Although some parents may see back-to-school as the “most wonderful time of the year,” the prep leading up to it can be stressful. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we want to make the tasks on your to-do list a little easier. Below are 7 tips for buying new school shoes for your child.
- Shop late in the day. Our feet swell as the day goes on. Buying shoes in the late afternoon or at night will help avoid shoes that fit in the store, but are hurting your child’s feet by the time they come home from school.
- Bring the right socks. This will give you a more accurate idea of fit.
- Get your child’s feet professionally measured. You may be told that one of your child’s feet is larger than the other. Don’t be alarmed—this is actually fairly common. Just be sure to buy shoes that fit the larger foot.
- Don’t buy shoes online (unless they can be returned). Even if you think you know your child’s size, it’s essential that you try on shoes before they are purchased. Sizes can vary from brand to brand.
- Check the toe box. Your child should be able to wiggle his or her toes freely in the shoes. Measure from the tip of your child’s toe to the end of the shoe. You should have about a thumb’s width of space.
- Make sure shoes are comfortable from the moment you leave the store. A “breaking in” period is a myth and will most likely result in your child getting painful blisters. With younger children it’s a good idea to examine their feet after they’ve tried a pair of shoes to see if there are any red patches or spots where the shoes seem to be rubbing.
- Choose function over fads. Good shoes should have a built-in arch support, a stiff heel counter, cushioned insole, and sturdy tread. Natural, breathable materials will also reduce the risk of fungal infections and foot odor.
If your child has suffered a foot injury recently or has a chronic foot condition such as Sever’s disease or flat feet, make an appointment at our Edison (732-204-6630), Monroe (732-204-6802) or Monmouth Junction (732-204-6945) office so that our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, can examine your child’s feet. The foot doctor will be able to advise you on specific shoe design features your child may need.