It’s that time of year again when you are thinking of buying new school shoes for the next school term. Despite the risk of deformities and injury however many school children are returning to school with ill-fitting and tight shoes. It is important before you splash out on expensive shoes that you consider carefully which shoe is right for your child. Below are some tips to help you make the right decision.
Opt for shoes that have Velcro straps or laces instead of slip ons. These shoes fasten the shoe to the foot in a similar way to how seat belts in cars do. Also try to avoid ballet style pumps currently in fashion as they lack vital support in the inner body of the shoe and provide virtually no shock absorption.
Try to get your child’s feet measured professional in both length and width on both feet. Incorrectly fitting shoes can cause damage to a growing foot.
A good idea is to allow the space of a fingers width in front of any shoe you will buy to allow growth and elongation of the foot while walking.
When buying trainers be aware that many are designed for specific sports and may not be suitable for everyday wear. Always try to get them measured professionally before you buy and also try to avoid the use of plimsolls all day every day.
There are sometimes slight differences in sizing across manufactures so get your child feet measured in each shop you go to.
Try to limit heels to 4cms or less especially for younger children. The heel should have a broad base and offer some shock absorption.
Seams and stitching can sometimes cause irritation within the shoe. Always try to go for uppers made of natural material rather than man-made uppers.
Allow enough depth and room to let the toe move freely in the shoe.
Choose a shoe that fits perfectly around the heel; not too loose or tight
There should be enough support around the heel and arch area of the shoe.
If you notice unusual or uneven wear in the shoe always seek professional advice. This may be the first indication of a problem with posture and should be investigated. Particularly look for wear on the side of the heel or from the back to the front on one side.
De aware new shoes may cause blisters and sores.
Regularly check your child’s feet for inflamed nails or pressure marks around the joints or at the top of toes
Some teenagers may be secretive around foot problems but remember a trivial foot problem that is easily treated early on is for more serious as it develops if neglected.
Seek professional advice if there are itchy or painful sites on the feet or you see rashes
Children’s feet are often sweaty but any smell could mean poor hygiene
The risk of infection is always higher in feet compared to other parts of the body. Any cuts or abrasions should be treated with antiseptic and dressed immediately.
It is also important to mention newborns and foot consideration when buy shoes for newborns. In a baby there is no discernible arch but as a child grows the cartilage ossifies becoming more and more solid protected by subcutaneous tissue.
Be sure to wash the feet daily with soap and water and dry well in particular in between the toes.
Check the foot section in the baby grows and sleep suits are long enough to accommodate the feet without any cramping.
Avoid pram shoes except for special occasions as they are very difficult to size.
Choose soft bootees just prior to the child walking that do not cramp or restrict but keep the feet warm and comfortable.
When buying shoes for a child that has just started walking ensure they are fitted by a trained shoe fitter. They should reflect the shape and size and ill-fitting shoes may lead to deformities
Avoid baby walkers as they encourage load bearing early then the natural development of the child. This can delay walking standing and crawling.