Childrens Podiatry | School Shoes
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School Shoes

08 Jan 2018 School Shoes

Answers to our most frequently asked questions about SCHOOL SHOES.

Why is it important to have shoes fitted for school aged children?

Feet are the foundation to our bodies. As a child grows, their feet change to the adapting needs of their development. Children’s feet are soft and pliable and their shape can easily be changed. As school shoes are worn 40 hours of the week, an ill fitting shoe can cause damage to the foot structure by changing the foot shape and function of the foot which can cause changes to the child’s foot posture and gait (walking pattern) which can result in ongoing painful conditions such as Sever’s disease (heel pain), knee pain, bunions, claw toes and back pain.

What is the best way to have school shoes fitted?

The best way to have shoes fitted is by a person who has been trained in fitting shoes. Most Children’s shoe stores have trained staff who can assist in selecting the right shoe for your child’s foot. If this is not an option:

The key criteria for a good fitting school shoe are:

1. Shop for shoes with your Child at the end of the day when the Child’s feet will be at their largest from standing/walking on them all day.
2. Ensure that there is one-thumb width of space between the end of the longest toe and the shoe.
3. Check the width so that the foot is not pressing on the sides of the shoes.
4. Make sure that the shoes do not rub on the toes and that the shoe only bends at the toes.
5. Check that the ankle bone is firmly supported by the shoe.
6. Ensure that the heel of the foot is snugly held against the back of the shoe.
7. Most importantly, watch your child walk so that they are comfortable and that there is enough cushioning for shock absorption at heel strike.

With ever-growing school-age feet is it a better idea to buy relatively cheap shoes knowing they will only last for months or buy as expensive as you can afford?

In my experience, the most expensive shoe may not always be the best shoe. There are a number of brands on the market that are at the cheaper end of the scale which would be adequate, but would also need to be replaced more frequently due to their construction ($30-$60). Some of the more expensive shoes ($80 – $120) would see the Child throughout the year unless they had a larger than expected growth spurt.

Should you ever buy one-size bigger knowing your child will eventually grow into them (to save money)?

A shoe should be purchased with an adequate amount of room to grow. This means one thumbs’ width from the end of the longest toe to the end tip of the toe box. It should be able to still support the ankle and heel without rubbing. A shoe that is too big will create a significant level of instability for the child and may cause gait (walking) and balance problems resulting in more trips/falls, rubbing causing blistering, changes in foot posture and function which can change the shape of the foot such as clawing of the toes, and foot, knee, hip or back pain.

Hope this helps!
Melissa Biedak