Shoe shopping for kids: A parent’s guide to a year-round task

What is it about children’s feet that make them seem like the fastest-growing part of their body? With the warmer weather approaching, now is the time to start shopping for sandals- for school and casual, you might hope you can stop spending on shoes – at least until the next change of season.

But kids’ feet do grow year round, right along with the rest of them. In fact, a child’s shoe and sock sizes may change every few months.

Comfortable, sturdy shoes are among the most important articles of clothing you’ll buy for your child at any time of year. Ill-fitting shoes can cause
problems that range from minor blisters and discomfort to serious injuries and impaired development.

A pair of well-made shoes can keep children safe from foot problems such as sprains and strains – both in class and on the playground. Unless your child
complains of discomfort, you may not realize he or she needs new shoes. Parents need to be vigilant to ensure kids are wearing shoes that fit properly and
provide the stability and support kids need.

Conduct the time-honored toe test – using your thumb or forefinger to determine where the child’s big toe is inside the shoe – once a month. Inspect
shoes regularly for signs of wear that could compromise their stability. When it’s time to by children’s shoes, here is a simple guideline for parents.

Checking for three different aspects of a shoe’s design makes it easy for parents to distinguish which models are right for their child’s foot friendly.

Here is procedure to follow when buying new shoes:

1. Look for a stiff heel. The heel counter should not collapse when pressed from both sides.

2. Ensure the shoe bends at the toes, but nowhere else.

3. Finally, make sure the shoe does not twist in the middle.

In addition, keep these tips in mind to help ensure kids are wearing comfortable shoes and practicing good foot health:

*Take children with you when you buy their shoes and shop at the end of the day when feet are at their biggest. Every shoe fits differently, and allowing a
child to have a say in the shoe-shopping process can help promote healthy foot care habits down the road.

* Always buy for the larger foot. Feet are rarely the exact same size, so buy a shoe that fits the slightly larger foot.

* Avoid shoes that require a “break-in” period to feel comfortable. Shoes should be comfortable immediately. Be sure your child tries on the shoe wearing whatever type of socks or tights they will use with it.

* Never hand down footwear. Just because a shoe fits one child comfortably doesn’t mean it will fit another in the same way. Also, sharing shoes can spread athlete’s foot and nail fungus.

* Whenever possible, purchase shoes at a shoe store staffed by well-trained  fitters. An experienced sales person can help relieve worries over getting the proper fit.

If your child’s shoes show uneven wear or wear out on the heels quickly, it could indicate a problem that should be examined by a Podiatrist who
specializes in children’s foot problems.

Contact your local podiatrist: www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

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About Your feet and podiatry with Caron Orelowitz | Registered Podiatrist - Auckland

Caron Orelowitz was born in Johannesburg and emigrated to New Zealand in 1997. She studied Podiatry at The Witwatersrand Technikon and was in private practice in South Africa for a few years, before setting off to ‘the other side of the world’. Auckland Podiatry. Since 1998 she has been helping people of all ages who have problems with their feet, from the elderly, to sports people, and those who just want some TLC for the feet. At present she has 5 practices (with a satellite Diabetes Practice out West Auckland), owns a children’s shoe shop (Scooters in Remuera), and tries to fit in some exercise when time permits. Caron is an active member of Podiatry New Zealand (NZ), and holds the position of Treasurer for the Auckland Branch, as well as representing the Northern Region on the Executive Council. She is registered under HPCAA (Health Practitioner Competency Assurance Act), and is often seen attending (and organizing) Seminars and workshops. Caron has a special interest in Paediatrics and can often be seen on the floor showing children some exercises. ACC registered Discounts for Super Gold Card Holders, members of Grey Power and Green Prescription participants. www.thepodiatrist.co.nz www.yourfeet.co.nz

Posted on October 11, 2011, in Contact a Podiatrist, What is a Podiatrist, Where to buy good childrens shoes?, Your feet and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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