Quality or price? The big school shoe question

WITH just four weeks left until the end of the school year I'm faced with a dilemma: to buy or not to buy ... new school shoes.

I detest the idea of buying new shoes that will only be worn for a short space of time and then, knowing my luck, the shoes will be too small by the start of the new school year another six weeks down the track.

My 11-year-old's school shoes started falling apart a few weeks ago, but seeing as it was so close to the end of the year, we tried gluing them in the hope they'd last.

Unfortunately, the glue is only holding the toe together - her shoe can't "talk" anymore, but the glue can't do anything about a few small holes in the sole.

So, it'll be a trip to the shops for a new pair, but the big question is: do you buy a cheap pair and not be too fussed about how long they last or do you invest in a more expensive pair?

My previous experiences with cheap vs expensive shoes has been varied.

My girls have had $25 shoes from one of the chain stores that lasted more than six months.

And then we've had shoes in the $70-80 vicinity that started falling apart in less than three months.

They were replaced by the store, but I pretty much lost all faith in my previous assumption that the more expensive shoes would last longer.

But surely this isn't an unrealistic expectation?

I know if I'm buying a pair of shoes for myself, I expect that more expensive, leather upper shoes are going to last a fair while longer than the synthetic cheaper pair.

That's the whole reason why we are prepared to pay more for shoes - the materials are better quality and the craftsmanship should be better.

Then again, you might have a child who never looks after their shoes.

You know the type of kid I'm talking about.

They either scuff the toe of the shoe beyond repair or they jam their foot into their shoe without undoing the shoelaces properly, so the heel of the shoe gets mangled.

Meanwhile, the rest of the shoe is fine, but it still means you're up for a new pair.

Based on our past track record, I think I'll be prepared to fork out for two pairs of cheaper shoes throughout the school year.

At least that way I won't get annoyed when the expensive shoes break or get trashed within a few months.

You never know, I could be pleasantly surprised and my kids might actually take care of something.