Kids spend a lot of time in their school shoes, so it's important to get the correct shoe and have it properly fitted. Here are some tips to help you get the best for your child.
- Shoes should be fitted correctly. Getting a bigger size so that there is some "growing room" is a bad idea, and in any case will cause the shoe to wear out quicker, as well as being less comfortable.
- Get both feet measured as sometimes one foot is bigger than the other. If this is the case, get shoes that fit the larger foot.
- Make sure the feet are measured for width as well as length. A shoe that is too narrow will be uncomfortable and can injure the feet.
- Get measured for shoes at the end of the day as feet swell slightly during the day, and so will be at their biggest in the afternoon.
- On average, childrens feet grow about one size per year, and will be at adult size by around 13-14 years of age. This is a guideline only, and kids can have growth spurts at any time.
Design & Fitting
- The sole should not twist from side to side.
- The sole should bend at the ball of the foot to enable walking and running.
- The area surrounding the heel (the heel counter) should be firm to support the heel.
- The heel should fit snugly into the back of the shoe, and be held there by straps/laces etc. It should not slip forward in the shoe.
- There should be a child's thumb width between the front of the shoe and the longest toe (which may not be the big toe).
- The shoe should feel stable and with good cushioning.
- A lighter shoe is better than a heavier one as long as it is of good quality.
- You shouldn't need to wear the shoe in. If it is not comfortable (for both feet) in the shop, then do not buy it.
- Different brands and styles suit different feet. Take advice from your shoe fitter.
- You do not need to go overboard and spend a fortune on shoes. There are a few well known brands that provide quality for a reasonable price.
- Sometimes spending a bit more on better quality shoes will save you money in the long term, as they will last longer.
- It is not normal for children to have regular pain in their feet, legs, knees, hips or back when doing normal activities and sport.
- If your child reports pain, then get one of our podiatrists to check them out.
- Untreated foot and leg problems in children can become lifelong problems if left untreated.