Soon it's back to school for your kids. And it's time to get the kids shoes for this year's events. The summer fun is almost done. That means out of flip-flops and into shoes. Your kids want to stay in style, and I appreciate that. But at the same time, you should have a few principles to guide you when shopping for their shoes.

Where and How to Shop for Kids Shoes

  • Go to a store where their feet will be measured. I know that may cost you a little more than some of the places around where you can just grab them off the shelf and run.
  • Shop when you have enough time. That will give your kids the chance to try the shoes on with an experienced shoe fitter in a good shoe store, where they measure their feet and then they check to see that the shoes are of adequate length.
  • The shoe should be about an index finger longer than the big toe. Assuming the big toe is the longest toe.
  • Stay away from hand-me-downs. The problem is that even if they are the right size, we wear shoes differently and we wear them out of shape differently and it isn't good for your children's feet to wear used shoes.
  • The shoe has to bend at the ball of the foot not in the middle and it shouldn't twist and flop from side to side.

Now that leaves you a lot of leeway. There are a lot of great shoes on the market. In general, despite children wanting to look just like their friends, stay away from squishy, cushy shoes. That's fine for summer fun, but to last them through the school year, to carry em' through sports, be it in PE or organized sports they need to have shoes that are supportive. Take these principles with you. Yes, get your children to listen a little bit. Keep their feet safe and healthy.

Dr. Rion Berg
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A podiatrist in North Seattle treating families for over 40 years.