Children spend five days a week in school shoes, so quality shoes are a must. Here are seven tips for buying kids school shoes.
It’s that time of year – back to school season, and you’ll find that many of the shoe shops are chaotic with people buying school shoes. Kids spend over 30 hours a week wearing their school shoes, so it’s important to ensure they are fitted properly for comfort, growth and development. With increase in shoe technology, there is a shoe to fit every foot, whether it be a narrow foot, wide foot, shoes which take orthotics or shoes with the orthotic features built within the shoe. The type of shoes to buy your kids for school should be a one off purchase for the year, if done the right way. There are so many factors to consider when buying a school shoe, e.g. the shoe should be lightweight, as a heavy shoe can cause unnecessary pressure and pain to your child’s ankle by the end of the day.
Below is my guide to buying school shoes to help you at this hectic time of year.
1. GET SHOES FITTED IN THE AFTERNOON
The best time to buy shoes is in the afternoon as the foot will be at its largest. Fitting shoes, while the foot is at its largest/swollen, will ensure the best fit for your child throughout a full day.
2. TAKE YOUR OWN SOCKS
Bring your child’s school socks when getting fitted. For hygiene reasons, you don’t want to be sharing socks that have been on other kids feet. It also means that they will have the same socks on, which they will be using for school. Some schools have their own branded socks which can often be thicker than the average supermarket socks.
3. DECIDE SHOE LACES OR VELCRO
Decide if you will get shoes with laces or velcro. For the younger children who don’t know how to tie shoes, shoes that fasten with velcro will make it easier for them to put on their shoes. If you choose shoes with laces, make sure you invest in extra laces, you will be surprised at how quickly kids destroy shoe laces!
Surprising fact: two-thirds of Australian kids know how to use a tablet or smart phone, but only 8% can tie their shoe lace.
4. HAVE THE SHOES PROFESSIONALLY FITTED
Always try shoes on both feet, not just one. Two of my children have different sized feet, so it’s very important to make sure I get their feet measured and shoes fitted properly to ensure they have the right sized shoe for their feet. Experienced staff will measure the width and length of both feet. Also remember if your child wears orthotics to take them with you so your child can be fitted correctly with their orthotics.
Book a fitting time – Jump the queue, beat the rush by booking a fitting appointment with your chosen store. Most shoe stores will let you book in-store or on-line.
5. BUY THE CORRECT SIZE
Unlike clothing, don’t try to save money by buying shoes that are a little big, thinking the kids will grow into them. This will cause many problems while the child is walking or running and can cause future problems or even injury. When shopping for a school shoe, you want to look for:
- Multiple width fittings
- Using only quality leathers and materials
- Orthotic friendly so look for a shoe with an easy to remove footbed
- Superior durability
6. LOOK FOR QUALITY
After the age of three a child’s foot will grow about half a size every six months, this means that school shoes will generally last between nine months and a year, so it’s important to buy a quality and durable shoe with double stitching to last a full school year.
7. TEST FOR COMFORT
Find a shoe with good cushioning, so your child will be comfortable standing, sitting on the floor and running around in lunch breaks. Get your child to walk around the store in the shoes before purchasing; checking for comfort, tight spots or stitching that may rub the feet.