• Pod Co Podiatry

Back to School: How to know if your kids have the right shoes.

Welcome back everyone! Hope you’re all enjoying your summer break and for those of us who are back at work, it’s lovely to have the roads free of traffic for a change.  

For all you parents out there, the next thing on your list after the Christmas and New Year festivities will be obtaining those essential school supplies. And depending on the day, kid’s shoe shopping can be a fun/tedious/irritating annual family excursion.

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 to right shoes for your foot type as well as your activities in order to 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 to make sure they have the best shoes for their feet.

So how do you know you have the right shoes?

  • Has your child complained of pain in their feet, ankles, and legs, knees or back when they get home from school?

  • Have they gone to bed or woken up in the night with cramps or leg and joint pain?

  • Do they complain of leg tiredness at the end of the day? When you’re out shopping?

If you answered yes to any part of these questions, there may be a problem with footwear.

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.  Prevention, as always, is better than the cure