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Choosing the right school shoe for your child

As the new school year approaches, it is an exciting time for children and parents alike. Many children will be starting primary school and have the exciting experience of purchasing their first pair of black leather school shoes, whilst other children may have out grown their current school shoes or worn them out and need a shiny new replacement.

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Many parents may wonder what is the best school shoe for their child and what factors they should consider. Before you head out and buy a new pair or school shoes based on price or looks alone, it is important to take the time and ensure you're buying the best shoe for your child's unique feet. As such we've put together a list of important aspects to consider when selecting your child's school shoes.

1. Fit

Before you head into the shoe store it's a good idea to measure both your child's feet, if you're going into a store that doesn't provide this service.

When trying on shoes make sure to press down and make sure there is half the width of your thumb space between the longest toe and the front of the shoe.

Ask your child to walk around and ask them how the shoe "feels" and if they mention any discomfort or pain then it's not a good fit. Contrary to what many sales people might tell you, you shouldn't have to wear the shoes in for them to feel comfortable. 

Many parents are tempted to buy larger shoes for their child to grow into, however, this is not a good idea for your child's foot health. Shoes that are too big will not be comfortable or offer the right support and may result in falls and injuries.

2. Flexibility

Pick up the shoe and check how flexible it is and where it bends. The shoe should bend at the forefoot, where the foot naturally bends when walking and running.

3. Heel

Ensure the shoe has a firm heel counter with enough support on either side to keep your child's foot in a stable position. A good way to test this is to press in the side heels of the shoe with moderate pressure and if they start to compress then the shoe does offer adequate heel support.

Keeping the above points in mind when shopping for school shoes will help you pick a shoe that fits correctly, is comfortable and supportive for your child's unique feet.

If you have any doubts about your child's feet, walking patterns or school shoe requirements and would like a professional assessment then we invite you to make an appointment and see one our experienced podiatrists. And last but not least, we hope you and your child have lots of fun during your shoe shopping experience!

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