If given their way, children will choose fashion over function every time. Exercise a little parental authority and pull rank on them when it comes to purchasing back to school shoes. After all, who’s footing the bill? A good pair of shoes is not cheap, so you need to make sure you’re getting the best value for your dollar.
Children will grow attached to a variety of footwear. Sneakers are a favorite, but keep in mind they have to take PE so it would probably mean two pair. They are usually prohibited from wearing shoes that have been worn outside onto the gym floor.
Cowboy boots work well for boys. They are stylish and comfortable, if fit right, and very durable. They work well until the snow flies, then for safety’s sake you should switch to boots that are waterproof and have traction.
Consider the following tips when purchasing shoes for your children:
- Heel and arch support
- Reinforced stitching
- The “awesome” factor
Sneakers are great, but only until the autumn rains set in and seldom do they hold up well. They are vented to release heat and evaporate perspiration. These vents work two directions and moisture can get in. Still a quality pair of sneakers is a practical choice, but check for adequate cushioning in the arch and heel areas and flexibility at the ball of the foot. Have an alternate shoe choice available for cold wet weather.
Most children heading off to school can tie their shoes, but keeping them tied is a different story. If your youngster has trouble getting laces to stay tied, maybe you want to consider Velcro. Velcro is quick, easy and it sticks.
Fit is important for comfort and function. Shop in the afternoon, because feet swell during the day and your shoes need to fit to allow for this. Get the shoe department staff to measure your child’s foot. Don’t assume that because they wore a size 4 the last time you bought shoes that the size required now will be the same. A child’s feet grow rapidly and there is variance in shoe sizing as well. Don’t buy the size, buy the fit. If your child has orthotic inserts, make sure you take those with you when you go shoe shopping. The shoes that you select need to accommodate the orthotics in addition to the foot.
If your child is having any foot issues or concerns, schedule an appointment with Oregon Foot and Ankle Specialists by calling the Hillsboro office at (503) 648-1713, the Newberg office at (503) 538-0466 or the Beaverton office at (503) 292-9252. When your child steps up on the big yellow bus, it should be pain free, with style and confidence.
K.G. Gauntt, DPM