In the back-to-school rush, shoe shops will be heaving with parents and children intent on buying back-to-school shoes.
Yet many school children are wearing shoes that are too small. This is despite the risk of deformity and injury associated with ill-fitting shoes. Before you splash out on expensive school shoes, here’s a checklist for choosing the correct shoes to fit your children’s feet.
Checklist for choosing the right children’s shoes:
- Avoid slip on shoes. Choose shoes with laces, straps or Velcro fastenings. The straps act like a seat belt in a car, holding the shoe onto the foot. Be wary of the current fashion for girl’s ballet style pumps. These lack support to the inner border of the foot and provide no shock absorption.
- Ask if the assistant is a trained shoe fitter and, if not, is there one is on the premises? Always have both feet measured for length and width. Shoes that are the wrong size can damage a growing foot.
- A newly fitted shoe should be approximately a finger’s width longer than the longest toe. As a result, this will allow for growth and elongation of the foot when walking.
- Trainers are foot friendly as long as feet are measured. Many trainers are designed for particular sports. However, these may not be suitable for everyday wear. Avoid the use of plimsolls in school all day, every day.
- Have your child’s feet measured in every shoe shop you visit. There are slight differences in sizing by different footwear manufacturers.
- Heel height should be no more than 4cm. Lower for younger children. Ensure the heel has a broad base and is made from a shock-absorbing material.
- Natural material uppers such as leather are best. Check inside the shoe for seams or stitching that may cause irritation.
- Toe areas of the shoes should be deep enough to allow the toes to move freely. Toes should not be squashed from the top or sides.
- Shoes should fit exactly around the heel without being tight or loose.
- The inner border of the shoe at the heel and arch area should be firm and support the foot.
Tips for looking after your children’s feet
- Inspect their shoes regularly for unusual wear. Seek professional advice if you are concerned. Unusual wear may be the first indication that there is a problem. This could be with with the foot or general posture. Always seek advice from a Foot Healthcare Professional.
- Normally, wear is across the back of the heel or between the back and the outside. You should look out for severe wear on the inside or outside of the heel. This may carry forward to the sole of the shoe. Also, the heel area of the upper may be broken and bulge inside or outside.
- Be aware that blisters and sores may develop with new shoes.
- Inspect children’s feet regularly for inflamed nails. Red pressure marks in the top of the small joints of the toes may develop. Check below the ankle bones and the back of the heel.
- Remember that teenagers in particular can be secretive about foot problems. A trivial, easily rectified problem can become more serious if neglected.
- If your children complain of itchy or painful sites, seek advice. Your Foot Healthcare Professional should be your first point of call if you see any rashes or hard raised areas on the skin.
- Children have naturally sweaty feet. As a result, smelly feet may also be an indication of poor hygiene and bacterial growth.
Being enclosed in a shoe and living close to potential sources of infection, the foot is at higher risk of infection compared to other parts of the body. Treat any blisters, cuts or abrasions with antiseptic and dressed immediately. Seek advice from your We Fix Feet Foot Healthcare professional.
We hope you and your children enjoy the new school year with healthy, comfortable feet…