There are a few scenarios facing every parent this time of year. The kids have either:
A. Trashed the last pair on the playground
B. Gone through a growth spurt
C. Lost one in the end of year clean out.
Faced with a multitude of options when it comes to buying new shoes, what are the most important factors to consider when purchasing shoes for the new year?
I get asked this question by hundreds of parents every year so here are my top five tips for purchasing new school shoes.
1. Buy the most comfortable shoe
In my professional opinion, this is the most important factor to consider. It’s hard dragging the kids out of their thongs, so ensure the daggy school shoes is at least comfortable to wear! Comfort often goes hand in hand with a good fit, so making sure you take the time to do this is essential. This may require an appointment with your podiatrist or a reputable shoe retailer.
2. The best shoes fit the individuals’ activity needs
Construction of shoes varies greatly between brands and style. Midsole density, upper materials, lacing systems will all impact on the shoes performance. If your child is very active and enjoys playing sport or running around the yard or school oval, then a classic shoe may not be the best option. Something lighter in weight that performs more like a sneaker/ cross trainer may wear better and be more comfortable.
3. Design features of the shoe can provide support to the foot in different areas.
Depending on your child’s individual needs, these structural characteristics may vary. For this reason, I recommended a review with a podiatrist prior to purchasing new shoes so that these needs can be assessed and addressed.
These features may include;
a. Heel counter- provide support and stability for the heel- this should not be easily collapsible and should be raised when compared to the forefoot section of the shoe.
b. Midsole stability- We don’t want a shoe that can be easily bent and twisted. The only place we want to shoe to flex is through the ball joint of our foot (just like our foot does).
c. A secure fastening system is also essential weather that be Velcro, laces or buckles- again its about matching design with functional requirements.
Final piece of advice - It is true to a certain extent that ‘you get what you pay for’ in regard to quality in school shoes. Often, I will see the ‘cheaper’ alternatives having to be replaced due to wear sooner than expected. Purchase what you can afford, and it may not always be the most expensive option that is best for your child. Remember if in doubt, consult your podiatrist for personalised advice.
If you have any questions about school shoes or the best shoe for your child, feel free to leave a comment below and I will respond to every query.
Alternatively, I can be contacted on email@example.com
The Biomechanics Lab
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