Looking for vegan school shoes

The range of Harrison t-bar school shoes are made of leather. The same applies to the numerous copycat styles. This is a problem for schoolgirls who love animals but don’t want to wear them on their feet.


18 May 2014
Shoes? Help!!!

Q: Does anyone know of anywhere to get t-bar school shoes that aren’t made of leather? At the start of the school year I went to get shoes for the new year, but my high school won’t let me wear normal shoes during the day ( I think most are like that). I arrived at the shopping centre expecting to easily find some synthetic or vinyl t-bars, but they were all leather! Mum and Dad made me get leather ones because we couldn’t find others. I was so upset I could have screamed!!! Help me please!

A: Is your school strict on t-bars? I used to wear vegan Dr Martens to high school (shoes, not the boots!)

Q: We don’t specifically have to wear t-bars but t-bars, buckles or lace ups are our choices. They have to be leather or vinyl but I can’t find vinyl anywhere.

A: This place in Collingwood might have what you’re after – http://www.veganwares.com/
Or if not they might be able to make something especially for you happy


6 Jan 2010
Vegan school shoes in Canberra?

Q: So I’m moving to Melbourne thus moving schools, and this new school requires black t-bar or lace-up “leather” shoes as part of the uniform. I know of a few shops in Melbourne that sell vegan school shoes, but I won’t be back to Melbourne until a few days before school starts, so I was wondering if anybody knew of anywhere in Canberra that sells them?
I’ve googled but I can’t find anything D:
Thanks for any help!

A: I had to get some for work the other day. K-Mart was sheet – most seemed to have “leather uppers.” At Target though, many were 100% synthetic. Looking forward though to get a pair from Vegan Wares for school next year, in Melbourne.

A: I think that’s a good idea, just get a pair from target or something, then when they wear out, you can go to Vegan Wears happy I can’t wait until my leather T-bars fall apart so I can invest in a nice pair of cruelty free school shoes.

Year 12 girls dress up for muck up day as Madeline

From the Ludwig Bemelmans series Madeline.

“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines. In two straight lines they broke their bread and brushed their teeth and went to bed. They left the house at half past nine in two straight lines in rain or shine-
The smallest one was Madeline.”

These year 12 girls decided to dress up as Madeline for ‘muck up day’, pairing a yellow dress with white ankle socks and t-bar school shoes.

My T-bars were brown… another mother reminisces

Another mother reminisces about her school days.

kootoyoo - My T-bars were brown…


March 1, 2012

Did you know I’m the mother of a Year 9? It’s such a big year isn’t it?

I’ve been chatting in the car with my freshly minted Year 9 all about how things were for me “back in the day”. When I say stuff like “when I was at school” I feel like my mum. I think to myself…who cares?…that was about 100 years ago…things are different now! I’ve come to realise that actually things aren’t so different. Year 9 girls will have the same issues today that they were having when I was there and for that matter when my mum was there too.

My Year 9 year honestly feels like it was yesterday. The smell is as fresh in my nostrils today as it was all those years ago. I run the streets I walked as a Year 9 and reclaim my 14 going on 15 year old self. I hear the voices of my peers as my girl recounts conversations from her day.

It’s like looking in a mirror at my place at the moment… except that my T-bars were brown.

And some other mothers add their two cents.


my T-Bars were brown too…only in Adelaide they were called PaddleSteamers- because of the pattern on the front of the shoe.


When I was in high school, back in the mid 80′s you were not allowed to wear T-Bars. It was lace ups all the way.

In year 9 I fondly remember riding my bike down a big hill wearing brand new leather lace-ups and dragging those new shoes ALL the way down that very big hill. Needless to say they no longer looked new and shiny (and Mum was far from impressed)

Funny thing now at my daughter’s school they have outlawed T Bars starting this year. Something about students not doing them up properly. So now, she (Year 8) is not very pleased at having to wear the dreaded lace-ups.

Needless to say I have not shared my own experience, just in case!

Problems with brown school shoes at St Augustine’s Keilor

In Melbourne brown school shoes are a rare sight. This makes it hard for parents who need to find a pair of their children who are required to wear them. This school had to contact local shoe shops for help.

Brown shoes from Morton's Shoes, Ivanhoe


September 2015

Brown School Shoes

I have been in contact with Betts Kids, (Watergardens) about supplying brown school shoes for our school. They have styles available in brown but need to order them in (7-10 days) until they ascertain that it is viable to stock them.

I have also contacted Williams, (Watergardens) who state that they have limited shoes available. They will also order shoes in. They will have certainly have brown shoes in their ‘Back to school’ promotion

There is a significant number of students not wearing correct school footwear at the moment. I suggest that you get down to Betts Kids or Williams, get your child measured up and your order should be ready for the start of Term 4.

Remember these shoes?

Some mums reminisce about the t-bar shoes they used to wear to school.

Bilby: Still have stock of the popular girls school shoe by ROC in lace and Tbar.

Shirley: Look very much like the Harrisons that our girls used to wear…

Bilby: Yes, one is a copy of the other, but this one has leather lining

Shirley: I am talking about quite a few years ago, the Harrison shoes were all leather and had a cork lining between soles and inner…..

Anni: I had shoes like that back in the 1950s & loved them they were actually comfortable !