The Importance of Good School Shoes
In the first 11 years of a child’s life, their feet will grow through approximately 17 shoe sizes, until they reach the age of 18. Ill-fitting footwear can lead to problems such as ingrowing toenails, corns, and bunions in adulthood, which may require surgery.
Children spend approximately 30 hours per week, or more than 15,000 hours during their school years, in their school shoes. Therefore, it is crucial that these are fitted properly.
Children require school shoes that can withstand the rigours of daily school life, both on the playground and in the classroom. Despite this, many students wear shoes that are too small or lack support. Given the possibility of deformity and injury associated with poorly fitting shoes, this trend is concerning.
Here are some points to remember when purchasing school shoes that fit perfectly.
1. Make sure both feet are measured
Whether you or a children’s shoe specialist measures your child’s feet in the store, make sure both feet are measured. Ask if the sales associate is a trained shoe fitter, and if not, if there is one on the premises. Inappropriately sized footwear can cause injury to a developing foot.
Most children, and adults, will have one foot that is longer or wider, so its vital to check both feet.
2. Avoid slip-on shoes
Select footwear with laces, straps, or Velcro closures. The straps act as a car’s seatbelt to secure the shoe to the foot. Be wary of the current trend for ballet-style pumps for girls. These offer no support to the inner edge of the foot and no shock absorption.
3. It is suggested that there should be a child’s thumb width between the end of the shoe and the end of the longest toe.
This will allow the foot to grow and lengthen while walking. The toe areas of shoes should be sufficiently deep to allow for free toe movement. Toes should not be compressed from above or on the sides.
4. The fastening mechanism should hold the heel firmly in the back of the shoe.
Shoes should fit exactly around the heel without being tight or loose. The heel should be snug but comfortable and the back part of the shoe strong and stable.
5. Heel height should be no more than 4cm
For younger children, heel height should be reduced. Ensure the heel has a broad base and is made from a shock-absorbing material.
6. The widest part of the foot should correspond with the widest part of the shoe.
Kids’ feet are unique. The bones in your children’s feet are still developing and their feet are still growing. Half of children will have flat feet, while a fifth will have high arches.
Therefore, shoes must be stable and well-cushioned, and they must provide both internal and external support.
We recommend consulting with a professional shoe fitter when purchasing school shoes, as manufacturers frequently produce different styles to accommodate different foot shapes.
Here, at Cheshire Foot Clinic, we can measure your child’s feet and assist you in selecting the right pair of shoes for your child.
Please call us on 01565 655840 or complete the form below if you would like more information.