With back to school approaching it is important to make sure your child is stepping into the new school year on the right foot. Children spend roughly 30 hours a week in their school shoes which is why appropriate footwear is essential in ensuring your child’s growing feet are developing in a healthy way.
With many different brands and styles on the market these days, it can be difficult to know what option is best. One common question we are asked by parents as podiatrists is what to look for in a supportive school shoe. We have put together some simple, helpful tips to help you find the perfect fit for your child.
- Fastenings- laces or velcro are the best way of ensuring the foot is appropriately secured into a shoe. If your child’s heel is slipping out of the shoe there are different lacing techniques such as the locking lace as well as footwear modifications that our podiatrists can help with.
- Length- when trying on school shoes it is essential that there is a whole thumb width of room between the end of the longest toe and the front of the shoe to allow for growth. Shoes too big or too small can cause an array of issues down the track.
- Width– when standing in the shoe, make sure the shoe isn’t too tight causing the foot to splay over the edges. Generally, if you can pinch a small amount of material on the upper surface of the shoe where the toes are the width is an appropriate fit.
- Midsole- supportive school shoes will bend at the toe however will not be able to bend through the middle. Avoid any shoe that has a flexible midsole.
- Heel counter- this area of a school shoe should be firm and supportive enough that you are unable to compress the area when pushing with your thumb. Also look for a nice amount of padding and contouring to ensure a comfortable fit.
Common kids conditions that we see often in our clinic include:
- Heel pain
- Ankle pain
- In-toeing/ out-toeing
- Toe walking
- Knee pain
- Growing pains
- Plantar warts
- Ingrown toenails
- Feet rolling in/ out
- Low arches/ high arches
- Developmental delays- frequent tripping/ falling, slow to walk/ run, uncoordinated etc
If you are concerned about any pains your child may be complaining of or the appearance of their feet/ gait, it’s never too early to book in for an appointment at Studio Podiatry.