Back To School Shoes: A Parent’s Guide to Your Child’s Footwear
September has finally arrived, and if you have children, I am sure you are running around, all crazy-like, trying to get school supplies, groceries for lunches and the latest trends in school clothes. Although all of those things are very important, it is vital to make sure your child has proper fitting shoes that provide ample support in order to avoid the chance of developing an injury. To help you make good decisions when buying shoes for your children’s growing feet, here are some tips from certified podiatrists at Advanced Podiatry of Long Island.
- Laces or Straps are a Must!
Avoid slip on shoes, such as ballet flats or clogs, as they lack support for growing arches and provide no shock absorption for active feet. Choose shoes with laces, straps or Velcro, which provide support and make sure that shoes stay in place. Shoes, such as Uggs and flip-flops, do not provide enough support for children's feet.
- Not Too Much “Room to Grow”
I know it’s hard to keep your kid’s quickly growing feet in a pair of shoes for very long, but it is important to make sure your child’s foot fits comfortably in their new shoes. Shoes should be only a centimeter longer than the longest toe to allow for slight growth and elongation of the foot when walking. Shoes that are too big can lead to blisters and corns.
- Always Ask for Help
Ask for assistance with measuring your child’s foot. In every shoe store, there should be a person trained to make sure you are buying the right size for your feet. Make sure that they measure your child’s foot with a Brannic Device for length and width on both feet, as sometimes one foot can grow faster than the other.
- You Get What You Pay For
I know school shopping can get expensive quickly, but save some money in the budget for your children’s shoes. It is worth it to spend a little extra money on footwear in order to prevent your child’s foot from growing incorrectly or developing an injury, which can be both painful and expensive to treat later on.
- Rotate, Rotate, Rotate!
Even if you buy your child the best shoes, with the best support and cushioning, it is still important to not let your child wear the same pair of shoes every day. Shoe rotation is key to not only getting the most use out of your shoes, but to ensure the proper development of your child’s feet.This will also allow shoes to completely dry out, helping to lower the risk of developing athlete's foot, fungal toenails and warts.
- No Online Shoe Shopping!
Moms, I know you’re busy, but buying shoes online is not okay when it comes to your kids. Kid’s feet are constantly growing, and it is very important to have a trained professional measure their feet and make sure the new shoes you are purchasing fit them correctly and provide appropriate support.
- When In Doubt, Think Athletic Shoes
Athletic sneakers are great for kids because they provide ample support and cushion in the heel and at the ball of the foot. They also provide arch support, and kids can be active all day while keeping their foot protected from bumps, splinters and other foreign bodies.
- Keep the Heel Height to a Minimum
You should never buy shoes for your child that has a heel higher than 4cms. Although a slight heel is good for alignment of the foot, make sure the heel is wide, and is made of an absorbing material.
- No Hand-Me-Downs
I get it, recycle, reuse… however, when it comes to shoes, donate them to be repurposed instead of letting your child wear his older brother’s shoes. Not only are the shoes going to be broken in according to a different size and shape of foot, but more than likely the structure of the shoe is compromised from wear. Hand-Me-Down shoes are a definite no!