Back to School for Little Feet

The end of January means the holidays are over and it’s back to school for millions of school children. It is also the time of year when sports start back meaning there is no better time to get your child’s feet checked by a podiatrist.

How can you protect those little feet at school?

A good supportive school shoe should be your first priority. Before you rush out to the shoe shop there are a few important factors you should consider before buying new school shoes for children.

Children’s feet grow with age so make sure your child’s feet are measured and the school shoe is properly fitted. Incorrect fitting shoes can cause rubbing on toes and other problems. Ideally there should be a thumbs width in front of the longest toe and enough width and depth in the toe box to allow toes to move freely.

Examine the heels of last year’s school shoes. Is there any excessive or unusual wear on one heel or both? If there is it is best to see a podiatrist before purchasing new shoes.

Take your child school shoe shopping. Every shoe fits differently so your child’s opinion, in particular in terms of comfort, counts. This will also help promote healthy foot habits in future.

Always buy for the larger foot. Every foot is different and quite often one foot will be slightly longer or wider than the other foot. Buying for the larger foot makes sense.

What to look for in new school shoes

A good pair of supportive school shoes will help reduce stress and strain on your child’s foot, leg, muscles and joints. When purchasing a new pair of school shoes you should look for the following features:

  • Look for a stiff heel counter. Squeeze both sides of the heel counter with your fingers. It shouldn’t be soft or collapse easily. The heel counter of a shoe helps support your child’s ankle.
  • Check the toe flexibility. The forefoot of the shoe should flex where the toes flex. It shouldn’t be too stiff or bend too easily.
  • Look for a supportive midsole. Grab the shoe by the heel counter and forefoot and try and twist the shoe through the middle. It should be fairly stiff and hard to twist. If it twists easily like a pair of slippers then your child’s foot won’t be getting much support.
  • Check with your podiatrists to help you with any children’s foot concerns.

With the holidays finished and kids going back to school, it is important that children have ideal shoes for school. The following tips will ensure that your child’s feet will be protected and supported so they can play and learn with no worries.

Tips for proper and comfortable shoes:

Shop for shoes in the afternoon as feet tend to enlarge throughout the day.
Measure and get the correct foot size. There should be a thumb’s width in space from the longest toe and sufficient width and depth in the toe box.

A firm heel counter:

press around the back of the shoe. This shouldn’t crumple as it supports the child’s ankle.

A supportive midsole:

the shoe should not twist and bend in the middle. This area should be firm to provide support for the foot.
Flexibility at the toe area: the forefoot of the shoe should bend where the toes bend.
Most importantly school shoes should be comfortable.

For more advice, with Childrens Feet and Footwear, please contact our friendly reception staff on 07 46383022, to arrange your consultation.

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