The Best Nike Shoes for Back to School

Buying Guide

These timeless Nike shoes come in sizes and styles for kids of any age.

Last updated: May 16, 2022
3 min read
The Best Nike Shoes for Back to School

Back-to-school time signifies a fresh start for many kids — new teachers, new classes, new school supplies and, often, new shoes. After a summer full of play and activity, kids’ sneakers may be too small or worn out and ready to retire. To get the school year started on the right foot, check out the top Nike shoes for back to school.

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1. Nike Air Force 1

Let your style-savvy kid express their unique taste with one of the many colors and styles of the Nike Air Force 1, one of the most iconic Nike shoes since the 1980s. The shoe’s rubber sole is durable for all-day wear, providing underfoot traction. Plus, the styles with uppers made of synthetic leather offer an easy-to-clean option. A hidden Air unit in the sole provides cushioning for all-day comfort and support. This shoe comes in dozens of variations, with high-top and low-top styles, as well as sizing in 1C and up.

2. Nike Pegasus

For kids who love to be on their feet all day, opt for the Nike Pegasus, a shoe built for runners. The soles of the Nike Pegasus are made of responsive foam and durable rubber for added support and stability. Whether your kid is walking to school, zooming around at recess or trying out for the track team, they’ll enjoy uppers that feature breathable mesh to help air out sweaty feet. Youth sizes start at 1Y.

3. Nike Huarache

Because it’s designed for both sport and everyday wear, the Nike Huarache makes for a practical all-around, back-to-school shoe. With kids’ sizing starting at 2C, the shoe comes in bold colorways, and the snug bootie design creates a sock-like fit that’s easy to slip on and off. The heel strap stabilizes and supports the foot during all kinds of movement and activity.

4. Nike Blazer

The Nike Blazer channels the old-school look of Nike basketball shoes but is made with modern, performance-driven materials, so kids can comfortably run, jump and play. Mid-top and low-top styles are available, and sizes start at 1C. Some styles for younger kids come with a hook-and-loop strap to make the shoe easier to put on and take off.

5. Nike Air Max 90

The Air Max 90 is versatile and sporty. The visible Max Air unit in the sole provides cushioning, while the rubber sole offers a durable and flexible grip. The shape of the shoe allows for plenty of wiggle room for the toes, and padding around the ankle provides a plush and comfy feel. With a full range of sizes (1C and up), kids can find the right pair as their feet grow.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Shoes Are Best for Back to School?

Back-to-school sneakers should be versatile styles that provide all-day comfort for learning and play, such as the Nike Air Force 1, Nike Pegasus, Nike Huarache, Nike Blazer and Nike Air Max 90.

How Often Should Kids’ Shoes Be Replaced?

In general, athletic shoes should be replaced every 300 to 500 miles of wear, as the shoe’s cushioning and support mechanisms break down over time. For growing kids, though, the Cleveland Clinic recommends that shoes be replaced more frequently, as children’s feet can grow about a half size in three to four months.

Words by: Lindsay Frankel

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