We joke that there is always a good reason to buy shoes any time of year! This is especially so for all the kiddos out there excited about seeing their friends and showing off their new styles!
As parents, we concerned ourselves with registration, updated vaccinations and don’t tend to think about what to put on our kid’s feet, to carry them through the school year, until the last minute! Combine that with the last minute growth spurts and those feet may be in trouble! Shoe choices should be up there on the list of importance with the start of the new school year. By supporting their feet now, we are gifting them with feet that will support them through out their life.
The doctors at FAANT are dedicated to exceptional foot care for all! And so we review a favorite topic!
What do we look for in a good school shoe?
First and foremost, we look for a good fit. We know this seems obvious, but again, we see so many parents in the children shoe sections picking out shoes with out the child present! Yes, it is easier that way, but it is not the best option for shoe fit. Every shoe fits differently. A different style or brand can make the difference in needing to go up or down a size or a width.
It is important to remember that growing kids needs support and cushioning. It is always a better choice to send our children to school in a shoe with some arch rather than in cute ballerina flats.
Look for shoe options with a round toe box. This allows toes their own real estate. Shoes that taper will result in cramping toes. This over the years can cause permanent bending of the toes (called “hammertoes”) that could become painful.
If your child plays a sport consistently, it is time to invest in a sport specific shoe. The support for these shoes is very different depending on the sport they play.
Run your hand inside the shoe and feel for any sharp edges, creases, seams or lumps. They may look good on the outside and still be defective on the inside!
Take into account the weight of the shoe. A heavy shoe is a heavy burden on feet. Tendinitis is a common condition seen when feet are having to work over time to lug around the shoe.
Heels and wedge shoes are not appropriate for school. Stairs and play grounds, with distracted children to prey on, are a winning combination for ankle sprains.
Shoe Sizing Tips!
- Measure feet at the end of the day as they tend to swell later in the day.
- Feet may measure different sizes. Always err to the larger size.
- Measure feet with the child standing with one foot next to the other. This allows full weight bearing on the foot being measured.
- Allow for one thumb width from the toe to the end of the shoe.
- Have the child walk around the store to feel for any creases and to make sure the heel is not coming up out of the shoe.
And let us not forget to check out the seams in those socks! Some sock seems are super bulky (say that ten times real fast!) and can rub those little toes raw!
We all want what is best for our children. Place a little focus on their feet this month and they will put their best foot forward!