Back to School Essentials for Kids

New grade. New teacher. New supplies and shoes for school.

The start of a new school year can leave your child feeling apprehensive. They might be excited to see their friends but worried about a new teacher or unfamiliar classmates. Maybe they’re worried about how they’ll fit in or what they look like. While you can’t change who their classmates are or eliminate their worries about their new teacher, you can help them look and feel their best and ensure they’re well-stocked on all the essentials.

At Shoe Carnival, families can find a wide assortment of shoes from your favorite brands, backpacks, lunch boxes, and accessories, such as socks, hats, and water bottles, all in one place.

Shoes for School: Finding the Perfect Fit

Back-to-school season means new shoes for school. Kick off the year the right way and unbox the perfect fit, with everyday value that makes sticking to your budget a breeze. Of course, durability will factor into the decision. From recess on the playground to gym class, they’ll be putting a lot of miles on their shoes before they outgrow them.

While kids’ shoes may not be one-size-fits-all, we’re the one-stop shop where a surprising and delightful shopping experience can be enjoyed for all their footwear needs. Not sure where to start? Here’s what you need to know:

Kids wearing Nike Court Borough sneakers

Sneakers are great for general daily wear and athletic use.

Boots keep feet warm during colder weather and provide extra durability for outdoor activities. They can look extra stylish, too.

Flats and dress shoes are perfect when you’re dressing to impress at formal occasions. Your child might also need these for their school uniform.

Sandals are comfortable for casual settings, especially when temperatures start to rise.

Shoes are an investment in your child’s comfort and style. Make it a wise one by ensuring the ideal fit. When shopping, consider:

Comfort: Your child will be in their shoes all day long. Choosing a comfortable, supportive pair of shoes for back-to-school that doesn’t pinch, rub, or annoy your child will go a long way in helping them focus. You can choose the right size shoe for your child with confidence with our shoe size chart and printable kids shoe sizing chart.

Durability: The cost of constantly replacing shoes that can’t stand up to the rough-and-tumble nature of children can quickly add up. While kids outgrow their shoes semi-frequently, durability remains a top priority for budget conscious parents.

Your child’s style: Since your child will be wearing the shoes, they should have a say in what they look like. Whether they’re looking for cute back-to-school shoes or something more athletic or trendy, we offer a wide range of styles and colors so your child can let their personality shine through their fashion choices.

Girl wearing Vintage Havana fashion sneakers

Our stylish inventory features new arrivals every day and also includes the most popular brands of the best back-to-school shoes, including Nike, adidas, Vintage Havana, Crocs, VANS, HEYDUDE, and Converse, all of which are favorites among kids everywhere.

Backpacks: Carrying School Supplies in Style

Backpacks make it easy for your child to carry their school supplies back and forth, but who said they can’t be an important part of their fashion statement? When you shop backpacks at Shoe Carnival, you’ll discover all sorts of styles, sizes, layouts, and colors, making it easy to find the backpack that suits your child’s needs, which includes giving them the confidence they need for the first day of school.

The right backpack for your child can be as personal as choosing their next pair of shoes. Sturdiness is important, especially in later grades, when textbooks and laptops can add a lot of bulk to their load. At the same time, the backpack should feel comfortable, distributing the weight evenly to avoid unnecessary strain on your child’s back.

Worried about the right pick? Don’t be. At Shoe Carnival, you’ll find options to help you narrow down the perfect choice. Before picking out their new bag, consider:

Size and fit: There’s a big size difference between a kindergartener and a 12th grader. Your child’s backpack size should fit well to distribute the weight evenly evenly. As a general rule, the backpack should be no more than 4 inches below the waist or 2 inches below the shoulders.

Straps: Ideally, your child’s backpack should have wide, adjustable straps so you can get the right fit. Extra padding here can be a big comfort booster.

Compartments: Some backpacks have extra compartments to help keep things organized. These may be helpful in later grades as children have more classes and items to juggle.

Durability: Your child will be hauling homework, books, and other items back and forth. Durability is key to ensure the bag doesn’t suddenly give out on them. Choose strong materials, such as polyester and nylon, for backpacks that last.

Extra features: Some backpacks come with extra features that can make them particularly attractive choices. For example, attached pencil cases can help keep your child organized. Others may have compartments for water bottles or dedicated laptop slots.

School rule compliance: Your child’s school may implement specific rules about backpacks, such as requiring clear bags for safety. We have you covered.

Style: Your child will spend a lot of time with their backpack, and it’s a great way to let them show off their individuality. Choose bags that match their personal style preferences through color, brand, or patterns.

Lunch Boxes: Keeping Meals Fresh

Some backpacks come with matching lunch boxes, but most don’t. Don’t worry — we have a wide selection of lunch boxes to keep your child’s food fresh and cool until lunch.

Looking for the ideal lunch box? You’ll want it to have features such as:

Adequate insulation: To keep your child’s lunch safe to eat, the lunch box must keep the food below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. An insulated lunch box with an ice pack can usually get the job done.

Easy to clean: Messes happen. It’s only a matter of time before your child spills something or there’s a leak that leaves the inside of the lunch box a little worse for wear. Or, they might forget an apple in it over a break that leaves the box needing a proper clean. The best lunch box choices are easily cleanable to make this process hassle-free.

The right size: Depending on your child’s age or how voracious of an eater they are, you may need to be particular about size. Younger children will often be fine with smaller lunch boxes, but if you have an older kid, you might need something large enough to keep all the food contained and cool.

The right compartments: Some lunch boxes have extra compartments. This can be particularly useful if you’re sending them with a mix of perishable and nonperishable foods each morning, allowing you to keep one part cool while the other remains at room temperature.

With so many lunch boxes from tried-and-true brands to choose from, you’ll discover all sorts of colors, sizes, shapes, and patterns. We even have several matching backpack and lunch bag combos, such as the Madden Girl Nylon Backpack With Lunch Bag.

Other Essential School Supplies at Shoe Carnival

Looking for other school essentials? We have you covered. Along with our vast collection of kids’ shoes, we have an impressive array of other items to help fill the gaps and prepare your children for back-to-school season.

Stock up on socks to prevent that last-minute rush to find a pair. Worried about bright sunlight in the early morning? Grab a hat to keep their eyes shaded. For a little extra carrying power, consider a handbag to keep hygiene products, wallets, and keys contained.

If you have a budding athlete on your hands, you might consider adding a sports bag to the list, helping your child keep their athletic wear separate from their school supplies. Don’t forget a water bottle to keep them hydrated on the go. 

Finding the Best Shoes for School at Shoe Carnival

No doubt you’ll be busy when back-to-school season comes around. When it’s time to find new school shoes, we’ve got you covered. Avoid the hassle of unnecessary shopping trips by picking up your children’s shoes, backpacks, lunch boxes, and other essential items all in one place.

Shop the best back to school deals now with styles that include the Nike Court Borough, Nike Air Max, Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers, Crocs, and more. Or find the closest retail location to come try some on!

Shoe Perks – Shop. Earn. Redeem. Repeat. 

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