It’s that time of year again, and whether the kids are gearing up for a big first day in prep, the daunting step up to high school or just slogging away through the challenge that is year 9, a collection of shiny new school shoes will be hitting the playground in the next few weeks.
Hours upon hours are spent by kids in school shoes so when finding the right shoe for the right foot and the right activity, many parents can be left feeling stressed.
At PridePlus Health we see kids of all ages and sizes with many different interests and school activities to be completed in their shiny new school shoes. With all these differences how can one shoe be right for all kids? Well here are some simple rules to keep in mind when shoe shopping for your kids school shoes.
My 5 Rules For School Shoes
In the shop if it’s not comfortable, it’s not right for little Benny’s or Bella’s foot. Mountains of research goes into footwear but the one factor that continues to ring true is that your shoe must be comfortable for your foot.
Seems like an obvious factor, however can easily be underestimated. Depending on little Benny’s or Bella’s age and rate of growth, a good general rule is to consider leaving a full thumb width at the end of the shoe for growth. Keeping in mind our first rule and not going too large.
This can be a tricky rule to follow, especially when there is such a large selection of shoes and kids trying to chase the allure of the newest pair of Stan Smiths, Yeezys or Vans. Start by holding the shoe upside down by the sole at the heel and the ball of the foot. Now twist the sole, like you were ringing out a sponge. For most of us the sole should be fairly stiff. You should not be able to twist it so much that the palms of your hand face each other, but it should not be completely rigid with no movement either. Not too little, not too much. A little like Goldilocks’ taste in porridge.
Ideally our school shoe sole is an all rounder. Midsoles made from foam, a more runner style shoe from Ascent or Asics provide more cushioning but unfortunately wear a little faster. Alternatively, polyurethane midsoles more typically in shoes from Clarks and Ecco generally provide an increased life span without drastically compromising cushioning. The downside is they can be a bit heavier. If little Benny or Bella is one to be running around a lot in their new back to school shoes then a foam midsole is a great choice. If little Benny or Bella likes using a sports shoe for their sports activities rather than school shoes the longer lasting poly option could be a better.
In the not-so-perfect world we live in sometimes mental well being needs to take precedence over the 4 rules above. School shoes are not fashion items. In saying that at some ages the wrong shoe in the eyes of a peer group can be a challenge. Now we are not recommending wearing a shoe which may inflate injury risk however if it is the trade off between a happy Benny or Bella or being bullied there are devices and techniques that your PridePlus Podiatrist may be able to utilise to increase the appropriateness of that shoe.
A great shoe retailer will provide some specific shoe advice and a great fit and there are many great school shoe stockists around. Keep in mind the 5 Rules of Back to School Shoes and your little Benny or Bella will be an active, happy and healthy school kid ready for the exciting year ahead.
If you have any other queries about what the right school shoe may look like, please get in touch and make an appointment for an individual foot assessment and recommendation.