Back to School – what you and your feet need to know!

Kendall Blog


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The start of a new year means the summer holidays are coming to an end, and your little school goers are ready for a new pair of school shoes. Their feet have grown, old shoes are trashed, and most likely they are used to being free from being enclosed over the long Summer break. There are a few important factors to keep in mind when choosing the shoes they are going to spend most of their time in over the coming months.

Fit. Even though your children’s feet are growing, it is really important not to buy a shoe too long. If the shoe is floppy and there is too much room, the foot is not held in well and this can cause too much instability. If the shoe is too short, the foot will be jammed in and they may end up with ingrown toenails and other problems with the feet and legs. Always stand when measuring the foot within the shoe, and aim for approximately your child’s thumb width from the end of the longest toe (not always the big toe) to the end of the shoe.

This applies to width also, not all our little ones have the same width foot. Take the innersole out of the shoe, stand on that innersole and have a look to see if the foot (around the ball of the foot) is hanging over. This will indicate if the shoe is too narrow.

Support. We look for 3 things when looking at the make up of the shoe. The heel counter (the back part that encompasses the heel) needs to be firm and not collapse under your thumb, the arch needs to be stiff (from bending and twisting) and the shoe should bend only at the ball of the foot, and either laces or Velcro to have the ability to tighten or loosen the shoe as necessary. The rest (colour, brand, style etc.) is up to you! If your child wears orthotics, we also like the innersole to be removable.

We understand that the extra quality can cost more, but so often the cheaper shoes are being replaced mid-year as they are wearing out too quickly, and in general the better brands are made stronger for the daily wear and tear that kids place on them. However, in saying that, if you are on a tight budget, stick to the general advice above and your child will be in perfectly acceptable shoes for their schooling years.

If your child does wear orthotics, we recommend checks every 6 months (unless advised otherwise). If they are complaining of foot/ankle/leg pains, sore toenails, or you notice excessive or abnormal wear patterns on the shoes from previous years, click here to make a booking with one of our Podiatrists today or phone us on 0429 108 199.