This is the essential quick guide to buying school shoes for yourself or for your kid(s). But firstly, Happy New Year 2017! January has arrived and it means that school kids will have to be ushered around shopping centres to try on new uniforms, backpacks, stationery, technology and footwear. We all want what’s best for our children and that means footwear too! Ensuring your child/ren are in the most suitable shoes is so vital to their lower limb and foot posture development.
THE ESSENTIALS OF SHOE HUNTING
As a Podiatrist, I highly recommend visiting a children’s shoe shop that has staff who are highly trained in shoe fitting and great knowledge of footwear types to suit your child’s activities. A great bonus is that these specialised shoe shops (no need to plug anyone’s business) should measure your child’s foot using a Brannocks device and also forecast their foot growth in approximately six months. Once your child’s shoe size has been decided and the shoe is fitted, the shoe fitter should ensure their is sufficient width and depth in the toebox so that there is no pressure and trauma to their toes and nails (can easily cause ingrown nails!). A good branded shoe should set you back approximately $80.00-150.00.
Some shoe brands have become very nifty with their designs and have included foot posture modifications to the shoe and are classified as ‘pronated’, ‘neutral’ and ‘supinated. If you are unsure of these designs and are concerned about your child/ren then I suggest seeking advice from a Podiatrist first and they can recommend and work with shoe stores to select the best shoe.
However, I am also a parent and understand that a child’s expenses can rise immensely based on their schooling, external recreational and sporting activities and this means that you may need to purchase multiple shoes which can lead to your expenditure to reach hundreds of dollars! Which is understandable but I would also point out that cost doesn’t have to be a major factor in a good quality shoe. That’s why, I published a video titled, “5 Step Shoe Check” which will help you assess the features I look for in a shoe.
WHAT IS THE 5 STEP SHOE CHECK?
This is how I check the 5 essential features of the shoe ONLY. There are two more features you have to also look at such as the outsole rubber quality and the tread to suit the activity you or your child are participating in. Obviously, court shoes would be different outsole than a football field/pitch boot, hence the ‘Purpose’ should always be decided first. After you have decided the function of the shoe then it’s time to the 5 Steps!:
1. Wide toe box
2. Flexible toe box
3. Firm midsole
4. Firm heel counter
5. Secure fastening
Check out my YouTube video where I demonstrate the 5 Steps, click the link below:
I highly recommend doing these 5 steps together with your family so as to also educate your kids in choosing appropriate footwear as opposed to choosing the best looking!
5 STEPS FOR SHOE CARE
1. Shoe laces must be untied when taking them off as this preserves the heel counter of the shoe.
2, You can buy scuff proof shoes or you can apply polish to black shoes to preserve the leather
3. Once a week, remove the insole or the orthotic, loosen the laces and open up the shoe and air out your child’s shoes in the shade, not in the sun.
4. Rotate your shoes to suit the need, i.e. running shoes for running, formal footwear for uniforms,
5. Clean your shoes with a damp cloth or soft brush to remove dirt and grime. (be careful you don’t scrub off the shoe’s rubber!]
WALK SMARTER NOT HARDER!