It’s time for back to school shopping, and at Connecticut Foot Care Centers we believe that one of the most important items on your list should be your child’s shoes. Well-made shoes that fit properly can prevent common foot injuries like ankle sprains and help keep your child’s feet healthy. Here’s a “cheat sheet” to help you score high marks on the shoe shopping test.
Study Up—be prepared for your shopping excursion. If your child is experiencing any foot discomfort, has a chronic podiatric condition (like Sever’s disease or overpronation) or recently sustained a foot injury, it’s best to get a checkup with one of our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. or Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. The foot doctor will assess the current condition of your child’s lower extremities and may suggest particular styles or features that will be safest and most comfortable.
Come Prepared—bring the type of socks that your child will wear with their new shoes to the store. Oftentimes the socks the store provides are thin and the shoe may appear roomier than it will be with the actual socks. Allow enough time to get your child’s foot professionally measured and then to try on several pairs of shoes to find the best ones. Make sure your child spends time walking around the store wearing both shoes before finalizing the sale. New shoes should feel comfortable from the moment you leave the store—no “breaking in” period should be necessary.
Know the Material—shoes should be made of natural materials that allow the foot to breathe. Be aware of the features of quality shoes:
- Roomy toe boxes (there should be about ½ an inch or a thumb’s width between the longest toe and the end of the shoe)
- Firm heel counter
- Padded insole or foot bed for shock absorption
- Non-slip tread
Don’t Lose Points—don’t hand shoes down to younger siblings. Each shoe wears according to the unique foot structure and gait of its wearer. Passing them on can lead to discomfort and foot problems.