Buying new shoes for your kids? Here’s what to look out for!

Buying new shoes for your kids? Here’s what to look out for!

Despite your kids insistence that flashing lights and colourful stripes are the essential elements to their shoes, there are a few more features that can really help support and comfort you kids feet and help encourage the healthy growth and development. With the start of the school holidays here, we thought we’d talk kids shoes and what to look out for!

  1. A good heel counter at the back of the shoe

Having a firm heel counter that cups the heel helps to stabilise the hind-foot in the shoe, supports the heel and prevents it from rolling freely from side to side. It also stops the toes from having to curl down and grip the sole for stability when shoes don’t have a good heel counter. To test for a good, solid counter, push down with your thumb onto the shoe backing and if the back just flops down then it’s not going to do a great job of supporting your child’s feet.

  1. A big toe box

Having a big roomy toe box means toes aren’t cramped up or in unnatural positions and gives plenty of room for growth, movement and supports a natural foot alignment. Check that the shape of the toe box is nice and round and that there’s plenty of room between the top of the toes and the top of the shoe.

  1. Double check they’re the right size

Always try both shoes on and feel around the toe space on both feet. For a majority of people, one foot is longer than the other, so shoe size should be measured from the longest foot. Try leaving a space the size of the tip of your index finger between the end of the toes and the end of the shoe. Check that the longest toe is the big toe too – for some people it’s the second toe! Bring a pair of socks and try the shoes on with the socks too to ensure they don’t make them too tight. Also make sure that they’re wide enough and not rubbing against the inside or outside of the foot!

  1. Shoe bends at the ball of the foot, not the middle of the shoe

Just like how our feet bend at the ball of the foot and not through the centre of the foot, neither should the shoes! Check that the shoes are nice and flexible through the front of the foot but are supportive and stable through the mid-foot. Also wring the shoes side to side like you would with a wet towel – the mid-foot should be supportive and sturdy enough to not allow this!

  1. Choose laces or velcro

Compared to slip ons, shoes with a fastening mechanism such as velcro or laces provide far greater stability and support for your kids feet. The more supportive and stable the shoe, the more control over the movement of the foot and ankle within the shoe to reduce the likelihood of injuries such as ankle sprains, as well as facilitate healthy development of the bones, joints and muscles.

  1. Buy shoes at the end of the day

Because our feet tend to swell toward the end of the day after walking around and in warmer temperatures, aim to purchase shoes and have that final size check in the afternoon as opposed to the morning.

While kids can grow out of shoes in the blink of an eye sometimes, it’s important to give growing feet all the support and comfort we can to reduce the likelihood of injury and the development of other foot problems as kids grow. If you’re worried about your kids feet or want to know more about your kids shoes and their feet, come in to see our kids foot experts as Sole Motion Podiatry! We LOVE working with kids and seeing them be their happy, healthy and smiling selves!
Give us a call on 1300-FX-FEET.

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