10 tips for buying school shoes
By Joanna Bounds |
10 tips for buying school shoes

Children spend around 30 hours a week in their school shoes, or more than 15,000 hours during their school years, so it's vital they're fitted properly. In the first 11 years of a child's life, feet will grow through around 17 shoe sizes, up until they're 18 years of age, and ill-fitting shoes can lead to problems in adulthood, such as ingrown toenails, corns and bunions, which may even require surgery later in life.

Here are ten tips to buying perfectly fitting school shoes.

 

Make sure both feet are measured

Whether you measure your child's feet in-store yourself, or a children's shoe specialist does the job, make sure both feet are measured. Most children, and adults, will have one foot that is longer or wider, so it's vital to check both feet. Don't buy over-large shoes, as they can lead to injuries, and different lace-up techniques can alter the fit - something that's always worth checking with a shoe fitter.

 

School shoe checklist

When fitting your child with new school shoes, here are some important points to remember:

  • There should be a child's thumb width between the end of the shoe and the end of the longest toe.
  • The widest part of the foot should correspond with the widest part of the shoe.
  • The fastening mechanism should hold the heel firmly in the back of the shoe.
  • The sole should not twist.
  • The heel should be snug but comfortable and the back part of the shoe strong and stable.

 

Kids' feet are individual

Your children's feet are still growing and the bones in their feet, still developing. Around half of kids will have flat feet and a fifth may have high arches. As such, shoes need to be stable with good cushioning, providing internal and external support. If you can, see a professional shoe fitter when buying school shoes, as manufacturers often make varying styles for different foot shapes.

 

Check for the toe wiggle

If you're unsure whether new school shoes fit correctly or not, just check for the toe wiggle - your child should be able to move their toes freely, the shoes shouldn't hurt and there should be no bulges from the toes on either side of the shoe.

 

Shoes will often last a school year

After the age of three your child's foot will grow about half a size every six months, meaning that school shoes will generally last between nine months and a year. However, if your child has a growth spurt during the school year, their feet may have shot up in size, too, so have them measured by a footwear fitter.

 

Quality shoes last longer

While school shoes are another necessary expense, bear in mind that buying better quality shoes might actually save you money, as they won't wear down so easily and need to be replaced during the school year. Look for soles made from rubber and double-stitching around the toe area will give shoes a longer life.

 

Avoid slip-on shoes and hand-me-downs

For Trade Me-savvy parents, it's also a sad fact that school shoes are one thing you shouldn't buy second-hand online, or at garage sales, as a worn shoe will have moulded to the shape of the previous child's foot and could cause problems for your child's feet. Slip-on shoes are also not recommended for long-term use, with podiatrists advising lace-up, Velcro or buckle-up shoes for school-children.

 

Buy shoes at the end of the day

While you might decide to head out bright and early to get your child's shoes fitted, bear in mind that it's best to go during late afternoon, as children's feet often get a little more swollen by the end of the day. That way, you'll get school shoes fitted when your child's feet are at their biggest.

 

Have growing pains checked out

In years gone by, children complaining of pain in the legs and feet would be told not to worry as it was just due to 'growing pains'. Expert opinion has since changed, and podiatrists now recommend parents get any foot or leg pain checked out, as most foot pain in children is preventable.

 

Other things to look out for

While you might usually expect to only think about school shoes and your kids' feet once a year, here's a checklist of things to look out for, and see a podiatrist if necessary:

  • Children complaining of pain in the feet, heel, knee or legs
  • Unexplained tripping and falling (if it happens regularly)
  • Uneven shoe wear, or one shoe that wears down before the other
  • Skin or toenail irritation

 

This article was written by Joanna Bounds for Kidspot, New Zealand's best resource for back to school.

 

Browse the more back to school stories

Connect with Kidspot:
 

101+ cool school ideas

  1. Fundraising ideas
  2. Lunch snacks from scratch
  3. Healthy lunch box recipes they'll eat
  4. Sanity savers
  5. 10 things teachers wish you knew
  6. Celebrity chef lunch box ideas
  7. School book covers
  8. All school supplies
  9. Head lice solutions
  10. 5 ways to keep school kids organised
  11. Tools for back to school
  12. Sandwich-free lunch box ideas
  13. The on time school morning routine
  14. The school shoe checklist
  15. Breakfast and school
  16. How to buy a perfect school bag
  17. Savoury lunch box snacks
  18. Kids' breakfast ideas
  19. 10 tips for buying school shoes
  20. Is your child gifted and talented?
  21. Communicating problems to school
  22. Best school breakfast recipes
  23. Goal setting for the new school year
  24. Homework tips
  25. Preparing for the first day of school
  26. Teach your child to tie shoe laces
  27. Fun spelling games
  28. Making friends at school
  29. The great homework debate
  30. School readiness
  31. Muesli bars and lunch box snacks
  32. Peer pressure at school
  33. 12 tips for a better school year
  34. Vegetarian lunch box ideas
  35. Best breakfast ideas
  36. Care for school shoes so they last
  37. Teasing vs bullying
  38. Cures for school clutter
  39. Healthy lunch box ideas
  40. Breakfast nutrition
  41. Cost of private tuition
  42. Could my child have ADHD?
  43. Organising home life for school
  44. Preparing for school
  45. Lunch box safety
  46. The importance of breakfast
  47. Maths flash cards
  48. Solving school problems
  49. Back to school organisation
  50. When should my child start school
  51. Nutritious lunch boxes
  52. Breakfast and school
  53. Caring for kids feet
  54. Helping your child to make friends at school
  55. Starting high school
  56. Find a sport for your child
  57. Back to school routines
  58. School bullying solutions
  59. Healthy food pyramid
  60. All about school shoes
  61. Tempting fussy eaters
  62. Your child's school teacher
  63. Back to school accessories
  64. Top breakfast ideas
  65. Does my child have feet problems?
  66. Secrets of buying back to school supplies
  67. The 6-point school shoe check
  68. Inspired lunch box ideas
  69. Labels and bag tags
  70. Lacing techniques for school shoes
  71. All breakfast recipes
  72. Tips for packed lunches
  73. School communication
  74. Easy organisation tips
  75. 10 ways to save on back-to-school
  76. Healthy start
  77. School and separation anxiety
  78. Making your own bread for school lunches
  79. 5 tips for buying a school bag
  80. Feeding school-aged children
  81. When independent reading begins
  82. Lunch boxes
  83. Understanding school life
  84. School clutter solutions
  85. 5 tips for buying a school bag
  86. Fibre facts
  87. Is your child ready to start school
  88. Back to school supplies
  89. Best back to school lunch box recipes
  90. Improve your child's school success
  91. 9 tips to help kids prepare for tests
  92. Healthy snack ideas
  93. Saving money on schooling
  94. Tips for fussy eaters
  95. Best school bags
  96. Fitting school shoes
  97. School lunches
  98. School term and holiday calendar
  99. Free printable name and book labels
  100. Top technology for school
  101. School shoe size guide
  102. All about breakfast
  103. Healthy lunchbox ideas
  104. Organising school life
  105. Hungry minds
  106. 10 top lunch box ideas
  107. Learning to read and write

CATCH UP

what's new on kidspot