Beyond the backpack: Back-to-school shoe-shopping tips to keep kids healthy and parents happy | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz

The importance of looking after your child's feet

For parents faced with kids’ changing tastes and opinions, navigating shoe shopping can be a harrowing process. Buy him the wrong backpack and he’ll be the uncool kid at school. Pick out the wrong jeans for her and she’ll be shamed by society. While neither scenario will cause kids any real harm, there is one area of shopping where a wrong move could have health ramifications for kids – shoe shopping.

Foot health is directly related to overall health, no matter your age. Proper footwear is essential to foot health, so it’s important for parents to ensure kids are provided with a good foundation on their feet. Shoes are one of the most important purchases parents will make.

Children’s feet change and grow with them, and parents may find they need to update their kids’ shoes and socks every few months to accommodate this growth. Shoes that don’t fit properly can irritate the feet and affect how well a child walks, runs and plays. The Podiatrist offers parents some advice for finding shoes that are good for kids’ feet and also live up to their exacting tastes:

* Always buy new, never used, and never hand down footwear. Sharing shoes can spread fungi like athlete’s foot. What’s more, children’s feet are as unique as they are. A shoe that fits one child comfortably may not fit another child as well. Plus, shoes that have been worn will tend to conform to the foot of the wearer, and may be uncomfortable for anyone else to put on.

* Test the shoe before allowing a child to try it on. Check for a stiff heel by pressing on both sides of the heel counter; it shouldn’t collapse under the pressure. Bend the shoe with your hands to ensure it will bend with your child’s toes; it shouldn’t be too stiff. Try twisting the shoe; it should be rigid in the middle and never twist in that area.

* Go shopping together. Shopping with your child ensures you can have his foot professionally measured, that he can test the shoe for a proper fit, give you his opinion of it and learn from you the finer points of buying a good shoe. Kids who learn how to select a comfortable, supportive shoe may be less likely to make wrong footwear choices as adults – which could save them a lot of discomfort.

* Remember to shop for shoes later in the day when feet are at their largest, and always buy for the larger foot. Having your child’s feet measured will help identify which foot is larger. Additionally, remember to have the child wear the type of socks or tights he or she will most likely wear with the shoe.

* Avoid buying shoes that need a “break-in” period. Optimal footwear should be comfortable right away. Once the school year is underway, keep an eye on your child’s shoes – active kids may wear out footwear faster than adults. Be vigilant for signs of irritation, such as your child always wanting to remove one or both shoes. The footwear may no longer fit properly, especially if it’s been a few months since you bought the shoes.

Finally, be sure children wear shoes that are appropriate for their activities. If your daughter plays sports, she should wear a good athletic shoe designed for that sport. If your son is a runner, he’ll need a good running shoe. For daily wear when kids do a lot of walking, choose a good, supportive shoe. Keep sandals, flip-flops and heels for occasional wear only.

Get started on Footcare today

Call The Podiatrist and make an appointment today.

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz
http://www.kidsnmotion.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 November 24, 2014, in Contact a Podiatrist, Kids n Motion, What is a Podiatrist, Your feet and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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