14 Back-to-School Clothing Essentials for Kids of All Ages
From hoodies to joggers to sneakers, check out the best back-to-school gear from Nike.
For many kids, back to school is an exciting time to reconnect with classmates and sport some fresh outfits to mark the beginning of the school year.
For the adults in their lives, on the other hand, the season can come with stressors. From adhering to dress codes to ensuring garments are suitable for a range of daily activities (like transitioning from the classroom to the football pitch), making practical purchases is key.
The solution: gear up little ones in the functional garments they need for the first day of class and the playground—and find items that will feel comfortable and let kids express their style, too. Check out the top Nike clothing and footwear essentials for back to school.
7 Back-to-School Shopping Essentials for Younger Kids (3–8)
1. Nike Younger Kids' T-Shirt
When it comes to back-to-school basics, you can never have too many tees. Look for soft cotton blends for everyday wear, or for particularly active days, opt for a Nike Dri-FIT T-shirt. This lightweight fabric is designed to wick moisture away from the skin, so it'll help keep kids cool and dry if they're running around on a hot day.
2. Nike Younger Kids' Dress
If you can picture the kid in your life twirling, sprinting and jumping on the first day back to school, they may want to pick out clothing that's comfortable, stretchy and flowy.
Enter: a Nike Younger Kids' Dress with soft fabric and a roomy cut. Consider pairing a dress with shorts or tights if a child wants more coverage—and style.
3. Nike Dri-FIT Younger Kids' Polo
Polos are a simple way to make a kid's outfit look a little more dressed up, if that's their style (or a dress code requires it). With sweat-wicking fabric, this Nike Dri-FIT Younger Kids' Polo keeps kids dry and comfortable from the classroom to the playground to dinner with family.
4. Nike Sportswear Club Fleece Younger Kids' Joggers
Keep the little one in your life warm and cosy when the autumn months start to roll around with Nike Sportswear Club Fleece Younger Kids' Joggers. While the no-fuss design is ideal for staying comfortable, the super-soft fuzz on the inside is perfect for lounging at home at the weekend, too.
5. Nike Sportswear Club Fleece Younger Kids' Pullover Hoodie
The Nike Sportswear Club Fleece Younger Kids' Pullover Hoodie is designed for comfort, with brushed fleece for softness and warmth and a loose, roomy fit. Don't be surprised if they never want to take it off.
6. Nike Presto Extreme Younger Kids' Shoes
From spontaneous sprints on the playground to dancing and games in the classroom, young children need a shoe that will stay put during activity and are also easy to get on and off. The Nike Presto Extreme Younger Kids' Shoe is tailor-made for tiny athletes, with a rubber suction at the heel and toe for traction, adjustable midfoot strap for extra security and an inner sleeve for a supportive, sock-like fit. Nike shoe sizes for younger kids run from 10 to 2.5.
7. Nike Sportswear Younger Kids' Puffer Jacket
On those days when snow or rain is in the forecast, young kids need to head to school bundled up in a water-resistant, well-insulated coat that isn't too bulky. The Nike Sportswear Younger Kids' Puffer Jacket contains synthetic-fill insulation to hold in heat, while the outer layer deflects moisture for a dry, comfortable fit.
(Related: The Best Nike Jackets for Kids)
7 Back-to-School Shopping Essentials for Older Kids (6–15)
1. Nike Older Kids' Lifestyle Trousers
Nike lifestyle trousers are back-to-school winners for a couple of reasons. First, they're designed to feel comfortable and stretchy like a pair of athletic trousers, but they offer a more tailored fit than a pair of gym joggers.
Second, they're practical—many come with zip pockets for storage and an elastic waistband with a drawcord for a more customised fit. For example, the Nike Sportswear Older Kids' Utility Trousers come with two pockets (one that zips shut and one that has a stitched-down flap) and the fit tapers towards the ankles for a clean look so kids can show off their favourite kicks.
2. Nike Sportswear Older Kids' Fleece Tracksuit Bottoms
When temperatures dip and kids need something warm, look for a pair of fleece-lined Nike Sportswear tracksuit bottoms, which are sure to help kids stay toasty at playtime. Some styles feature a flare-leg design for kids who love the trend, while others are more fitted around the ankles.
3. Nike Sportswear Icon Clash Older Kids' Skirt
For kids who want to make a fashion statement, check out Nike dresses and skirts. They range from flowy styles with bold patterns to athletic cuts, like the Nike Dri-FIT Icon Clash Two-in-One Training Skirt. This skirt has built-in stretchy shorts, making it a good fit for class or after-school sport.
4. Nike Sportswear Older Kids' Tracksuit
If the kid you're shopping with loves a matching set, take a look at Nike tracksuits for kids. With a soft and relaxed look that feels put together at the same time, there's a reason tracksuits have been a Nike signature for decades. They're versatile for a kid's lifestyle, too—ideal for everyday wear or for warming up before a match.
5. Nike Sportswear Club Older Kids' Pullover Hoodie
Like a set of freshly sharpened pencils and backpack, a hoodie is a must-have for back to school. Kids can layer a soft, fleece Nike Sportswear Pullover Hoodie with a jacket on cold days or slip it off and tie it around their waist if temperatures warm up in the afternoon.
6. Nike Older Kids' Air Force 1s
With dozens of colourways and designs for kids, including low-top, mid-top and high-top styles, you can't go wrong with a Nike Air Force 1. The Nike Air Force 1 LV8 Next Nature sneakers feature a multi-colour design, Nike Air cushioning for comfort and a rubber sole for traction. For a more classic look, go for the all-white low-tops.
Nike shoe sizes for older kids run from 3 to 6. For kids who have outgrown those sizes, check out Nike Air Force 1s for adults.
(Related: How to Clean Air Force 1s)
7. Nike Sportswear Older Kids' Synthetic-Fill Jacket
Upgrade a kid's outerwear game with a Nike Sportswear Synthetic-Fill Jacket. These puffer coats feature a lightweight shell and are packed with insulation. The fluffy fleece inner lining will help minimise complaints about waiting for the bus or walking to school on chillier mornings.
Words by Julia Sullivan, ACE-certified CPT.