A good pair of shoes should be at the top of any parent’s back-to-school shopping list. Kids like what’s fashionable, and it’s fine to include some fun and stylish shoes in a kid’s wardrobe, as long as they plan to wear them only for short periods of time.
But for all-day comfort and foot health, your child needs, first and foremost, a well-fitting and supportive shoe. Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland is happy to provide this parent’s guide to shoes that make the grade:
- Go shoe shopping at the end of the day. That’s when your child’s feet are at their largest, after standing, walking, playing on them all day. If your child gets up at the crack of noon, as some teenagers do, put off your shopping until the evening hours!
- Have your child’s foot measured. Kids’ feet are growing well into their teens, so never assume that the size they wore in June is the same size they’re wearing in late August. Go to a shoe store and take advantage of the measurement tools they have.
- Be aware that most people have one foot that is slightly larger than the other. Buy to the larger size foot.
- Try on shoes while wearing the same socks or tights that they will wear with those shoes.
- Don’t be tempted to buy shoes that kids will “grow into.” Shoes that are too big can make the foot slide around, setting your child up for toe problems. A well-fitting shoe will have only about ½ inch of space between your child’s toes and the tip of the shoe. One easy way to check that measurement is to use the width of your thumb.
- Look for a solid shoe with good support. Those flats may be adorable, but if you can fold them in half, give them a pass. If the back of the shoe collapses when you push down on it, then this shoe isn’t a great choice, either, because it offers little support.
If you are in doubt, ask the salesperson at a reputable shoe store for advice. We also welcome your inquiries at our office in beautiful Solon, OH. Dr. Megan L. Oltmann and Dr. Craig B. Frey are the experienced podiatrists who can answer all your questions about properly-fitting shoes for your child’s feet. Make an appointment with us online, or call us at (440) 903-1941. We offer early morning hours, early evening hours, and Saturdays by appointment.