Shoe Shopping Advice for Kids

photo credit: Geoffery Kehrig via photopin cc
photo credit: Geoffery Kehrig via photopin cc

With back-to-school season in full swing, make sure your child starts the year off right with a good pair of properly fitting shoes.

Not sure what to look for? Here are some tips and tricks to help you find the best shoes for your child.

  1. Always have feet measured when buying new shoes (this includes both length and width!). Our feet change throughout our lives, especially in growing children. Keep in mind that most people’s feet are not exactly the same length — if this holds true for your child, always buy shoes for the larger foot.
  2. When standing up, there should be about a ¼ inch (a little less than a thumb’s width) of extra space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoe. Flexing the big toe up can help locate the position of toes inside the shoe.
  3. The toe box should be wide enough to accommodate the entire foot. Make sure your child can wiggle their toes. There should not be any pressure on the sides of the feet and the toes should not crunch together.
  4. Your child’s heel should fit snuggly in the back of the shoe so it doesn’t slip when walking.
  5. Don’t ever buy shoes that need a “break-in period”. Shoes should be comfortable immediately — any pain you have initially will likely just get worse.
  6. Look for shoes that are sturdy and supportive. A good test is to try bending the shoe in half — there should be some flex in the toe area but NOT in the shoe’s middle.