Buying School Shoes? Don’t buy until you read this...
If all kids’ school shoes look the same to you, read these expert buying tips ... because choosing the right school shoes for your children now will support healthy growth and development way into adulthood. Ready, set, GO!
By Franki Hobson
Practical Parenting Reviews Editor / December 28 2018
Our kids run, kick, jump and play in their school shoes all day lonnnng! So it’s super important that their shoes are not only comfortable, but support the healthy development of their twinkling toes and growing feet.
In fact, wearing ill-fitting school shoes without sufficient support can lead to a whole load of negative health issues, affecting bone growth, gait, posture, leg, foot and shin pain and much more. And no parent or child wants that.
Big leaps forward
Here’s a fancy foot fact for you. A leading Podiatrist Dr Lloyd Reed says in the first 11 years a child’s foot can grow up to 34 sizes and continues to grow until they reach adulthood. So it’s important to make sure your child’s school shoes fit correctly.
“On average, children spend 40 hours a week in their school shoes,” explains Dr Reed. “This is almost the same amount of time they spend sleeping. Putting them in the right school shoes – ones that feel great and allow proper movement - will lead to happy, healthy feet and may prevent future problems.”
But with so many on the market, how do you choose the right shoe for your little one’s needs while adhering to the school uniform and shoe policy?
To help you get the right fit for the right foot shape for your growing kids, Dr Reed shares these five top tips for choosing great school shoes.
Happy feet: measuring up the feet correctly
You want those twinkle toes to be comfortable all day long, while doing their job – supporting happy little feet. And the best way to do that? Get them fitted by an expert.
“To determine the right shoe fit, ensure both left and right feet are professionally measured for length, width, overall fit and shape,” advises Dr Reed. “When checking the shape of the shoe, check to see there is approximately 1cm of growing room beyond the longest toe.”
Shoe pictured: Adela Youth, Ascent Footwear, $109.95
Heel and toe! Look for heel Support
Forget bean counters, it’s the heel counter you need to focus on!
“The heel counter is the little plastic insert used to reinforce the heel of the shoe - designed to hold the foot in place,” says Dr Reed. “Without firm support around the base of the ankle surrounding the heel, the shoe is not able to support the foot properly. Look for a firm heel counter, which will provide additional support.”
Shoe pictured: Sustain Jnr, Ascent Footwear, $84.95
Ready, set, GO! Match the shoe style and features for the activity
All kids are unique, so make sure you take into account their lifestyle and activities.
“Many schools allow trainers in pre-school and first grade, and so choosing one with good support around the heel and flexible across the forefoot is ideal,” Dr Reed suggests. “Whether they are formal school shoes or trainers, choose a lightweight but durable shoe that will match their endless energy. Look for buckles, laces or straps to secure the shoe appropriately.”
Shoe pictured: Apex Youth, Ascent Footwear, $114.95
Stable grounds: Look for midfoot support
“This will help support the arch and improve stability,” Dr Reed suggests. If that sounds complicated, just ask the staff at The Athlete’s Foot – they are the fitting experts!
Shoe Pictured: Adiva 2 Youth, Ascent Footwear, $129.95
Call in the big shots! Check in with a podiatrist when…
Dr Reed says it’s not normal for kids to have ongoing pain in their feet and legs. Similarly, it is not ideal for your child of school age to be:
- *knocking their knees excessively
- *tripping over more than their friends
- *regularly walking on their tip toes, or
- *walking with feet pointing inwards or outwards excessively
So if you notice any of the these issues, book your child in to see a Podiatrist by contacting the Australian Podiatry Association to find your local podiatrist.
Want more information?
Brought to you by Ascent Footwear - Sports Shoes In Disguise. Ascent Footwear as the industry expert and leader in black formal school shoes and is the only Australian school shoe brand endorsed by the Australian Physiotherapy Association and the Australian Podiatry Association. Dr Lloyd Reed is a leading Podiatrist at FOOTMOTION Podiatry
For more information on Ascent Footwear visit ascentkids.com.au