By | January 20th, 2013|

The end of January means the holidays are over and it’s back to school for millions of school children. It is also the time of year when sports start back meaning there is no better time to get your child’s feet checked by a podiatrist.

How can you protect those little feet at school?

A good supportive school shoe should be your first priority. Before you rush out to the shoe shop there are a few important factors you should consider before buying new school shoes for children.

  • Children’s feet grow with age so make sure your child’s feet are measured and the school shoe is properly fitted. Incorrect fitting shoes can cause rubbing on toes and other problems. Ideally there should be a thumbs width in front of the longest toe and enough width and depth in the toe box to allow toes to move freely.
  • Examine the heels of last year’s school shoes. Is there any excessive or unusual wear on one heel or both? If there is it is best to see a podiatrist before purchasing new shoes.
  • Take your child school shoe shopping. Every shoe fits differently so your child’s opinion, in particular in terms of comfort, counts. This will also help promote healthy foot habits in future.
  • Always buy for the larger foot. Every foot is different and quite often one foot will be slightly longer or wider than the other foot. Buying for the larger foot makes sense.

What to look for in new school shoes

A good pair of supportive school shoes will help reduce stress and strain on your child’s foot, leg, muscles and joints. When purchasing a new pair of school shoes you should look for the following features:

  1. Look for a stiff heel counter. Squeeze both sides of the heel counter with your fingers. It shouldn’t be soft or collapse easily. The heel counter of a shoe helps support your child’s ankle.
  2. Check the toe flexibility. The forefoot of the shoe should flex where the toes flex. It shouldn’t be too stiff or bend too easily.
  3. Look for a supportive midsole. Grab the shoe by the heel counter and forefoot and try and twist the shoe through the middle. It should be fairly stiff and hard to twist. If it twists easily like a pair of slippers then your child’s foot won’t be getting much support.

Finally if you have any children’s foot concerns Camberwell Road Podiatry can help. We provide professional foot care for big feet and little feet. Our Melbourne Podiatrists are experienced with children of all ages and can assess your child’s feet and school shoes.