Parents are busy getting everything ready for the upcoming school year. To help you in your preparations, we’ve compiled all the information you need to know before you shop around for school shoes.
Kids spend up to 6 hours a day, 5 days a week in their school shoes! It’s important that they have shoes that are supportive, comfortable and fit correctly. Poorly fitted school shoes can result in pain, discomfort and long-term complications.
When shopping new school shoes, you should consider the following:
Correct Fit: Resist the urge to buy shoes that are sized too big. Children’s feet grow on average 1-2 sizes per year, so it’s important to have their feet measured before buying new shoes. Always consider both the length and width of the foot. Shoe fitting should be done using their school socks to make sure the shoes fit comfortably.
Materials: School shoes should be made from a quality breathable material such as leather. This will keep active, sweaty feet in a breathable and water-resistant environment, helping to prevent fungal infections and smelly feet.
Sole: A strong rubber outsole, and a quality shock absorbing midsole will ensure kids are active all day in comfort. Flat soles should be avoided.
A Firm Heel Counter: Your child’s school shoes should have a strong deep heel counter with firm support on either side of the heel. This is important to hold the heel in a stable position. The heel counter increases support of the shoe and shouldn’t compress under moderate pressure. If you can easily press in the sides, this is a clear indication that the shoe isn’t providing enough support for your child’s growing foot.
Flexibility: School shoes should bend and flex, but only at the ball of the foot to allow for easy propulsion and movement. Shoes should not flex at the midpoint of the shoe or be too rigid.
Fasteners: It’s important to choose a pair of school shoes with appropriate fastening mechanisms. School shoes should always have secure fasteners such as laces or Velcro to hold the foot firmly in the shoes. Slip-on footwear should definitely be avoided.
Insoles: If the child makes use of foot insoles, these should be tried prior to buying the new school shoes. A shoe with removable insoles might offer a more comfortable fit by replacing the shoe insole with your kid’s foot insole.
If you're feeling unsure of how to fit their shoes properly or if your child is experiencing pain or discomfort in their feet or lower limbs, we recommend consulting your podiatrist. Take the kid’s footwear with you for your appointment, this can help in the assessment and diagnosis of your kid’s foot problem. At Steps Foot & Medical Clinic we have the knowledge, equipment and caring podiatrists to assist you in all stages of your child's foot development.