Children’s feet are constantly changing. The school shoes they wear need to be durable, supportive and well fitted while also allowing for growth. It’s the time of year when we start thinking about school footwear and preparing the kids to go back to school. Here are some common back to school mistakes we see, and how you can avoid them.
Mistake#1: Buying school shoes and insisting they last the whole year
- Not only are school shoes worn almost every day, they are also stomped on, scuffed, splashed and buried in the sand pit. As the shoes get worn out it is important to replace them immediately.
- Children’s feet should be measured correctly when purchasing new footwear. It’s not unusual for a child to go through a rapid growth spurt. This may mean it’s necessary to purchase new shoes midway through the calendar year.
Mistake #2: Leaving Your Child at Home
- Would you let someone else go out and buy shoes for you? How would you know if they fit properly without trying them first?
- It is simply not enough to go out and pick the next size shoe for our child. You must bring children with you to the shoe store to take advantage of fitting services to ensure, as parents and carers, we don’t do more harm than good.
- Ask if the sales assistant is a trained shoe-fitter, as shoes that are not correctly fitted for width and length can damage your child’s feet.
- There are a number of reputable shoe stores that can take care of your child’s feet and assist you in finding the right shoes for your child. Posture Podiatry can help you with shoe store recommendations.
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Mistake #3: Buying shoes for school that are NOT school shoes
- Sneakers can be good for a particular purpose, but not for everyday wear. Ballet flats might be ok for casual wear, but not for the daily rigours that face the playground. I would recommend avoiding shoes with a high heel.
Some school shoe related tips:
- The length should be a thumbs width longer than the longest toe – approximately 10 to 15mm of extra length is needed to enable normal foot function.
- The heel should have a wide base and be made from a shock absorbing material
- The shoes should fit snugly around the heel with no allowance for the heel to slip in and out
- Leather and natural fibres can be better for your child’s feet
- Check the inside for seams and stitching that might irritate
- Make sure the shoes are not too heavy or rigid for small feet
- Shoes should bend where the foot bends – at the toe joints.
- Avoid sling back or open back shoes – Laces, velcro or buckles will be more secure on your child’s feet, help to support the foot and help prevent any unnecessary gripping of the toes.
Also, remember that blisters may develop with new shoes. Children’s feet are naturally sweaty, and the inside of their shoes are potential sources of infection. So make sure any blisters or abrasions are dressed with antiseptic and a band-aid.
Be mindful as well that older children may be embarrassed and hide foot problems from you, so don’t be afraid to check their feet every so often.
So, that’s it! I hope these simple ‘Back to School Shoe Tips’ are helpful for you to find the right shoes for your child. And, of course, we would be more than happy to help if you have any further questions.
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