Footwear Trends for Back to School 2023

Back to School Shoes 101

Looking for the hottest footwear trends and shoe styles of the season? Look no further! In this edition we’re talking about the trendiest back-to-school shoes for the upcoming 2023-24 school year, which is just around the corner! That means it’s time to begin considering what shoes your kids or young adults will need for the classroom or campus. With so many options in terms of styles and brands, it can be challenging to know where to start. That’s why our footwear experts have organized this guide that outlines the most popular back-to-school shoe trends for 2023.

For all the latest styles, don’t forget to check out our up to the minute trending shoe wall.

Sustainable Sneakers

Mindfulness of the environment grows from generation to generation. Many kids and young adults are incredibly savvy when it comes to using only eco-friendly products, including apparel and footwear! Brands like Blowfish Malibu, BOBS Shoes by Skechers, Nike, and Adidas all use recycled materials for their sustainable shoe lines and many have joined the movement to end plastic waste. Sustainable sneakers help reduce environmental impact, are made from recycled materials, and are produced in a way that minimizes pollution. They can look stylish with just about any outfit and are often more comfortable and durable than traditional shoes, making them a great choice for the classroom.

Platform Sneakers

Converse Platform Sneakers

Platform sneakers remain a popular trend in girls’ shoes, and a fresh pair from a favorite brand would be a perfect fit for heading back to school. Platform sneakers are comfortable, stylish, durable, and they add a little extra lift to your step. Because they come in a variety of colors and styles, they can be easily dressed up or down making finding the perfect pair to match any personality super easy. Shop Converse, Vans, Nike, PUMA, Tommy Hilfiger, and Adidas to find the newest platform sneaker styles.

Tennis Shoes

A classic go-to, but with so many options to choose from! Students may need tennis shoes for gym class, after school sports, traversing campus, or just everyday wear, so they need a shoe that can keep up with an active lifestyle and withstand wear and tear without sacrificing comfort. High quality tennis shoes are made with superior cushioning materials that absorb shock and provide support for growing feet. In addition to being comfortable and durable, tennis shoes are universally stylish, so they go well with just about any first day of school outfit. Reebok, New Balance, Under Armour, K-Swiss, and Adidas are trusted go to brands for modern and retro-inspired tennis shoes.

Kids’ Light Up Shoes and Sneakers with Fun Details

Skechers Kids’ Shoes

For younger children you can’t go wrong with light up sneakers for boys or light up shoes for girls. This type of kids’ shoe lets their personality shine with every step, and some even feature their favorite Disney or Nickelodeon characters! Kids’ shoes with fun details, such as animal prints, neon colors, or glitter are a great way to add a pop of personality to any back to school outfit. Shop Skechers, FILA, and Crocs to find some of the coolest shoes with fun details. Crocs Jibbitz are another huge hit among children, teenagers, and young adults.

Chunky Sneakers and Chunky Shoes

Chunky sneakers and chunky sole shoes are another popular trend for middle schoolers, high schoolers, and college students alike. This trendy footwear is perfect for back to school because they are stylish, durable, and comfortable. They can add a touch of edge to any back to school outfit, and the variety of chunky styles range from athletic to dress, so they can fit any personality. The chunky shoe trend continues to gain momentum and top brands such as Soda, Jellypop, Fila, Converse, Nike, and PUMA offer some of the hottest styles of the season.

Slip-On Shoes

Slip-ons are a convenient and stylish back to school shoe for both boys and girls. Make weekday mornings a little less hectic with effortless slip-on shoes from HEYDUDE, Roxy, Skechers, BOBS, Adidas, Crocs, Vans, and more! They are easy to put on and take off, and they come in a variety of colors and styles for students of all ages.

Fashion Sneakers

Vintage Havana Fashion Sneakers

Fashion sneakers are a trendy must-have for kids, teenagers, and young adults, so this category definitely aligns with back to school. They are stylish and trendy enough for any modern ensemble, yet comfy and durable enough for daily wear and tear at the school yard or campus. There are a range of fashion sneaker styles from favorites like Vintage Havana, PUMA, Skechers, Rocket Dog, Blowfish Malibu, and Converse, so girls and young adults can find the perfect fit. Popular styles even include platform sneakers, chunky sole shoes, and slip-ons. Comfortable enough to wear all day and stylish enough to make a statement, fashion sneakers are a great option for back to school shoes. They can be worn with jeans, skirts, shorts, or a dress for that perfect first day of school outfit!

Retro Sneakers

Some fashion trends are too timeless to fade away and many popular vintage shoe styles have withstood the test of time. Inspired by popular sneakers of the past, retro shoes offer a fashionable way for boys and girls to enjoy classic comfort while adding a hint of nostalgia to their back to school wardrobe. Some styles are making a comeback, others have been trending in the classroom for decades, but names that have become synonymous with retro footwear include Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars, New Balance, Reebok, Adidas, PUMA, and Nike. Classic retro sneakers from these and other timeless brands continue to adorn the feet of today’s generation, so pick up a fresh pair for a casually stylish first day of school outfit!

Shoes With Cushioned Soles and/or Arch Support

Footwear with cushioned soles or arch support can be a game changer for those long walks across a college campus, making them a great option for back to school. This type of shoe will not only keep feet comfortable, but also help prevent fatigue as well as foot or leg pain. Brooks, Easy Street, ASICS, Clarks, LifeStride, and Solanz are just a handful of top brands for maximum cushioning and arch support.