Your children might be in denial about the end of summer, but that doesn’t stop them from needing fresh school supplies and shoes that fit for the new academic year. It’s that time again, and if you haven’t already been out preparing for school at the many sales, you’re missing a big opportunity—especially when it comes to children’s shoes. Your children’s feet grow very quickly and probably won’t fit into last year’s footwear. With a little preparation and foot health know-how, you can get the best back-to-school shoes for your child so he or she starts the year right.
Parents, as you’re all-too aware, children’s feet grow quickly. Generally children older than age three grow up to half a shoe size every four to six months, though this can vary depending on growth spurts. Shoes that don’t fit well can contribute to a whole host of painful problems and lower limb health issues, which is why having your child’s footwear fitted correctly at the start is so important.
Fortunately, fitting footwear isn’t difficult. You simply have to know what exactly to check. Here are a few tips to help you make sure your son or daughter’s back-to-school shoes are the best ones for his or her feet:
- Time it right – Feet swell throughout the day, so your child’s feet are at their biggest in the afternoon. That’s when you should shoe shop.
- Get measured – Always have your child’s feet measured before choosing sizes, so you know exactly what to look for.
- Test the length – Keep about half an inch of free space between the toes and the front of the shoe. However, don’t let them be too long, or your child will trip more easily.
- Check the width – The shoes should be wide enough that your child’s toes aren’t squeezed together at the ball of the foot.
- Test the heel – Footwear shouldn’t pinch the heel, but your child shouldn’t be able to slip out of the back.
- Choose good material – Children’s feet sweat a lot, so stick to breathable footwear made from natural materials.