Back To School – Your guide to fitting school shoesDarwin Podiatry
With the school holidays winding down, many parents will be starting the back to school countdown. This will almost always include purchasing new school shoes – with the rate of growth in children, most will require new shoes at the start of the new school year.
So what should you look for when you are purchasing school shoes for your child?
- Allow 1cm between the LONGEST TOE and the end of the shoe- note that often the big toe is not the longest toe on the foot! Check your child’s foot to see which toe is the longest, and measure the 1cm using this toe as the guide. Do not exceed 1cm or you risk having a shoe that is too big, which causes clawing of the toes inside the shoe to try to keep stable within the shoe.
- Make sure the shoes can be adjusted with laces, velcros or buckles- avoid slip on shoes which do not offer the same stabilization as laces or velcro does. Also encourage your child to undo the shoes laces prior to removing them to increase the longevity of the shoe. This will allow the child to have to relace or velcro the shoe when they place them on, which causes better fixation of the shoe to the foot.
- Take their school socks and/or stockings shopping with you and use them to try on the shoes – this will ensure the correct fit relating to the socks or stocking that must be worn. Some socks are thicker than others and will determine the fit of the shoe for the child. Additionally, if your child has orthotics, take these with you when trying on shoes and place them into the shoes as well, to ensure the fit is correct for your child.
- The shoe should only bend where the toes bend on the foot, and should not be able to be twisted or contorted easily.
- The heel counter (the back of the shoe) should be firm – pushing against the back of a shoe that has a firm heel counter will mean that the back of the shoe won’t collapse down. This ensures the shoe provides some ankle stability.
- If you have a child with a hard to fit foot (wide, narrow, flat, complains of leg or foot pain, trips or falls excessively) consider seeing a Podiatrist. Podiatrists are lower limb specialists who can provide assessment, diagnosis and information to help with footwear choices for your child.
A helpful checklist can be found here for more information about how to choose the right pair of school shoes for your child.
If you think your child requires a lower limb assessment before school starts, contact Darwin Podiatry on 8941 9955 to make an appointment today.