Kids Back to School Shoes
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50 Back-to-School Shoes under $50

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Kids Back to School Shoes
PeopleImages/istockphoto

Don't Let Shoe Shopping Trip You Up

No one wants to overspend — but it's been proven time and again that you do get what you pay for, so investing in quality really does pay off. When you head out (or whip out the laptop) for back-to-school shopping — a task no one really loves — keep that in mind. There are good finds to be had for less than $50. Here's our survey of what's smart and stylish, practical, and even fun for those boys and girls soon to be back in the classroom. (And yes, you can smile at that thought.)

Prices and availability subject to change.

Related: 25 Best Back-to-School Finds at Costco

Kids' Adventure Sneakers
Source: L.L. Bean

Kids' Adventure Sneakers

Price: $35 to $40 | Buy them from L.L. Bean
These have that athletic look but are designed for everyday wear, with breathable lightweight mesh and synthetic leather uppers. And the lacing style helps keep them secure (and no trailing shoelaces to trip over).

Everlast Sport Girls' Swirls Sneaker
Source: Kmart

Everlast Sport Girls' Swirls Sneaker

Price: $22 | Buy them from Kmart
This one's all about the combo — looks (metallic detailing and glitter accents) and practicality (thick collar padding to offer ankle support and memory foam cushioning to absorb impact). Win-win.

Adidas Advantage Clean Grade School Kids Casual Shoe
Source: Modell's Sporting Goods

Adidas Advantage Clean Grade School Kids Casual Shoe

Price: $30 | Buy them from Modell's Sporting Goods
An understated choice, a sneaker that reads as a tie shoe.

Converse Ox Unicons Girls Sneakers
Source: JC Penney

Converse Ox Unicons Girls Sneakers

Price: $35 | Buy them from JCPenney
The little girls wearing these — a classic canvas lace-up from a well-respected brand — will be the envy of her gym class.

Kenneth Cole Dolly School Flats
Source: Macy's

Kenneth Cole Dolly School Flats

Price: $40 | Buy them from Macy's
A timeless interpretation from a designer known for quality, with the ease of Velcro at the ankle-strap closures.

Kids' Zander Memory Foam Oxford
Source: Famous Footwear

Kids' Zander Memory Foam Oxford

Price: $49.99 | Buy them from Famous Footwear
This Deer Stags model will take your young man from science class to the homecoming dance with equal ease.

Nike Flex Contact Running Shoe
Source: Modell's Sporting Goods

Nike Flex Contact Running Shoe

Price: $40 | Buy them from Modell's Sporting Goods
This model is designed to support running naturally, with a knit upper that allows toes to move and a tightly knit heel to aid support.

Adidas Kids Adizero Club Tennis
Source: Zappos

Adidas Kids Adizero Club Tennis

Price: $44 | Buy them from Zappos
These ultra-lightweight sneakers are designed so kids can "run longer." The breathable mesh also ensures long-lasting comfort.

Vans Asher Boys Checkered Skate Shoes
Source: Kohl's

Vans Asher Boys Checkered Skate Shoes

Price: $45 | Buy them from Kohl's
Your son will finally think you're cool if you get him these — classics with cachet — and durability.

Little Kid's Kinvara 10 Jr. Sneaker
Source: Saucony

Little Kid's Kinvara 10 Jr. Sneaker

Price: $44 | Buy them from Saucony
This sweet pair is ideal for young girls, with an easy on/off tab, a lightweight construction and rubberized lugs for grip.

Boys' S Sport by Skechers Lennex Light Up Athletic Shoes
Source: Target

Boys' S Sport by Skechers Lennex Light Up Athletic Shoes

Price: $35 | Buy them from Target
This is a sports-minded choice for that kid who just loves to show off. You know he'll be wearing these for gym and beyond, lighting up his days (and nights).

