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Best sneakers for going back to school

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By Christina Vercelletto

From Ideas That Spark 

Ah, new sneakers. There's arguably no other purchase that is more universal for back to school. But buy the wrong ones, and your kid will cry "not cool!" No worries: there's a style here for every kid, including yours. (My daughter, an aspiring fashionista known to mull over seven pairs before making a choice, swooned over The Children's Place pick at first glance.)

1. Happy Feet

Sandy playground. Puddles. Kickball. These New Balance 695 Grade School sneakers can handle your tough guy's day. Then, they can be tossed in the washer and dryer. ($50; NewBalance.com)

2. Slam-Dunk Shoes

On or off the court, the Crazy Shadow 2.0 leather high-tops will support him to his final buzzer beater. ($80; Adidas.com)

3. Now It's a Party

If your daughter loves the classic Converse look but wishes they were just a little more ... girly, you can stop right here. The Chuck Taylor Party style does the trick. ($37; Converse.com)

4. Shine On

Your girl will part of her grade-school glitterati in the Rockstar Hi Tops. You'll be pleasantly surprised that the sequins actually stay on (and on. and on.)...and even more delighted by how often she wears them. ($30; ChildrensPlace.com)

5. Strut Like a Star

OK, these are a splurge. But if your kid has a grandma who lives to spoil her, you may want to point nana in the direction of the Ash Fanta Star Sneaker. These metallic silver leather numbers are perforated with little stars, while the buckle straps add the final touch. ($135; Nordstrom.com)

6. Perfect for Prepsters

Comfortable sneaks that look Sunday dinner proper? Yes, please! The Polo Ralph Lauren Bal Harbour is a slip-on style, so he'll get them on and be in the car at warp speed. ($35; Zappos.com)

7. Spidey Power

The first thing he'll notice about the BioWeb Elite Jr.? The acid-bright colors and the webbed design are awesome. You'll appreciate the fact they can be wiped clean. ($80; Puma.com)

8. Beachy Keen

The "salt wash" process gives the canvas Halyard Hook and Loop a worn-in look. You know, like your kiddo has been kicking around Martha's Vineyard all week. ($35; SperryTopSider.com)

9. It's a (Style) Strike!

The Mid-top Sneakers remind me of bowling shoes ... but way, way cooler. You'll like this modern take on a retro style. And the bright green laces put a fresh twist on a boy's blue sneaker. ($30; GapKids.com)

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