The average child can spend anywhere up to 1500 hours per year in their school shoes so the importance of selecting the right shoe is quite often underestimated. Shopping for children can be stressful so Mint Foot Care has developed a checklist to take some of the stress out of finding the right shoe.
Key Features of School Shoes
Size: Always have feet measured as no two feet are the same size. Have feet measured when standing as the feet stretch and flatten with weightbearing. The ideal length of a school shoe should allow 1cm growing room between the end of the shoe and the longest toe in the foot (this is sometimes the second toe). The ‘ball of the foot’ is typically the widest part of the foot so ensure the shoe is wide enough in this area. The toe area should allow the toes to move freely and not be squashed from the top or the sides.
Support: A supportive shoe is one where the heel counter (back of the shoe) is firm to hold the heel firmly, preventing excessive movement. It should fit snug around the heel bone and be comfortable. The middle portion of the shoes should be strong enough that it is resistive to twisting.
Fastening: Where possible, laces are best as they can better fasten and secure the foot best inside the shoe. Always make sure the heel bone sits as far back as possible in the shoe and tighten the laces from the bottom to the top. If the shoe feels tight on top of the foot or slips at the heel, there are many different lacing techniques to combat this.
School Shoe Checklist
□ Deep, wide toe box to allow the toes to spread as you weight bear.
□ Firm and fully enclosed heel counter.
□ The heel counter stabilises the foot preventing excessive movement of the heel.
□ Low, wide heel for stability (less than 2.5 cm in height).
□ Flexion at the forefoot to allow for adequate toe off.
□ Gap of 1cm from the tip of the longest toe to the shoe to allow the toes to spread during toe off.
□ Buckle, laces, strap or velcro fastenings to hold the foot firmly in place.
□ Removable insole to accommodate orthotics (if applicable).
□ Resistive to twisting.
□ Shape of the shoe (last) should match the shape of the foot.
□ Thick bouncy synthetic sole for cushioning and sock absorption.
□ Widest part of the foot should the widest part of the shoe
“Mum and Dad, My Feet Hurt!!”
Children are naturally active beings. Their young bodies are full of energy to jump, hop, skip and run around all day long. If your child is complaining of foot, knee and hip pain as well having trouble keeping up with the other kids, asking to be “picked up”, is regularly falling over for no apparent reason, have uneven shoe wear they might be having foot problems.
Incorrect movement patterns and untreated foot conditions can impact the development of young, supple bones and joints leading to problems in adulthood. Children rarely complain about painful or injured feet, so when they do it is a good indicator to get them checked out.
Happy to help.
Our podiatrists at Mint Foot Care can conduct a thorough history and assessment to develop a treatment plan and footwear recommendations for your child. Book an Appointment