Help Your Kids Start School With The Right Shoes
Every August, parents get their kids new shoes for school so they can look sharp on their first day! But did you know that children’s feet have specific needs and requirements that must be considered when fitting them with a new pair of shoes?
Children should not be treated as adults when fitting them with proper footwear. Kids don’t fully develop their foot structures until around the age of 8. As a result, younger kids usually appear to be flat-footed. At this age, their feet overpronate, are generally hypermobile and are wider when weight-bearing.
A Guide To Buying New Shoes For School
Here’s what to consider when you’re shoe-shopping for the upcoming school year.
Velcro vs. Laces
Your children’s new shoes for school should be secured properly for safety and function, so the type of closure is very important. Aside from slip-on shoes, the two main options out there are velcro and laces.
Unless your kid can properly lace up his/her own shoes, stick with velcro and transition to the second pair of shoes with laces, which they can learn with at home.
Why? Because laces left undone can become a hazard to your child. If the lace bows don’t look “cool”, they can still be tied securely and tucked under the tongue for the designed look.
The Next Step
Since kids’ feet are not as strong and developed as adult feet, it is much easier for an improper shoe to overpower and block the natural motions of the joints in the feet.
Our Fitting Experts often see cases of stiff, oversized shoes (which do not allow natural foot function) leading to pain in the feet, ankles, knees, and legs.
At Kintec, when we fit children with new shoes for school, we always make sure that we are not limiting the feet.
Also, keep in mind that kids do not always possess the right vocabulary to describe specific points of discomfort or pain. This is why it is extra important to fit your children properly all of the time.
Growing into them: a dangerous phrase
When shopping for new shoes for school, they should fit your kid’s feet for the size they are right now, not in the future. Why? Because a good shoe will align with the natural flex point of the foot.
A shoe (even a good one) that is too large will have a flex point in the incorrect spot, forcing the foot to bend at a point that is biomechanically incorrect. This can cause pain, discomfort, and other future problems.
A shoe that is too long also becomes a tripping hazard and is dangerous for your child.
Beware of knock-off shoes
Knock-off shoes may look the same as branded ones but won’t have the same internal structure. In order to get the price down, these manufacturers compromise on the materials and technology.
The result is a shoe that bends and flexes in all of the wrong places.
How We Approach New Shoes For School Differently
At Kintec, Fitting Experts perform a full gait analysis of your child’s feet. Just as with our adult customers, we get to know their activity levels and review previous foot injuries and pains.
We discuss all that we see with you, the parent, so you have a clear understanding of your child’s feet.
Our Certified Pedorthists are also experts in biomechanics, with thousands of hours training specifically in human kinetics, lower body biomechanics, and custom foot orthotics. Simply put, no one cares more about your feet than we do.
The most important points to remember when buying new shoes for school:
- A narrow heel to hug the hindfoot and prevent rubbing
- A wide toe box to accommodate the expanding forefoot
- Proper flex point to allow natural foot flexion