By Nrupa Shah
October 21, 2015
Category: Footwear

Buying shoes for your child can be a very daunting task. Many children do not like to go shoe shopping and it can be a real challenge to try and get them to sit still long enough to try on even one pair of shoes. Despite this however, selecting the proper shoe for your child is very important for proper foot development. Many children especially young children often won’t tell you if a shoe is too tight or if it is rubbing. It is important to measure the child’s foot to ensure that the shoe is the right fit. In order to ensure that a shoe will fit properly, take out the insole of the shoe and have the child stand on it. Make sure there is enough room around the edges of the shoe and that their toes are not hanging off the front of the insole. There should be about half an inch space between the child’s toes and the edge of the shoe. Also, with growing children, one foot may be longer than the other so you should select shoes to accommodate the largest of the two feet.

Shoe shopping should be done in the afternoon or evening because like adults, a child’s foot tends to swell over the course of the day. It is important to avoid slip-ons or backless shoes and to select shoes with either laces or Velcro to prevent them from slipping off the child’s feet as they play. Try to select shoes made from breathable materials such as canvas as this will help to keep the child’s feet cooler and dryer as well as prevent the formation of blisters. With children it is always best to avoid shoes with heels. It is hard for children to walk in high heeled shoes and can lead to them tripping or hurting their ankles. Also high heeled shoes are bad for proper foot development so it is best to stick with flat shoes. Try to select shoes with textured soles as this will provide traction and prevent your child from slipping and falling.

Children’s feet tend to grow very rapidly and you will need to get them new shoes just about every six months to a year. It may be tempting to buy a shoe that is a couple sizes bigger than needed however, we caution against this because a shoe that is too big will catch on the ground as the child walks causing them to trip and fall. If you think your child’s shoes are not properly fitted to their feet or would like more information about children’s footwear, please make an appointment with one of our podiatrists at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care located in Edison and Monroe, NJ.

By Nrupa Shah