The wrong school shoes could cause bunions, corns, calluses, blisters, clawed toes, heel pain or change the shape and function of a foot.
School shoes would be one of those things that one should consider spending a bit more money on as children spend up to 40 hours a week in them.
More expensive shoes are likely to last a lot longer than the cheaper ones.
Parents of children with flat feet should be particularly careful.
Runners could also provide support, as long as they were fitted properly, Ms Biedak said.
Ballet flats and skater shoes for everyday wear at school is not recommended.
GET IT RIGHT
You would be better off taking your child with you to get school shoes. Shoes need to fit properly. It is not a guessing game, and all makes fit differently. A size and fit in one make is not necessary the same size and fit in another.
TIPS FOR BUYING SCHOOL SHOES
– Measure BOTH feet, as most people will have one foot longer or wider than the other
– Look for soles made from rubber and double-stitching around the toe area, which will give shoes a longer life
– Avoid slip-on shoes
– Avoid second-hand shoes as the worn shoe will have moulded to the shape of the previous wearer and could cause problems for your child’s feet
– It’s best to buy shoes in the late afternoon as children’s feet often swell by the end of the day
– There should be a child’s thumb-width between the end of the shoe and the end of the longest toe
– The widest part of the foot should correspond with the widest part of the shoe
– The fastening mechanism should hold the heel firmly in the back of the shoe
– The sole should not twist
– The heel should be snug but comfortable and the back part of the shoe strong and stable
– Your child should be able to move their toes freely, the shoes shouldn’t hurt and there should be no bulges from the toes on either side of the shoe
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
– Children complaining of pain in the feet, heel, knee or legs
– Regular, unexplained tripping or falling
– Uneven shoe wear or one shoe that wears down before the other
– Skin or toenail irritation
School kids are extremely active – they spend lots of time running around with friends and taking part in energetic sports lessons. By the time kids start school all the bones in their feet are fully developed and they have good control over the speed at which they move. They are able to make complex movements and are generally a lot more stable on their legs than they were at preschool.
For this reason, finding a pair of school shoes that are robust enough to withstand all of this activity, whilst also allowing kids’ feet to grow and move naturally is important, particularly because kids’ feet can continue growing until they are about 18 years old.
The school shoe checklist
When choosing school shoes it is important to look out for the following features:
• The sole of the shoe should be straight and should not twist.
• The shoe should not bend in the middle, but it should bend at the ball of the foot.
• Back parts of the shoe should be firm and supportive and the front parts of the shoe should be more flexible.
• All fastenings should be fully adjustable – laces, Velcro or buckles are recommended. Slip-ons generally do not give enough support.
• The fastening mechanism should hold the foot firmly in the heel of the shoe.
• Shoe materials should be robust and durable.
• The upper parts of the shoe should be made from leather or other breathable fabrics.
• The shoe should be lined with breathable materials, so that any moisture is drawn away from the foot.
• Brands that offer whole and half-sizes and a variety of widths will ensure the best fit possible.
Good quality school shoes can be expensive. Whilst it may be tempting to put your kids in a pair of hand-me-downs, using second-hand school shoes is not recommended. In all likelihood they will not fit your child properly, be worn down and have very little support. When it comes to school shoes, brand new is always best.
Contact The Podiatrist for all your foot care needs.