Finding the right school shoe for your Child

Gold Coast Podiatrist

Kids run around in school…a lot. From recess to physical activities and roaming between classes, they are always on the move.

In Australia, children spend an average of 6-7 hours a day in school for about 200 days a year. Running the numbers, that’s a lot of walking, running, and shoe time.

On that note, it’s pertinent that you find the right school shoes for them. 

Here’s a podiatrist’s guide to help you get that supportive shoe your child needs to navigate the hallways of their school –

Measurements matter

Avoid doing it the Cinderella way – trying on different shoes until you find one that fits. Go to a store that offers measurements by an in-store specialist or check online for measuring gauges you can use. Get the correct measurement and work with that. It doesn’t have to be the exact size, however, it shouldn’t be too big so they grow into it. A gap of 10 to 20 mm at the longest toe will suffice.

Pro tips:

  • Press your finger against the end of the shoe to be sure the longest toe is not touching the end.
  • Feel around the ankle to be sure the shoes and the ankle are not rubbing together.
  • Get them fitted at the end of the day when their feet are naturally more swollen.

Choose good quality

Second-hand shoes may be cheaper, but that doesn’t always make them a good investment. Chances are, they’ve moulded to the former owner’s feet and won’t be as suitable for your child’s feet. Buy new shoes, or used ones with little wear. These may be a little bit more expensive, but in the long run, will be worth every extra dollar.

Buy the right type

Say no to slip-on shoes. Go for lace-up, Velcro, or buckle-up shoes. School shoes should be flat, but not completely. A low heel helps to keep their foot in a neutral position preventing their toes from clawing. Also, go for leather uppers and soft insoles.

Go for something flexible

A good shoe should bend where the foot wants to, which is often in the front. To be sure, try bending the shoe by pushing the toe outwards. It should bend at the ball of the foot, any more and it may be a little too flexible. Shoes that are too flexible aren’t ideal as they don’t provide enough support. Instead, go for reasonably flexible and not too heavy shoes.

Visit a podiatrist

A podiatrist’s recommendation on a school shoe for your child is a sure bet for you. Report any soreness to the podiatrist. They may recommend orthotics. Try to get a school with a removable insole so you can easily place the podiatrist commended orthotic, if necessary.

Do you live in Elanora, Australia? Visit the Foot Stop, a podiatrist clinic for all your feet problems. Not in the mood to go to the clinic? Not to worry. They offer mobile podiatry services in Elanora. Book an appointment here and have them come to you.