Kids-health is a site packed with hints and tips to keep you and the family healthy.
Buying Shoes That Fit – 10 Top Tips
I confess that when I was a teenager in the eighties, in the name of fashion, I wore some very ill fitting shoes. I remember they hurt my feet and the synthetic materials made very sweaty walking, but I didn’t care – I looked good! Fortunately, no lasting damage was done to my pinkies, and I have to thank my amazing mum too because she always made sure that I had properly fitted shoes when I was a very young tot.
As a child, the bones in the feet are mainly composed of soft, flexible cartilage, that gets harder as the child gets older. Consequntly, great care must be taken with buying the correct fitting shoes to ensure that your child’s feet do not become injured or even deformed. Many retailers of childrens’ shoes offer an excellent shoe fitting service so you can be confident that your child has the right shoes. However, if you are going to shop for shoes and you need to check the fit yourself, here are some pointers:
- Try to buy leather shoes if you can afford them. Leather allows the feet to ‘breathe’ and not become too sweaty.
- Soft, flexible shoes are much better than hard, rigid ones for a child’s foot. They allow more movement as your child runs and plays.
- The best time to buy shoes is at the end of the day when your child’s feet are largest. (feet get slightly bigger as the day progresses).
- Check the fit of both the left and right shoe as your child may have one foot slightly larger than the other.
- The size marked on the shoe may not be accurate as shoe brands vary. Choose a shoe that fits your child’s foot the best.
- During fitting, make sure there is enough space (1 to 1.5cm) for your child’s longest toe at the end of each shoe when they are standing up.
- Make sure the ball of your child’s foot fits comfortably into the widest part of the shoe. The leather should wrinkle very slightly when you squeeze the widest part of the shoe.
- If the shoe feels tight, don’t buy it thinking that it will stretch.
- The heel should fit snugly so that it doesn’t slip out when your child walks.
- After purchase, encourage your child to walk about indoors to check the fit is a good one. If not, return the shoes to the shop. Most places will offer a refund if the shoe soles and uppers are not marked at all.
Further reading from the foot care centre.