back to school shoe shopping for kidsYou're a very conscientious parent. You've made sure to get all the major back-to-school purchases and errands completed a couple of weeks before school starts. What's left?

Making sure your kid's feet are ready for school! Kid feet grow fast; up to two sizes in 6 months for those going through a major growth spurt. Leaving kids with worn out, tight shoes can cause all kinds of foot and ankle problems including ingrown toenails, heel pain, and twisted ankles.

Follow these shoe-shopping tips to make sure your kids can put their best foot forward:

Select a Shoe Store With Knowledgeable Sales People

You have a lot of choice when it comes to shopping for kids shoes. Although it may seem like a good idea to save some money by going to a discount shoe store, it's not. Choose a store with knowledgeable sales people who willl ensure your kids get shoes that fit properly.

Get your Kids Feet Measured

Since kids go through a big growth spurt during the summer, make sure to get their feet measured. Shoes should have at least one thumb's width between the tip of the big toe and the end of the shoe. The correct fit will allow your kids toes plenty of breathing space and keep their feet aligned. If you find that one foot is larger than the other, buy the larger size. 

Buy Your Kids Shoes That Feel Comfortable

Your kids should not be wincing when they try on shoes and walk around in them. Shoes should feel immediately comfortable.  If they require a "break-in" period, they're the wrong fit for your child.

Check the Wear Patterns on Your Kid's Shoes

Turn your kids shoes over and look at how they've worn out their shoes. Do you notice a consistent wear pattern from the balls of their shoes, sides, heels and between the two shoes? These should be fairly equal. Abnormal or unequal wear patterns can show atypical foot changes, and may be helpful to your podiatrist in detecting a possible foot problem.

Select a Good, Sturdy Shoe

Avoid ballet flats and tennis shoes that are too cushy. These shoes will not provide the support your kids feet need. This is particular true if your kids have flat feet. Shoes should have a stiff heel counter (the part of the shoe that goes around the backside of the heel) and a rigid midsole area. The shoe should only bend at the toes and not under the arch. In addition, shoes should be difficult to twist (wring out like a rag). To get a better idea of what this looks like, you can view our video "How to Test Any Shoe for Stability". 

Avoid Hand-Me-Downs or Used Shoes

You may like to save money by buying clothes at thrift store and using hand-me-downs, but try to avoid it with your kids shoes. Shoes wear down and take on the wear pattern of the user. Loss of support and function occur as a result.  Sharing shoes can also spread infections such as warts or fungus from one child to another.

Dr. Rion Berg
Connect with me
A podiatrist in North Seattle treating families for over 40 years.
Post A Comment