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Backpack and shoes: The back to school buying guide

It’s almost the start of the school year, which means it’s time to gear up the kids. The shoes and backpacks are to be replaced almost every year, so here is our handy guide to help you make the right choice.

Backpacks

It may seem trivial to choose a backpack, but there are important things to consider. A badly fitted backpack might hurt your little ones and cause back pain. To make sure the backpack is suited, take your kid shopping with you and make them try on a few bags.

Keep in mind that the backpack should not be wider than your child’s back and should not go under the buttocks or over the shoulder. Wide and cushioned shoulder straps are a must for added comfort. Side pockets are also to consider for ease of access of certain items and better weight distribution. Finally, a laptop sleeve in the bag can also be practical, just like waterproof, lightweight and durable fabric; after all, no one is safe from an accident!

Sound advice from an experienced mom

Following the entry into kindergarten of my oldest and my experience of an entire school year, here are my suggestions in terms of school backpacks :

  • A bag that contains several different sized pockets.
  • I liked the fact that the bag I chose is dark. It is less prone of getting dirtty from being so often on the floor.
  • A bag that fits well and stays close to the child's body.
  • Do not skimp on the quality; a good choice will allow you to use the same bag for subsequent years, so make a nice savings for the following years!

Shoes

With so much choices at hand and many schools ask for two pairs of shoes (on for outside, the other for inside), it may be hard to select the right shoes. May you opt for running, basketball or multi-sport shoes (the latter offering better ankle support), the most important thing is – beyond nom-marking soles – is the right fit!

It’s a fact; a lot of parents have a tendency to buy slightly oversized shoes, thinking they’ll last longer. Unfortunately, poorly fitted shoes will wear faster, in addition of being uncomfortable for the child. Be sure to choose the right size for them!


Sound advice from an experienced mom

New to me last year, I had to buy my son two pairs of shoes for school. Many things happened to them, so let me share my key learnings:

Outdoor:

  • My son loves to run, jump and play in the sand; he’s kind of a sporty fellow! Last year I bought light running shoes at a low-price store, and let’s say that I quickly regretted it: the shoes wore out in about a month!
  • I now choose the shoes that bring the best value for the money; they are well worth it, because they last longer!

Indoor:

  • I'm less picky when it comes to indoor shoes, as long as they have non-marking soles, are light, breathable and well suited for his physical education class.

Good to know: New Balance Canada will donate $2 to Jumpstart for each pair of New Balance junior shoes bought at Sports Experts until September 30th!


This article was written in collaboration with Maman pour la vie. The opinions expressed in this post are inspired by the experience of a mother, Marie-Hélène Dion.

Written by Vanessa Maisonneuve-Rocheleau.