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  • Writer's pictureMy Family Podiatry

Your Guide To Choosing The Right School Shoes For Your Child

Updated: Jan 9

With the back-to-school season nearly upon us, many parents are on the hunt for new school shoes. This task can be quite daunting, given the enormous range of options available in the market. Selecting the right school shoes is crucial for your child's comfort and foot health, so let's explore how to make the best choice.

Why Correct Sizing In School Shoes Is Essential


Children’s feet are growing rapidly and it can be very tempting to get a larger sized shoe for them to grow in to. While this can help the budget, it may leave your child sliding around in their shoes without much support. Proper shoe sizing is best done at the end of the day to account for any swelling in the feet. Tools like a Brannock device or the MyFit 3D system at The Athlete’s Foot are great for accurate measurements.


Length

A thumb's width of space between the big toe and the shoe end is ideal, allowing growth room while ensuring the school shoe is neither too big nor too small. Having a shoe that fits appropriately is critical for stabilising your child’s foot which tend to be more flexible as the bones in their feet are still in the process of hardening.


Width

The width of a shoe is also very important. Footwear that is too narrow can lead to rubbing, blistering and even contribute to the formation of long term issues such a bunions. A simple way to check the width of a shoe is to remove the insole and have your child stand on it. If their foot is hanging over the edges of the insole, the shoe is too narrow. If your child has a wide foot and finds it difficult to fit shoes, brands such as Ascent have multiple width fittings and can accomodate the foot without needing to go up in length.


Key Features in High-Quality School Shoes


Your child is going to spend a lot of time in their school shoes, using them for running, jumping, kicking soccer balls and any number of other activities. There are a couple of features to look for in school shoes to ensure they are up to the test.


  • Firm Heel Counter: The heel counter is at the back of the shoe and acts to provide stability too the foot and control movement of the heel. Test it by pressing the back of the shoe; it should not easily compress.

  • Firm Shank: The shank of a shoe is a piece of plastic or metal which sits within the sole of the shoe, beneath your insole. It acts to provide stability and rigidity to the shoe. A shoe should only bend at the toes where the foot bends. If you can bend and scrunch the whole shoe, it will not provide sufficient support.

  • Appropriate Depth: Ensuring a shoe is sufficiently deep to accomodate your child’s foot is important. A shoe that is too shallow can lead to rubbing and blisters. It will also make it very difficult to fit any orthotic or insert if your child requires these.


Shoes with a crushed heel counter sitting on a ledge
An example of shoes with a crushed heel counter

Ascent school shoes are a fantastic option for most children, offering features like a thermoplastic heel counter, moulded nylon shank and width fittings to ensure a good fit to your child’s foot. We have also found Ascent school shoes to be extremely durable, with both the shoe itself and the outsole outlasting tough tests such as sports on the school oval at lunch and teenagers who like to drag their feet.


Lynx school shoes are also quite good, with these essential features at a reasonable price. Unfortunately the cheaper price does come with some reduction in quality with the soles typically being “blown out” - a process in which air pockets are used in the sole. This can provide cushioning but often leads to quicker wear.

Laces, Velcro, or Buckles: Which is Best for School Shoes?


The fastening mechanism of school shoes is less important than ensuring they secure the shoe firmly to the foot. Avoid slide-on shoes as they offer limited stability and allow much more movement of the foot within the shoe. Regardless of the type, it's crucial to use the fastening system properly to maintain the shoe's functionality. Tying the laces and then kicking the shoes on and off renders the lacing useless and the shoe becomes similar to a slip on shoe.

Overwhelmed By School Shoe Choices?

There are a lot of options when it comes to school shoes! If you do find yourself struggling to decide, My Family Podiatry can help you with advice and fitting assessments. To book an assessment or any appointment at our clinic, call 07 3088 6116 or click the button below.



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