• Pod Co Podiatry

Back to School

Welcome back everyone! Hope you all enjoyed your summer break and are ready for the new school and work season to start.   The annual school supply buying mission has no doubt been completed and along with lunchboxes, books and bags would have been the all important school shoes. As a parent it can be difficult to know which shoes are the best for growing feet and it’s sometimes hard not to be coerced into buying a shoe that suits your child’s wants rather than needs.  As we have spoken about before it is important to make sure you have the right shoes for your foot type as well as your activities in order to help prevent injuries. As your child is far more active during their school day than some of us can be in a week, it is just as important for them to have the best shoes for their feet.

Have you picked the right shoes?

Monitor over the next few weeks as your child gets back into activities and listen out for the following:Complaints of pain in feet, ankles and legs, knees or back when they get home from schoolCramps or leg and joint pain at bedtime or in the nightComplaints of leg tiredness at the end of the day or when walking for a while

Bear in mind your child might have been less active during the holidays than they are at school, playing at recess as well as lunch, possibly running for the majority of that time.  A bit of soreness and tiredness at the beginning of the term wouldn't be unusual.  Limping, on the other hand, would be.

What are the best shoes?

Podiatrists always get asked what brand of shoes are the best and the answer to that is, frustratingly, it all depends.

Generally speaking, young kids are taking part in all sorts of activities in their school day and may be required to wear a uniform for part of or the whole week.  So how do you choose a shoe that covers all bases?

Just like us adults, kids have all sorts of different feet.  So what works for one, may not work for another.  In saying that, there are a couple of good brands that most podiatrists would recommend looking in to which include Ascent (which offer a 6 month outsole guarantee) and Bilby for those who need to wear school uniforms.  For those who can wear trainers there are many brands to choose from, but as with school shoes, it doesn’t really matter what it is as long as it has the following essential attributes:

Lace-up, buckle or Velcro fastenings. If the shoe is elastic-sided, it often ends up becoming too loose which can lead to sore toes and twisted ankles.

Stiff heel counter.  The heel or back of the shoe should have some type of reinforcing so that when pushed, it doesn’t collapse easily.  This prevents excessive wear of the back of the shoe as well as provides stability for the heel.

Some mid-shoe support.  If you can twist and bend the shoe in half at the mid-point, it may lead to excessive wear as well as leg tiredness.

If you have any concerns, feel free to bring in your child as well as the shoes for an assessment.