school shoes every year.

“We all eagerly look forward to back to school. Many parents will remember their very first back to school responsibility – polishing their school shoes at the start of the new week. With great attention to detail, this simple act not only taught children responsibility, but to protect the items they own against wear and tear. For us at Bata, parents trust us to craft a pair of good quality, comfortable and enduring shoes for their children, but thereafter it lies in their hands to properly care for shoes,” he said.

Here are Bata South Africa’s top points to help teach and encourage children to take care of their shoes:


  • Clean shoes with a soft cloth – wipe across the top of the shoe
  • Brush the underneath of the shoe daily to clear any grit or mud caught underneath
  • Polish the shoe with a matching polish colour to take away scratches or marks
  • Buff with a soft cloth for shine
  • Do not store in a box, as the box can contain fungus and mould that could catch on the shoe.
  • If the shoe gets wet, stuff with a ball of paper to absorb any moisture and allow to air dry.
  • Invest in shoes that have durable features such as genuine leather uppers, guarantees on fair wear and tear, have odour protection, and are less susceptible to discolouration and deterioration of fibre structure. 

“Back to school can be full of excitement for children, eager to see their friends, and run and play on the school grounds. This is how they learn. We know that parents invest in the best pair of shoes they can afford for their children, and with a few simple steps each week, both parents and children can lengthen the lifespan of a shoe and get maximum use of it without sacrificing on comfort,” said Sithambaram.