If you’re like most parents, you probably make sure to get all the main back-to-school purchases completed a few weeks before school starts. But did you make sure your children's feet are ready for school with comfortable, supportive new shoes? To help you out, in today’s post, Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, is sharing his back-to-school shoe shopping tips.
For those children going through a major growth spurt, their feet can grow up to two sizes in six months. So, if they continue to wear tight or worn-out shoes, it can cause various ankle and foot problems, including heel pain, twisted ankles, and ingrown toenails.
Consider these shoe shopping tips when shopping for your children’s footwear.
- Shop at a store with knowledgeable salespeople. There’s no question you have a lot of choices when it comes to shopping for shoes. While it might seem like a good idea to shop at a discount shoe store to save money, it's not. Instead, shop at a store with knowledgeable salespeople who will make sure your children get shoes that fit properly and provide adequate support.
- Have your children’s feet measured professionally. Because children experience a growth spurt during the summer months, be sure to get their feet professionally measured. The proper fit will give your children’s toes plenty of space to breathe and keep their feet in alignment. If like many people, you find one foot is bigger than the other, go with the larger size.
- Comfort first. Your children should not be grimacing when trying on shoes and walking in them. Shoes should feel comfortable right away. If they need to be "broken-in," they're the wrong fit.
- Check the wear patterns on the shoes they are currently wearing. Turn your children’s shoes over to see how they’re wearing. Do you see a consistent wear pattern from the sides, heels, balls of their shoes, and between the two shoes? Unequal wear patterns can reveal abnormal foot changes and may be helpful to your podiatrist in identifying a potential foot problem.
- Choose a sturdy shoe that provides proper support. Avoid tennis shoes and ballet flats, as these shoes won’t provide the support your children’s feet need. Their shoes should have a stiff heel counter and a rigid midsole. They should only bend at the toes, not under the arch.
- Avoid used shoes or hand-me-downs. You might like to save money by shopping at discount stores and using hand-me-downs. But avoid it with your children’s shoes. Because shoes wear down and adopt the wear pattern of the user, loss of function and support often occur. Sharing shoes between children can also cause infections such as warts or fungus to spread.
If you have questions regarding the right shoes for your child or they’re experiencing any issues, contact Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, today to make an appointment. You can schedule an appointment online or by calling us at 425-455-0936.