September means school time for kids of all ages. Whether your son or daughter is entering kindergarten or their final year of high school, the beginning of a new academic year is always punctuated with activity. Families rush to get the final things their kids need for their new classrooms and subjects. Often this means new footwear—particularly for younger children, whose feet grow rapidly.
Finding the right pair of shoes involves getting the best fit as well as picking a good style. Footwear that doesn’t fit your child well can contribute to foot problems later. Shoes that are too tight squeeze the toes and may cause ingrown nails or other toe conditions. Shoes that are too big may trip your child or contribute to blisters. The right fit will have about half an inch of space between the end of the longest toe and the front of the shoe. Look for models with rounded toe boxes that won’t squeeze the forefoot. It also needs to be wide enough at the ball of the foot.
Keep in mind that children are active, too, and their shoes will need to allow that. Steer clear of fashionable footwear that don’t support or protect the limbs. Styles for both boys and girls with super-thin or flat soles won’t be good for running around, and high heels, especially for young girls, may lead to premature foot pain problems.
Instead, encourage your kids to look for shoes with sturdy, non-slippery outsoles and at least some padding for the insoles. Look for leather, canvas, or other breathable fabrics to allow air to flow around their feet. This is particularly important, since kids’ feet sweat more than an adult’s. The shoes should also fit comfortably right away. If your child says a pair needs to be “broken in” to be truly comfortable, that pair doesn’t fit correctly.
The best styles for children’s feet will vary with your son’s or daughter’s tastes. Your child should like their school shoes! Just make sure whatever he or she chooses, it will benefit the body’s foundation. If you’re not sure how to fit shoes correctly, or are concerned about pain your child already has, let us know at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona. You can make an appointment at our two locations by calling, faxing, or sending an online request. For the Chandler office, call (480) 963-9000 and fax (480) 963-0375; for our Gilbert office, call (480) 981-1800 and fax (480) 981-0229.