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.
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.
CHOOSING the right shoe for school for Winter is important for growing feet, but often the choice is complicated by a preference for fashion over function.
All the kids want is what is in fashion, but they’re just not right for school, and are often not suitable for the wet weather.
Mums don’t mind spending the dollars but in choosing the right shoe, they need to be aware of fit, length and width as well as style. Children spend many hours a day in these shoes so they (shoes) need to be sturdy and durable.
If you buy a cheap synthetic shoe you’ll increase the likelihood of tinea (athletes foot) which rises massively in closed-in shoes and wet weather.
When buying, look at the breathability. Leather and mesh are always better options.
Ask your footwear provider to make certain that what you are buying is appropriate- after all, they are the experts.