Shopping for shoes that support your child’s feet, rather than choosing a shoe based on aesthetics should be given top priority. Our Podiatrist’s are well equipped to give you some expert advice regarding the current brands and style of school shoes that would be most suitable for the school year ahead.
We believe the shoes your child wears to school are their most important shoe given they can spend up to 8 hours a day, 40-hours a week and 400 hours a term in them! So here are some tips on where and how to get the best shoe for your child!
Shoe Fitting Tips
- Firstly, it is best to get shoes fitted by a professional as no two feet are the same. It is common to have one foot longer than the other and also common for the 2nd or even 3rd toe to be longer than the big toe! So, when your child is being fitted for new shoes make sure they are fitted to the longest toe on the longest foot!
- For growing feet allow up to 1.5cm growing room.
- If your child wears orthotics take them as well as the socks your child would normally wear to school to the footwear fitting.
- Don’t send your kids to school with lace up shoes if they cannot do up laces! Find a suitable shoe with a velcro fixation or buckles instead. Shoes will offer feet and ankles little support if they are slopping around in them at lunchtime!
What school shoe should I buy?
- The school may dictate whether they must wear a black leather shoe or are able to wear a running shoe. Take into account how much running, skipping or ball sports they play at school. Little feet are always on the move; therefore, consideration should be given to the style, durability and type of material the shoe is made out of.
- If your child is able to wear runners and they are active at school then it would be best to consider a Cross Trainer with a reinforced toe box so the end of the shoe doesn’t wear out quickly. It is important to pick a shoe with the right features so that your child grows out of their shoes rather than wearing them out!
- If your child is required to wear black leather shoes, two Brands you may like to consider are Ascent (stocked at Athletes Foot) or Clarks.
Features of a good shoe
- Firm heel counter (not a squishy heel)
- Rubber sole with adequate cushioning.
- Should bend (when flexed) through the ball of the foot, not through the middle.
- Lace, velcro or a buckle for a snug fit and to stop the foot moving within the shoe.
When should you seek advice from a Podiatrist?
- If you noticed uneven shoe wear, especially around the heel of the shoe.
- If your child reports any problems relating to skin rashes, lumps, bumps or itching to their feet.
- Any ongoing aches or pains in the lower limb or feet that is aggravated by activity.
- If you notice your child walks on their tip toes, or their gait (walk) is not symmetrical (the same on both feet and legs).
- If you have any other general concerns about your child’s foot health.