Houston podiatrist discusses choosing the right back to school shoesSome of your kids are starting the school year off in-person. Others are starting online. Either way, the start of the school year is a great time to get your kids new shoes. I know your kids are looking for style. They don’t want to be the kid with the ugly, loser shoes. But making sure they have the proper shoes is essential for the health of their feet.

Just remember, kids feet grow and change fast. So don’t think you’re getting off easy with a beginning of the school year purchase. You may need to update their shoes every few months. Shoes that don’t fit well can cause them foot pain and affect how they feel all day. Here are some tips to help guide you to finding the best shoes for your kids. Hopefully they’ll find them stylish as well!

  1. Never use hand-me-down shoes or used shoes

The way your child’s feet function is unique to them. So, the way the shoes wear will be different for each kid. The shoes conform to the foot and won’t fit the same way.

  1. Always test the shoe to make sure it is supportive

The best time to do this is BEFORE your child tries it on and falls in love with it.  What are you looking for?

  • There should be a stiff heel. You can check by pressing on both sides of the heel. It should be solid and not squishy.
  • Make sure the shoe bends with your child’s toes. You can check by pushing up on the toes and making sure the shoe bends with it. The shoe shouldn’t be too stiff.
  • Twist the shoe. It should be rigid in the midfoot and twist very little.
  • Pro tip: Stay away from Keds, Vans, and Toms. They don’t meet these criteria.
  1. Shop for shoes with your child

Houston podiatrist recommends shopping for shoes with your childThis will ensure that your child’s foot will be properly measured. This will allow for a properly fitting shoe. You also can use these tips to teach your child how to buy a good shoe. This will serve them well into adulthood.

  1. Shop for shoes later in the day

Feet swell as the day goes on. This is even true for children. If you shop for shoes in the morning, you may find that they become tight as the day goes on. Also, if one foot is a little larger than the other, always buy shoes to fit the larger foot.

  1. Shoes shouldn’t need to be “broken in”

Shoes should be comfortable right away. It’s a common myth that shoes need time to be worn and broken in. That’s not the case.

  1. Make sure shoes are appropriate for your child’s activities

Athletic shoes are designed with the sport in mind. Basketball shoes are different than running shoes. This is because of the pivoting required on the basketball court. Yes, this means that you’ll end up buying more than one pair of shoes. But it’s worth it!

  1. Online school should not mean barefoot

Your child isn’t going outside to school. That doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t be dressed appropriately. And that includes wearing shoes. Going barefoot around the house all day can be detrimental to your child’s feet. This is especially true if you have wood or tile floors. Even a slip on shoe is better than barefoot. But avoid flip flops and low-cost plastic shoes. They are bad for your child’s feet in every case.


No child's feet should hurt. If your child complains of foot pain, be sure to visit Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider. If there is any foot injury, call us and we'll get you in for an immediate appointment. We love seeing kids and making sure that they have no more foot pain.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
Connect with me
A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.