Is your child suffering from school shoes blues?

Term 1’s begun … but are you and your child suffering from school shoes blues?

Unsure if last year’s shoes are still going strong?
Not sure when your child’s school shoes need replacing?
Does your child really need different shoes for sporting activities?
Is your child complaining of uncomfortable shoes or sore feet?
Unsure of where to go or what to buy?

Now that the school term is under way you might be noticing your child wearing through their old shoes a little quicker than planned. Some of you may even be fighting an ongoing battle each morning when getting your child to wear their brand new “uncomfortable” school shoes.

School shoes can be a tricky and sometimes stressful shopping experience for parents and kids alike… so ensuring you know the do’s and don’ts will help for a smoother try and buy.

In this read we are here to help arm you with some podiatry knowledge! (that might even have a few of you considering a career in all things feet 😊)

Firstly “Does your child need new shoes EVEN if they still seem to fit?” The answer is YES! These active kids and growing teens spend over 30 hours a week in this pair of shoes. Meaning visual signs of wear and tear can lead to injuries and sore feet as they are no longer getting the much needed cushioning and support they require. Replacing them twice a year (or even a third) is ideal, especially if your child is up and about at lunch time, walking around a large school campus or walking to and from school.

A common question parents ask is “Do kids need runners AS well?” There’s a BIG difference in the design and make of a runner/ athletic shoe when compared to a classic leather school shoe. Most children have sport as a subject or part of their weekly timetable and are using their bodies in a totally different way to walking around the classroom. Therefore, it’s IMPORTANT they are wearing a shoe designed for a variety of sports. A cross-trainer is a great versatile option with a tough outer sole making great traction during side to side movements common in tennis, netball, basketball and many other sports. Wearing your standard school shoes can mean your child is at a higher risk of possible injury during sport…also…their shoes wear out much much faster!

As podiatrists we are waving a white flag when it comes to the fight on uncomfortable school shoes! It’s hard to know what your child is feeling when they wear their shoes or what the exact problem is. If they are complaining of pain throughout the whole day and for consecutive days in a row, come down and see your podiatrist, as there might be another or additional reason behind their side of the fight. However, following these do’s and don’ts will hopefully settle for a truce on the morning battle field.

– Go shopping WITH your child! It’s awfully hard to buy their shoes without them.
– Go shopping in the afternoon – to account for width and size with those hot and sticky swollen feet!
-Bring your school and or sports SOCKS!
-Bring your child’s orthotics
– Make sure BOTH feet are MEASURED for SIZE and WIDTH- it’s common for one foot to be a little bigger than the other
– Check the end of the toes-while your child in standing check for a thumb’s width from the edge of the shoe ( TIP: If possible remove the insole of the shoe and have your child stand on it…easy! You can now see where those toes are)
– If you can easily bend and twist the SOLE of the shoe (like a tea towel), then the shoe does not offer enough stability
– Laces or velcro fastening are best!

– Don’t buy shoes that are the WRONG SIZE for you child
– Don’t go for slip on styles that don’t have a form of fastening ( laces or Velcro)
– If your child cant do their laces- go for a Velcro option, we don’t want them tripping!

Our hot tip is to think of your shoes similar to your glasses… we don’t pick our own lenses, they are prescribed to what our eyes require to enhance and correct our vision! Our shoes and feet should be the same. We love recommending stores and brands of school shoe and always suggest
The Athlete’s Foot is a great store to guide you through your school show shopping. We love the brands Ascent, Skobi, Asics (if the school allows a plain black runner) and Clarks.

Hopefully all your school shoe questions are answered and we wish you and your children happy shopping and comfortable and pain free feet!

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