Here we are in the middle of the summer and families are coming in already, preparing their kids for their soccer season. What are the things that we have to look out for?
How To Make Sure Your Kids Soccer Shoes Fit Properly
Measure Your Kids Feet
First of all, they probably have their shoes from the spring, but they grow a lot, particularly as they're moving into adolescence and you need to be sure the feet are measured so the shoes are proper size. Use one finger in front of the great toe to check for proper length.
How To Know If Shoes Are Too Short
Next, some of the signs of a shoe being too short, pretty typically is discomfort or the toenail or an ingrown toenail.
How to Check on the Shoe's Stability
Now, once you get passed that and the feet are measured, we want to be sure that the shoes are of proper stability. And just because you spend a lot of money on these soccer shoes, let me tell you, it doesn't mean that the shoe is going to be good for your child's feet.
Recently, a family came in, three pairs of beautiful shoes. Red. Silver. Gold. They really were. They were amazing. And you look at them and you think, oh my goodness, this must be a great shoe. Looks like this cost a lot. Well, it may have cost a lot, but the fact is only one of the three pairs was stable. It bent at the ball, not in the middle, it didn't flop side to side. Even for me looking at a soccer shoe, I thought it might be stable, but one pair flopped in half and the other pair, I couldn't bend it at all. If I was running on that, be like running on a piece of plywood.
So make sure you look at those things as you're purchasing shoes. To learn how to properly test your kids shoes check out our video, "How To Test Any Shoe for Stability".
Foot Problems in Youth Soccer Players
Now, what are the kinds of problems we've run into? The things that we have to be sure of, particularly as a child moves into adolescence is checking for problems with their foot type and the most common one that creates problems is flexible flat foot disorder also known as pediatric flatfoot.
It may not have been problem in a soccer shoe on grass up to adolescence, but once they start gaining some weight, probably a more aggressive soccer season, if they happen to have that foot type, they're really prone to injuries and may need to add support to that soccer shoe to help prevent that problem.
Tight Calf Muscles
Finally, I think you really need to check for tight calf muscles, particularly during this rapid growth phase. What we see, it seems, is that the skeletal growth, the bony growth seems to grow pretty fast. The calf muscles doesn't seem to stretch out as easily and they in with pain in the back of the heel that can really interfere with their ability to continue playing.
So in summary, once you've had their feet checked for size and purchased stable shoes and they're stretching well, if you see signs of in toeing, out toeing or flat feet, bring your children in. It may well be time that we work with you and get them some orthotics to prevent problems during the upcoming soccer season.