Footwear Tips for Back-To-School

The fall has returned again and that means two things:  pumpkin spice lattes and the kids go back to school.  Kids can be hard on their feet, and they have plenty of opportunity to use them with recess, gym, and an active life outside of school.  Their feet are also growing which means you need to make sure, as a parent, that your kids are using the right kind of shoes so they don’t end up with serious issues later in life.  Here are some important things to keep in mind when buying shoes for kids whether it’s back-to-school or any time of year.

  • Buy shoes with room to grow.  Leave about a finger’s width of room at the toe so they don’t run into tightness before they buy new shoes.
  • That said, make sure they fit well with the feet they have now.  Shoes that are too small or too big can create problems for growing feet.
  • Don’t go with slip-on shoes.  Whether plastic shoes or fashionable heels for older kids they should be avoided.  Stick with Velcro, laces, or straps to make sure the foot is secure in the shoe.
  • The shoes should be comfortable immediately.  The idea that shoes need to be worked in is old-fashioned and incorrect.  They should be snug around the heel without being tight and it’s important to ensure the arch area is firm and supportive.
  • Keep an eye on their shoes as time goes by to make sure the wear is even and at the back of the heel or between the back and outside.  Otherwise they may be pronating incorrectly and should see a podiatrist to have it corrected. 
  • Remember that shoes do have a limit of use and, in general, most people regardless of age wear their shoes for too long.  Replace them before the wear can cause issues with the foot.

Follow these tips and your kids’ feet will stay healthy and strong now and heading into adulthood.  If you suspect issues with your child’s feet, or with your own, make an appointment with Sheldon H. Nadal D.P.M. at his Toronto podiatry office today.