Melbourne Podiatry Clinic

Kids School Shoes – How To Get It Right

If the shoe fits…

With a myriad of school shoes on the market trying to find the right school shoe can be an overwhelming and often stressful task. With a child spending over 30 hours a week in school shoes its vital that they are both comfortable and well-fitting. So here are Melbourne Podiatry’s top tips for school shoes:

Length: It’s hard to know how fast a child will outgrow a shoe as everyone grows at different rates. Generally, one size larger from what the child measures at on a brannock (shoe fitting device) is adequate growing room. A great way to check how much room is at the end of the shoe is to take the insole out and place the foot on top, there should be about a thumbs width between the end of the big toe and the end of the insole. Make sure this is measured in a standing position.

Width: This is a big one! Make sure when your child is being fitted up for shoes the width is checked, width vary from A (narrow) to 4E (extra wide).  Typically, brands like Clarks and Ascent come in narrower and wider widths which will allow for a more secure and comfortable fitting shoe. A shoe that is too wide will crease a lot though the toebox and often slip up and down at the heel and if a shoe is too narrow it will cause irritation at the forefoot and often be difficult to get on.

Stiffness and weight: School shoes are historically known for being stiff and heavy and needing a lot of time to be worn in. We recommend school shoes to be relatively light-weight and flexible, minimal heel with only a firm heel counter.

Fixation: If your child can do up laces this is the best option! Laces provide the most adjustable type of fixation and most adjustable points of fixation throughout the shoe. A single strap Mary-Jane type shoe is only one point of fixation making the shoe hard to fit narrower/wider feet into but still better than none. Please ensure your kids undo and redo laces/straps when taking shoes on and off.

Tread: This is vital particularly for younger children who are constantly on the go. When you’re trying shoes on turn the shoe over and have a look at the tread and touch it!  Ideally a rough surface with lugs and grooves with provide good traction for climbing and play.

Best tip?

GET FITTED UP BY A PROFESSIONAL! Most good school shoe shops will have trained workers to measure and assist with fitting your child in the right shoe and answer any of your questions or concerns. If you do have any further queries about your child’s feet, Melbourne Podiatry welcomes children of all ages to address foot problems including footwear advice, foot or leg pain, gait issues, ingrown toenails and warts.

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