The 3 Most Important Things To Note When Buying Back To School Shoes
Whether your kids eagerly anticipate the start of classes, or will be hiding under the bed covers for the last few weeks of summer in hopes you forgot they existed... the start of a new semester means back to school shopping. Backpacks, notepads, and the coolest fall fashions - but the most important thing? SHOES. Typically the biggest back-to-school investment, it's also the most important one. Foot health is important at any age. Read below our team's top 3 pieces of advice when looking for the right shoe for your kiddies and teens.
Get the right size - don’t buy shoes with “room to grow.” Kids’ feet grow very fast, so many parents think they can save money by buying shoes with a little extra room in them. Jordana Szpiro, DPM, a podiatrist with a private practice in the Boston area, advises against this, warning that “the break in the shoe for the toes and the arch will both be in the wrong place and can have detrimental effects on muscle development and activity levels." Shoes should have a little room in the toe box for the feet to move, adds Neil M. Scheffler, DPM, a podiatrist at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore.
“There should be some room in the toes, but not an excessive amount to ‘grow into,’” he says. If your child's shoe looks or feels tight, and has lost some of its arch support - it's time for new shoes. Also be sure to always examine the heels- children may wear through the heels of shoes quicker than outgrowing shoes themselves. Uneven heel wear can indicate a foot problem that should be checked by a podiatrist.
Style - Athletic shoes are always a good bet.
It’s hard to beat the cushioning and support of a good athletic shoe when it comes to outfitting your kids to go back to school. “A running shoe or supportive walking shoe is the best option,” says Szpiro. “ Take into account the activity level of your child, whether they'll be walking to school or using their shoes for after school activities. Materials matter when it comes to the activities your child will be doing - light and breathable meshmay be key for extra-curriculars.
Price - Remember that you get what you pay for.
Cheap shoes may fit your budget, but it’s usually best to remember the old adage when it comes to buying shoes. There may be some exceptions, says Dr. Scheffler. “There are some less expensive shoes that are well-made,” he says. “Ask an orthopedist for suggestions in each price category.” Always opt for new shoes instead of hand-me-downs, which will ensure a good fit and will avoid spreading germs and fungus like athlete's foot.
Make Your Whole Body Happy (and your children's) - and be sure to fit them in proper shoes that will support them just like you do :)