5 Back-to-School Shoe Shopping Tips You Need to Know
It’s that time of year again—back to school! New backpacks, school supplies, clothes and shoes are on your shopping list to ensure your child is ready to successfully tackle a new school year. But what your child wants isn’t always aligned with what you, as a parent, want for your child. Like their choice in shoes.
While flip-flops or slip-on shoes with little to no support may be what your child suggests as their fancy footwear, they may be complaining of foot pain before they even get a month into the new school year.
You always want to put your best foot forward when beginning a new school year and that starts with making sure they have proper footwear. Between recess, P.E., and playing with their friends, a proper fitting shoe is essential to ensuring they can enjoy everything the school year has to offer.
Before you hit the store shoe racks, here are a few things you should keep in mind while shopping with your student:
- Don’t Ever Buy Used Shoes. Consignment shops and hand-me-downs are great for a lot of things, but shoes are not one of them. Aside from possible fungus and bacteria, used shoes have lost all of their cushioning and padding.
- Check the Shoe’s Flexibility. You don’t want an overly flexible shoe that collapses under pressure, but it shouldn’t be too stiff either. It should always be stiff in the middle but have a flexible toe box.
- Shop with Your Child. Don’t buy shoes for your child and bring them home just because the shoes were “in their size.” Your child’s foot is constantly growing and they need to have their foot measured professionally. Secondly, different shoe manufacturers size shoes differently, so while you may get your child’s current shoe size, it may not be an optimal fit.
- Shop in the Afternoon. Your feet tend to be their largest towards the end of the day, which is why it is the best time to begin your hunt for new footwear. If you buy shoes to accommodate this larger foot it will help prevent foot pain and the shoes becoming uncomfortable.
- Don’t Buy Shoes That Need to be “Broken-In.” The best type of shoes are ones that don’t need to be “broken-in.” Your child’s shoes should be comfortable from the minute they are worn for the first time. This will avoid painful blisters on the heels of the feet or top of the toes.
About the Author
Titorya Stover, DPM is a podiatrist with the Triad Foot Center.