Monday, October 6, 2014

Children's shoes: A good fit usually makes for happy feet

Metro Creative Services

Shoes might not be a priority during the summer months when children are running barefoot in the sand or pounding the turf in flip flops. But one of the most important purchases a parent will make in the next couple of months are shoes and boots for fall and winter. This is especially true of younger children. To help parents find a good fit the Michigan Podiatric Medical Association has compiled a list of important factors for parents should consider while shopping:

What fit in August may not fit in September. Children’s feet are forever changing. Every few months you may need to reexamine their shoe and sock size.

·      What’s good for one child might not be good for another. Just because one son wore a size 7 shoe at 18 months does not mean his brother can wear the same shoes at his age. Measure the child’s foot and be aware that sharing shoes can spread fungi such as athlete’s foot and nail fungus.

·      Be aware of unusual wear. A child that wears through the heels of their shoes quicker than outgrowing them could indicate a foot problem and should be checked by a podiatrist.

·      Bring the child along when shopping. Trying the shoes on in the store is the best way to tell if it’s a good fit and letting a child have a say in the shoe buying process promotes healthy foot habits down the road, according to the MPMA.

·      No two feet are the same. Since feet are seldom precisely the same it’s a good idea to buy for the larger foot.

       Breaking in a pair of shoes is not the best way to go. The shoe should be comfortable immediately. Also, if a child is likely to be wearing the shoe with tights rather than thick socks that’s what they should use when trying them on.

     Never force a foot into a shoe. If it doesn't fit properly it can aggravate the feet. Measure the child's feet before buying the shoes and watch for signs of irritation around the toes and heel.


To be sure you’re buying a quality pair of shoes the MPMA advises parents to watch out for the following:

       Does it have a stiff heel? When pressing on both sides of the heel it should not collapse.

       Is the toe flexible? According to the MPMA the shoe should bend with your child’s toes but not be too stiff or bend to much in the toe box area.

       Flimsy shoes are not a good idea. If the shoe can be twisted in the middle you might want to reconsider a different style.

       Slip on slippers might be OK but when it comes to proper walking shoes laces or Velcro are best to hold the foot in place.

For more information and to find a local podiatrist, visit Michigan Podiatric Medical Assocation

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