If The Shoe Fits, It Doesn’t Mean You Need to Buy It!
As the weather is beginning to warm up and spring is fast approaching, you might be off to the local department store or mall to purchase some new shoes for your little ones. There are a few guidelines you should adhere to in finding the appropriate fit for you child and selecting a style that provides support to their foot and ankle.
1. Don’t shop alone! It is important to take your children with you when heading out to purchase new shoes for them. Make sure you have your child’s foot sized; often times you may think you know what shoe size they wear, but being off by as little as half a shoe size can make a big difference in support and comfort.
2. Make your trip a special outing after school. Not only will shopping with your child allow you an opportunity to share quality time, but going after school also provides an additional benefit; shoe fittings later in the day, when feet are at their maximum size, ensures that you are selecting a shoe size that best fits your children’s feet at their largest. Feet tend to swell during the day, thus shoe fittings in the morning may yield an inaccurate foot size and lead to discomfort in the long run.
3. Shoes should immediately be comfortable. There is no such thing as a break-in period when it comes to children. They want to wear their new shoes immediately, so making sure they are comfortable immediately is key. This will help prevent unnecessary blisters or pains during the first few weeks of wear.
4. How will the shoes be worn? If you’re purchasing sneakers, have your child try the sneakers on with sweat-socks. If you’re purchasing school shoes, make sure they are tried on with stockings or dress socks. Comfort, when it comes to shoe wear, should not be an estimate, but rather a sure bet. Make sure when trying shoes on, you try them on as they will be worn.
5. Check the heel cup. If, when you push on both sides of the heel, it should not bend, but rather hold its shape. If the heel of the shoe tends to bend inward, the ankle stability provided by the shoe is limited and may lead to ankle sprains.
6. Check toe flexibility. Looking at the shoe from the side, push up on the toe portion of the shoe and see how much the shoe can bend. If you are able fold the shoe easily without resistance, there is not enough support throughout the toe box and arch of the shoe. Place it gently back on the shelf, and look for something else!
Just because the shoe may fit, doesn’t mean, “toss the shoe-box into your shopping cart and call it a day.” Involving your children and getting their feedback on comfort, as well as having their size appropriately measured are all important aspects to ensuring an appropriate fit! Check the support provided within the shoe to help decrease your child’s risk of injury and make sure comfort, with the right pair of socks, is immediate. These quick tips should get your child into a “cool,” comfortable and supportive pair of shoes for the spring!