Reebok Classic Youth Sneaker
Source: DSW

Reebok Classic Youth Sneaker

Price: $45 | Buy them from DSW
These are ideal for the young runner, with padded collar and tongue, whether she's hoping to make the track team or simply enjoy a romp on the playground.

Asos Design Sneakers
Source: Asos

Asos Design Sneakers

Price: $19 | Buy them from Asos
The chunky sole adds a bit of personality to this traditional pick. And parents can use these as a "teachable moment," explaining that the company works with the Better Cotton Initiative to improve cotton farming globally.

Related: 25 Companies That Are Doing Good Deeds With Your Dollars

Big Kid's Shift Sneaker
Source: Saucony

Big Kid's Shift Sneaker

Price: $45 | Buy them from Saucony
This model's built for the long haul, with a rugged outsole for traction and mesh upper for breathability.

Adidas Kids' Grand Court Sneaker
Source: Famous Footwear

Adidas Kids' Grand Court Sneaker

Price: $49.99 | Buy them from Famous Footwear
This is the real deal — leather upper, round toe and highly rated for comfort.

Geox Kids Kilwi Girl 50
Source: Zappos

Geox Kids Kilwi Girl 50

Price: $46 | Buy them from Zappos
This is a sturdy, everyday choice (leather and synthetic upper with elastic goring and breathable mesh lining) elevated into a fashion statement with metallic details.

Skechers Bobs Solestice 2.0 Woof-Tastic Slip-on
Source: DSW

Skechers Bobs Solestice 2.0 Woof-Tastic Slip-on

Price: $30 | Buy them from DSW
The littlest animal lovers will delight in these casual flats designed to keep her comfortable with memory-foam footbed, rubber sole, and round-toe design.

Nautica Little & Big Boys Lace-Up Sneakers
Source: Macy's

Nautica Little & Big Boys Lace-Up Sneakers

Price: $45 | Buy them from Macy's
These sleek low-tops have a leather look that would easily translate to a special occasion and seem ideal for the no-fuss fella.

Kids Velvet Cat Ballet Flats
Source: Gap

Kids Velvet Cat Ballet Flats

Price: $35 | Buy them from Gap
A gal can never have too many pairs of flats … so start the tradition at an early age with these fun and funky velvet ones that have a sturdy heel and charming design.

Steve Madden Roadtrip Youth High-Top Sneaker
Source: DSW

Steve Madden Roadtrip Youth High-Top Sneaker

Price: $35 | Buy them from DSW
Rose-gold metallic and rainbow accents equal funky; fabric lining, 1-inch heel, and inside zipper closure equal smart buy.

Champion 93Eighteen Repeat C Casual Shoes
Source: Finish Line

Champion 93Eighteen Repeat C Casual Shoes

Price: $30 | Buy them from Finish Line
These are on-trend picks filled with "heritage style" and ideal for the kid on the go, thanks to the easy pull-on heel tab.

Sperry Top-sider Leeward Sport Youth Boat Shoe
Source: DSW

Sperry Top-sider Leeward Sport Youth Boat Shoe

Price: $40 | Buy them from DSW
They're traditional, durable (leather upper, non-marking rubber sole, cushioned footbed) — and certainly add a touch of class to any young man's ensemble.

Christie & Jill Pear Girls Mary Jane Shoes
Source: JC Penney

Christie & Jill Pear Girls Mary Jane Shoes

Price: $20 | Buy them from JCPenney
These shoes have a decidedly retro feel but will provide today's comfort needs with 1.5-inch heel and adjustable ankle strap.

Retro Nylon High-Tops for Boys
Source: Old Navy

Retro Nylon High-Tops for Boys

Price: $15 | Buy them from Old Navy
Sometimes a boy just needs a workmanlike pair of sneakers, and these have the look of a go-to in the making.

