As the end of summer holidays draws near, it’s the time when parents every where celebrate (yay!) but also get down to the business of getting ready for school.Backpacks, lunchboxes and water bottles are based on colours, size and how many unicorns are on it – but what about shoes?

When it comes to shoes, the decision we make will play a key role on the health and well-being of our kids.

We’re sure you’ve probably considered it, but fully knowing what to look for can prevent potential discomfort in the future (and maybe even having to buy ANOTHER pairof better-fitting shoes!).

Here are our top tips for parents!

What’s the current state of affairs with your kid’s feet?

Before hitting the shops, it’s never a bad idea to see whether there’s anything about your child’s feet that needs to be checked out.

On the surface,check for any sores, spots, or other blemishes. Hopefully a case of plantar warts or athlete’s foot wasn’t picked up over the summer!

Also look for any signs of general pain and discomfort. Does your child complain of pain in their feet, ankles, or heels? Do they show signs of favouring one side? Do they ever stop playing games or sport due to pain? These are all signs of a potential problem.

Flat feet in children are also a relatively common sight, but one that tends to disappear as a child’s arches develop. If your child is over the age of 5 and you still seeflat feet when they stand or rise on their toes, it’s a good idea to talk to us here at Fit Foot Podiatry.

Flat feet should be monitored periodically as your child continues to grow. If it begins to show signs of becoming a problem, it can be addressed quickly before things can get worse.

Hit the shops!

You should know by now that kid’s feet grow quickly—especially when starting out!But even after the age of 3, a kid’s feet can grow up to half a shoe size every4-6 months.

Many shoe shops these days will have trained people to help guide you through the process of shoe shopping, but these are some “must knows” for parents.

Don’t hinder the toes. There should be room in the tip of the shoe for the toes to comfortably move. There should be about a half-inch of space between the end of the longest toe and the front of the shoe—about the width of one of your fingers. The front of the shoe should also be wider than the heel.

Keep the heel steady. There maybe a temptation to buy bigger shoes for your child to “grow into” and save money, but that can lead to additional problems. Shoes that are too big and slip easily can cause anything from blisters to black toenails, as the toes and heel slide around inside.

Avoid stiff shoes. While support is good (especially for flat arches, as we noted above), you still want some flexibility. Make sure the shoe has some bend near the toes by physically trying to bend it yourself. If there’s no give in this section, that’s a bad sign.

Get that air flow going. Shoes that allow some circulation of air are not only more comfortable, but they reduce the accumulation of sweat and moisture inside the shoe. This is helpful in reducing both smelly shoes and the risks of picking up nasty conditions such as fungal toenails.

Still Not Sure About Shoes?

At Fit Foot Podiatry not only are we trained professionals we are also parents! We understand that children’s feet can be complex and need to be focused on to keep them happy and healthy.

If you have any concerns about your kids – get in touch with our friendly team today!