Tax free weekend is over, but some of you may still be doing the back-to-school shopping routine with your kids; one of the big items to purchase before the semester starts is usually a new pair of shoes.
No matter what age your child is, I’m sure he or she will have a long list of demands about those shoes: perhaps a pink and sparkly pair for your little girl, or the latest celebrity-endorsed sneaker for your older child. Whatever the “it” shoe may be, kids always seem to know what they want to put on their feet.
As a podiatrist in Houston, I also have a thing or two to say about back-to-school shoe shopping with your kids. Style is important in footwear, but fit should always come first when selecting shoes for a child’s foot. Here are some guidelines you can follow when choosing shoes for your children:
- Wear normal socks to try on shoes.
- Measure both of your child’s feet; if one is larger, fit the shoes to the bigger foot.
- Make sure your child stands when his or her foot is being measured.
- Be careful which shoes you select—they should be soft with firm heel support, cushioned insoles and built-in arches. Shoe should also be flexible enough to bend as the foot moves.
- Check inside the shoes to ensure there are no rough spots that could hurt your child’s feet
- Never force your son or daughter’s foot into a shoe; if it’s hard to get on, choose a different pair or get another size.
- Make sure your child has wiggle room in his or her shoes; approximately half an inch of space between the tip of the toes and the end of the shoe is a good guide to follow.
- Once shoes are on, have your child walk around for at least five minutes, asking him or her to note if there are places that rub or feel uncomfortable.
- After the shoe comes off, look at your child’s foot to see if there are any signs of irritation; if there are, those shoes aren’t the ones to pick.
No matter how fashionable they are, no pair of shoes is worth buying if they cause your child to experience foot pain. If your child is experiencing foot or heel discomfort, and his or her shoes are correctly fitted, schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider at Tanglewood Foot Specialists for a diagnostic visit. Your child deserves to start the school year free from foot pain.