Athletic Works Shaq Boys' Knit High-Top Athletic Sneaker
Source: Walmart

Athletic Works Shaq Boys' Knit High-Top Athletic Sneaker

Price: $11.50 | Buy them from Walmart
Shaquille O'Neal for the masses — with an eye on savings, one reviewer noted these "are not all wide and bulky" like many other inexpensive brands.

Nike Little Boys' Team Hustle Quick Basketball Sneaker from Finish Line
Source: Finish Line

Nike Little Boys' Team Hustle Quick Basketball Sneaker from Finish Line

Price: $40 | Buy them from Macy's
This is a sleek pair built to be speedy and close to the ground. The low-cut design is billed as ideal for mobility with reinforced stitching for lateral stability.

Northside Brille II Water Shoe
Source: Peter Glenn

Northside Brille II Water Shoe

Price: $15 | Buy them from Peter Glenn
For kids that are on the swim team or participate in nature clubs or hiking, these water shoes will provide versatile protection with a dash of style.

Asics Youth Upcourt 3 Gs
Source: All Volleyball

Asics Youth Upcourt 3 Gs

Price: $35 | Buy them from All Volleyball
For the serious athlete-in-training, one who's fallen in love with volleyball, net them this pair — a performance-oriented design ideal for the beginner.

Puma GV Special
Source: Puma

Puma GV Special

Price: $45 | Buy them from Champs Sports
We're loving the classic '80s style, but know our little guys will appreciate the perforated leather upper, extra cushioning, and durable thick sole.

Stacy Adams Dickinson Cap Toe Oxford
Source: DSW

Stacy Adams Dickinson Cap Toe Oxford

Price: $40 | Buy them from DSW
Little boys will look like little men with this classic style, complete with perforated brogue detailing.

Sperry Kids 'Colton' Loafer
Source: Nordstrom

Sperry Kids 'Colton' Loafer

Price: $40 | Buy them from Nordstrom
This is the classic "penny" loafer revamped for today's youngsters with a lightweight, flexible outsole.

French Toast Matt Boys' Slip-On Uniform Shoe
Source: Kohl's

French Toast Matt Boys' Slip-On Uniform Shoe

Price: $25 | Buy them from Kohl's
These are basic, functional and affordable, not to mention they add a dapper touch.

Blush Ankle Boots
Source: Justice

Blush Ankle Boots

Price: $40 | Buy them from Justice
A stellar pick for the young lady who's all about rocking her singular style. The soft faux-leather and glitter laces ensure a statement every time she slips on these flash-pink booties — and that will be often.

Glitter Jelly Chelsea Rain Boots for Girls
Source: Old Navy

Glitter Jelly Chelsea Rain Boots for Girls

Price: $30 | Buy them from Old Navy
With easy on and off, cushioned footbed and, of course, that iridescence, these may have stylish gals wishing for rain.

High Sierra Goff Youth Boot
Source: DSW

High Sierra Goff Youth Boot

Price: $40 | Buy them from DSW
This is a no-nonsense pick that will keep him comfortable with plenty of padding and a mid-top design for sturdiness.

Deer Stags Ranch Kids' Cowboy Boots
Source: Kohl's

Deer Stags Ranch Kids' Cowboy Boots

Price: $45 | Buy them from Famous Footwear
With the classic elements including a pull-on style, pointed toe, and embroidered detail, these bring the Western look home at a price that leaves coin for the rest of the ranch needs.

Bearpaw Kids' Brooklyn Footbed Sandal
Source: Famous Footwear

Bearpaw Kids' Brooklyn Footbed Sandal

Price: $25 | Buy them from Famous Footwear
The suede upper seems to scream autumn, but the style allows summer to live on. The slip-on entry, soft lining, and cork-wrapped midsole elevate this style that seems inspired by the favorite summer staple, the flip-flop.

Kenneth Cole Little & Big Girls Brie Fiore Sandals
Source: Macy's

Kenneth Cole Little & Big Girls Brie Fiore Sandals

Price: $27 | Buy them from Macy's
Flower details and faux gems dazzle on this designer pick, but rest assured, comfort is the focus here with cushioned insole and flat, rubber sole.

