How to Choose Your Child’s Shoes

A new school term often means new school shoes are necessary for your children. Children’s feet can grow fast, often going through as many as 20 shoe sizes! Ensuring that you chose the proper shoe can help reduce the risk of painful complication such as in grown nails, blisters, and bunions. Here is a quick overview of a child’s foot and some tips on getting your child fitted for good quality shoes.

Whilst painful legs and feet are common amongst children and adolescents, pain is by no means normal. Pain should be investigated if symptoms persist for 48 hours or more, if there is associated falling or tripping or self-withdrawal from sports and activity occurs.

Some of the more common areas of concern for parents include flat feet, in-toeing, heel pain, toe walking, ingrown toenails, plantar warts and skin rashes, and uneven or rapid shoe wear.

It is important to have your child’s feet evaluated by a podiatrist every year from around the age of five. A podiatrist can educate parents on appropriate footwear and normal development to provide peace of mind and sound management options.

What are a podiatrists top 10 tips for buying shoes for your children? Read on to find out…When buying shoes consider these guidelines;

  • Have BOTH feet measured when standing as the foot changes when weight bearing
  • Buy shoes for the longer foot, feet are seldom the exact same size
  • Shoes should feel comfortable immediately; there is no need to “break them in”
  • There should be one child’s thumb width between the end of the longest toe and the end of the shoe
  • The toe box should be wide and round, not narrow and pointy
  • The heel should be held firmly in place by a fastening device
  • Try shoes on with the same sock that they will be worn with
  • Get fitted by someone knowledgeable and trained in children’s footwear
  • When possible, buy shoes for the specific activity involved e.g. running shoes for running, basketball shoes for basketball
  • Comfort is king – or Queen; uncomfortable shoes can lead to pain from compression (in grown nails) or friction (blisters)




Article contributed by Darren Barclay

Resonance Senior Sports Podiatrist

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