You're a very conscientious parent. You've made sure to get all the major back to school purchases and errands completed a couple 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:
Bring Your Child With You
Have a knowledgeable salesperson measure the length and width of your child's foot. The correct fit will allow your kids toes plenty of breathing space and keep their feet aligned. Buying shoes at a discount store or without a skilled salesperson? Check the fit of the shoe by following this rule of thumb: make sure there's at least one thumb's width between the tip of the big toe and the end of the shoe. If you find that one foot is larger than the other, buy the larger size.
Buy Shoes That Feel Comfortable
Make sure that when your child tries on shoes, they feel comfortable before you buy. Shoes that require a "break-in" period very likely are the wrong fit for your child.
Check the Wear Patterns on Your Kids 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
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.
Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.
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Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.