Sonoma Goods for Life Gallop Boys' Fisherman Sandals
Source: Kohl's

Sonoma Goods for Life Gallop Boys' Fisherman Sandals

Price: $20 | Buy them from Kohl's
Ready for a bit of roughhousing, these sandals feature bump-toe protection, a padded footbed and a flexible traction sole. (And 100% of reviewers would recommend these to a friend).

Nike Sunray Protect 2 Pre-School Kids Sandal
Source: Kohl's

Nike Sunray Protect 2 Pre-School Kids Sandal

Price: $38 | Buy them from Kohl's
There's total toe coverage, outsole traction, a water-resistant textile upper, and multiple colors that will delight even the pickiest little one.

Rocco Wave Kid
Source: Clarks

Rocco Wave Kid

Price: $45 | Buy them from Clarks
This is a class act, with dark brown leather and sleek styling. Plus, they're lightweight, feature flexible outsole, and riptape fastenings allow for easy on and off.

9 West Kids for Girls Vivien Flat Dress Shoe
Source: Famous Footwear

9 West Kids for Girls Vivien Flat Dress Shoe

Price: $40 | Buy them from Famous Footwear
The cut-out styling adds interest to these versatile flats that should work equally well with shorts, jeans or dresses thanks to the d'Orsay-influenced silhouette. Fancy!

Jellypop Kids' Cinema Sandal
Source: Famous Footwear

Jellypop Kids' Cinema Sandal

Price: $25 | Buy them from Famous Footwear
This is a style designed for the most fashion-forward young ladies, complete with chain-link embellishments, braided straps, and beaded detailing, but again, mom and dad will appreciate the smooth lining, comfort footbed, durable traction outsole, and sturdy back-zipper entry.

Skechers Little Girls' Hypno-Splash — Rainbow Lights Light-Up Athletic Sandals
Source: Macy's

Skechers Little Girls' Hypno-Splash — Rainbow Lights Light-Up Athletic Sandals

Price: $40 | Buy them from Macy's
The name's a mouthful, but sums up the attractions of this style sure to captivate the young ladies. And you just know her friends will be equally dazzled — but you'll appreciate the adjustable stay-put closure and flexible traction outsole.

Route 66 Boys' Cedric Sandal
Source: Kmart

Route 66 Boys' Cedric Sandal

Price: $20 | Buy them from Kmart
These are an understated, classic choice complete with a contoured footbed for comfort and an adjustable strap for a good fit. A flat heel means he stays grounded, too.

Kids' Duet Busy Day Mary Jane
Source: Crocs

Kids' Duet Busy Day Mary Jane

Price: $28 | Buy them from Crocs
These are said to offer lasting comfort and stay-on fit. We think they'll provide the feel of a sneaker but with a polished look.

So Candy Girls' Ballet Flats
Source: Kohl's

So Candy Girls' Ballet Flats

Price: $20 | Buy them from Kohl's
A small bow accent adds a hint of personality to this classic choice for everyday wear.

School Issue Upper Class
Source: Zappos

School Issue Upper Class

Price: $49.95 | Buy them from Zappos
The saddle shoe (yes, we think of Rory Gilmore in her Chilton days) is a perennial uniform pairing — and this one's got a leather upper that laces up for a secure fit.

Perforated T-Strap Clogs for Girls
Source: Old Navy

Perforated T-Strap Clogs for Girls

Price: $20 | Buy them from Old Navy
These bright beauties will find little fashionistas ready to head back to class, at a manageable 1.5-inch heel.

Kids Cross Band Sandals
Source: Lands' End

Kids Cross Band Sandals

Price: $23 | Buy them from Lands' End
There's a leather footbed with cotton canvas or leather upper, elements designed to last. Bonus: They come in adult sizes so you can do the parent-child match.