Footwear: The Best Fit For School

by The Know

From the age of 7 to 18 a child’s feet will grow through up to 17 shoe sizes. The wrong pair of shoes can lead to problems in later in life such as; ingrown toenails, bunions and unnecessary strain on leg muscles and joints.

Here are 5 tips to buying perfectly fitting school shoes…

1. Make sure both feet are measured

Whether you measure your child’s feet in-store yourself, or a children’s shoe specialist does the job, make sure both feet are measured. Most children, and adults, will have one foot that is longer or wider, so it’s vital to check both feet. Don’t buy over-large shoes, as they can lead to injuries, and different lace-up techniques can alter the fit – something that’s always worth checking with a shoe fitter.

2. Buy shoes at the end of the day

While you might decide to head out bright and early to get your child’s shoes fitted, bear in mind that it’s best to go during late afternoon, as children’s feet often get a little more swollen by the end of the day. That way, you’ll get school shoes fitted when your child’s feet are at their biggest.

3. Quality shoes last longer

While school shoes are another necessary expense, bear in mind that buying better quality shoes might actually save you money, as they won’t wear down so easily and need to be replaced during the school year. Look for soles made from rubber and double-stitching around the toe area will give shoes a longer life.

4. Kids’ feet are individual

Your children’s feet are still growing and the bones in their feet, still developing. Around half of kids will have flat feet and a fifth may have high arches. As such, shoes need to be stable with good cushioning, providing internal and external support. If you can, see a professional shoe fitter when buying school shoes, as manufacturers often make varying styles for different foot shapes.

5. School shoe checklist

When fitting your child with new school shoes, here are some important points to remember:

  • There should be a child’s thumb width between the end of the shoe and the end of the longest toe.
  • The widest part of the foot should correspond with the widest part of the shoe.
  • The fastening mechanism should hold the heel firmly in the back of the shoe.
  • The sole should not twist.
  • The heel should be snug but comfortable and the back part of the shoe strong and stable.