School Shoes for Adventurous Kids – A Review of Start-Rite Extreme

In collaboration with Start-Rite

Oscar playing outdoors, wearing his Start-Rite school shoes

This year’s a big one for us. It marks the start of Oscar’s school journey as he makes the leap from nursery to primary school.

We’re all so excited about it, but one thing I’m learning is that there’s a lot to prepare and buy. School uniform, PE kit, school meals vs. packed lunch, backpack, stationery and so on.

One of the most important things you’ll buy for your children for their time at school is their school shoes. They wear them every day so they need to be comfortable and stand strong when tested by adventurous kids. When I asked around about which school shoes they’d recommend, one name kept popping up – Start-Rite.

With the new school year approaching, I’m delighted to be working with Start-Rite to review the Extreme Pre, from their Extreme range. We’ve been testing out our Start-Rite school shoes for a few weeks now at nursery, days out and on walks out and about, so here’s how we’ve been getting on… 👞


Start-Rite School Shoes Review

Start-Rite Extreme school shoes in their packaging

Start-Rite Extreme school shoes, shown on a table

First impressions

My first thought when the box arrived was ‘I love the attention to detail’. The lid features phrases including “stay curious” and “chase your dreams”, the kind of words you want your kids to live by. It’s nice to see this on the box and it really made me smile. Unboxing the Start-Rite school shoes, it was clear they were well cared for and packaged carefully, with tissue paper surrounding them and also within the shoes to help them stay their best.

I picked the shoes up from the box and they felt sturdy and tough – just the kind of thing you want from shoes that’ll be on the feet of a curious little boy or girl.


Child wearing school uniform and Start-Rite Extreme school shoes

High quality, with a premium feel

We’ve been Start-Rite fans for a while now. It started with a gorgeous pair of sandals that we picked up for Ottilie. While her other shoes have become worn (usually at the toes, she’s clumsy like me!), her sandals are almost spotless – and this quality of materials and design is something we’ve come to know and love about the brand.

The Extreme range is no different. You can tell by holding the shoes that they’ve been designed and manufactured with care and attention to detail. I also think they look lovely, and could easily be worn as so much more than just school shoes.

Something else which is great about Start-Rite is they have a wide range of sizes and fittings. This is great if your child has narrow or wide feet, and if you’re not sure you can find out how to measure in their fitting guide. The Extreme range is available from a small 7 up to a large 6, which is especially nice if your child has smaller feet than average when starting school.


Child in school uniform playing with cars outdoors

Child playing outdoors in school uniform wearing Start-Rite Extreme school shoes

Child riding balance bike wearing Start-Rite Extreme school shoes

Super tough, but super comfortable

We’ve been on so many adventures with these shoes in the weeks that we’ve had them. They’ve been Oscar’s go-to shoes for nursery, walks, riding his balance bike, and driving cars around outside. He asks to wear them 99% of the time, and they’ve been brilliant every time.

Start-Rite say that their Extreme shoes are their toughest ever school shoes. They’re made from a leather that feels soft and comfortable, yet strong at the same time. Combined with the padding this makes them really comfortable to wear. Something that I think is really clever is the sole – it’s really textured so has great grip, and from the toe cap to the heel almost hugs and protects the shoe. This reportedly helps these Start-Rite school shoes stand up to any adventure, and I’m sure over the next few months Oscar will really put that to the test!

Something that I didn’t realise until researching the shoes more closely was that they have an antibacterial lining. It’s not something I’d have thought to look for in a school shoe, but it makes complete sense (and I wish every pair of shoes ever had them).


Child in school uniform wearing Start-Rite Extreme school shoes

What did we think?

I’ve been really impressed by the Extreme Pre shoes and think they’d make a lovely choice for school shoes, especially for younger kids starting school. Oscar says they’re comfortable and I’m happy to let him wear them anywhere, knowing they’ll be strong enough to cope with his stumbles, adventures and curiosity.

The Extreme range comes in sizes S 7 – L 6, and is available directly from Start-Rite.


We’ve received this pair of Start-Rite school shoes in exchange for this review, but as always these are my own personal thoughts and recommendations. Thank you to Start-Rite for working with us on this, and I hope it’s helped you in your school shoe shopping journey.  

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