Help your kids put their best foot forward for the school year!
With the first term of 2019 fast approaching, we know 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 put your children in the right footwear, and the pep back in their step for the start of school!
Because our kids spend upwards of 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 purchasing new school shoes, you should consider the following tips:
Resist the urge to buy shoes that are sized too big for your children’s feet. It’s a common misconception that allowing your children to ‘grow into’ them will prolong the use of the shoes, where in fact, shoes will wear out and scuff as your child drags them along the ground, wearing the soles thinner, faster! 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 have the shoes fitted for both length AND width. When measuring their feet your child should be standing to ensure the foot elongates with weight bearing. Bring along their school socks to make sure the shoes fit comfortably.
School shoes should be made from a quality breathable material such as leather, which keeps active, sweaty feet in a breathable and water-resistant environment, helping to reduce the risk of fungal infections or smelly feet!
A good quality pair of school shoes should also have a strong rubber outsole, and a quality shock absorbing midsole to allow kids to be active all day in comfort.
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 because the heel must be held in a stable position so that it doesn’t lean in (pronation) or out (supination), which could potentially lead to pain and posture problems.
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.
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 mid-point of the shoe or be too rigid.
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. It’s important that the foot doesn’t slip forward and cause the toes to scrunch up in the front of the shoe. Over time this can damage the front of the foot and develop hammer-toes, which can cause permanent buckling of the toes. Slip-on footwear should definitely be avoided.
By following these guidelines, we’re confident that more parents are being educated with the knowledge to choose the best quality shoes for their children’s feet.
Now that you know what you’re looking for in a quality shoe, join us online at www.myfootdr.shop for our full range of podiatry-approved school shoes or visit us in-store at selected My FootDr retail locations.
However, 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 booking an appointment at your local podiatry clinic. We can assess and diagnose any problems with your child’s feet and implement an appropriate plan for getting them back to optimal health.