Before you head to the store to buy your kids’ shoes, follow these helpful guidelines from the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. They’ll help prevent or minimize foot problems from poorly fitting or worn-out shoes.
Shoes should fit
Best fit is about a finger’s width from the end of the shoe to the tip of the big toe.
Children’s feet can grow up to two sizes in six months, so account for growth when buying shoes. Don’t buy shoes too big, thought. Oversized shoes can cause the foot to slide forward, putting excessive pressure on the toes.
Tight shoes can cause blisters, corns and calluses, and ingrown nails, which can become infected. Signs of infection include pain, redness, or fluid draining from the nail area. If you notice any of these symptoms, call your foot and ankle surgeon for treatment.
Children with flat feet
Children with flat feet need shoes with a wide toe box, maximum arch support, and shock absorption. The best shoes to buy are oxford, lace-up shoes that have enough depth for an orthotic insert, if necessary.
Shoes wear out
Shoes lose their shock absorptions over time, so inspect new an old shoes for proper cushioning and arch support. Worn out shoes elevate the risk for heel pain, Achilles tendonitis, and even ankle sprains and stress fractures.
Replace any shoes with wear and tear around the edges of the sole and make sure the toe area (toe box) on your child’s shoes flexes easily and the shoes doesn’t bend in the middle of the sole.