You remember preparing for your first day of school; the shopping, in particular shoe shopping, and the wonder of a pair of brand new sneakers, shoes or even sandals. Somehow, the experience is very different when, as a parent, you have to be concerned about size and budget, instead of style and colour as your child!
Since parents tend to take advantage of back to school sales, health experts advise that you have to be careful about which shoes and school bags are bought. Shopping for new school shoes is a chore that parents everywhere share, as they prepare their children for school for the first time, or on their return from holidays
Children spend around 30-45 hours a week in their school shoes, or more than 15,000 hours during their school years, so it’s vital that they’re fitted properly. In the first 11 years of a child’s life, feet may grow through approximately 17 shoe sizes, up until they’re 18 years of age. Ill-fitting shoes can lead to problems in adulthood, such as ingrown toenails, corns and bunions, which may even require surgery later in life.
Important Purchasing Advice
• Always have your child’s feet measured before you buy shoes. Children’s feet grow quickly, so you shouldn’t rely on a previous measurement.
• Opt for new shoes, once financially possible, instead of accepting hand-me-downs. That will help ensure a better fit and avoid spreading germs, such as the fungus that causes athlete’s foot.
• Inspect the heels of your child’s shoes for uneven wear, which may indicate a foot problem.
• Don’t buy shoes that aren’t comfortable. There should be no reason to “break in” a new pair of shoes.
It’s no surprise that kids want to be like other kids and wear what their friends are wearing. Even in pre-school, style is important. Still, from mom and dad’s point of view, there is more to shoes than looking good.
These tips will explain why:
• Shoes need to be flexible and able to sustain extreme activity. They should also provide support and cushioning and be breathable, to allow body heat and moisture to escape.
• However, a bad fit can negate all the benefits of a good shoe, so finding the right size is essential. Since shoe sizes tend to vary by manufacturer, an accurate fit can only be assured once the foot is inside the shoe.
• A tip for making sure that the shoe size fits, is measuring the distance between the second toe and the end of the shoe. The second toe is usually the longest.
• Have your child walk around in the shoes to make sure that they don’t hit the ankle bones or have seams that rub against the foot.
• Though it may seem children quickly outgrow their shoes, buying shoes that are too big isn’t a good idea. A loose fit can cause painful calluses and sores, because there is too much movement in the shoe. On the other hand, shoes that are too small can cause an abnormal gait that can misalign growing bones in the feet.
It may be time to get a new pair of shoes if your child begins to complain about shoes that are uncomfortable; be aware, however, that trend conscious youngsters have been known to “need” new shoes because of what the others kids are wearing. Shoes can put a dent in any household budget, so make sure that the shoes fit when you buy them, and before you buy a bigger pair of shoes.
Buy shoes at the end of the day
While you might decide to head out bright and early to get your child’s shoes fitted, bear in mind that it’s best to go during late afternoon. This is because children’s feet often get a little more swollen by the end of the day. That way, you’ll get school shoes fitted when your child’s feet are at their biggest.
Other things to look out for
While you might usually expect to only think about school shoes and your kids’ feet once a year, here’s a checklist of things to look out for, and see a podiatrist/foot health practitioner if necessary:
• Children complaining of pain in the feet, heel, knees or legs
• Unexplained tripping and falling (if it happens regularly)
• Uneven shoe wear, or one shoe that wears down before the other
• Skin or toenail irritation.
Do share this information with your kids who are old enough to appreciate the advice to minimise peer pressure, and ultimately your stress levels … Happy shopping!
Your feet mirror your general health… cherish them!
There is a great range of summer sandals ideal for school and casual wear available from Scooters.