Being a new parent is a lot of fun, but it can also be stressful and confusing! There are a lot of things nobody really tells you about, and one of those things (often) is how to shop for your child’s shoes, especially once they reach walking age and beyond. But don’t fret! Here are some of our top bits of advice to make sure your child is always clad in comfy shoes that keep their feet healthy and happy as they grow:
- The ideal shoe for your child should have a snug (but NOT tight) heel, good support, and enough room in front (about a quarter to half an inch) for toes to wiggle and grow. Breathable uppers and a textured sole are highly prized features as well. They should also be comfy right from the start—no “break in” period required.
- Kids’ feet grow FAST. You may find yourself going back to the shoe store every 3 or 4 months during early growth spurts. You’ll need to keep an eye on their shoes regularly to make sure they still fit—your child may not complain even if they’re uncomfortable. Areas of tread wear, stressed seams, bulging sides, or toes that bend upward are telltale signs.
- Resist the urge to use hand-me-downs, except for very young children (i.e. pre-walking). It might save you a couple of bucks in the short term, but every foot is different and shoes mold to the foot of the original wearer. Hand-me-downs can create pressure spots that lead to blisters, pain, and other problems.
- Resist the urge to get shoes that are too big, too. Again, it might save you a few bucks, but shoes that are too big can be painful and cause tripping or other problems.
- Go shoe shopping late in the day, and always measure both feet. This advice goes for all ages. Feet tend to swell over the course of the day, and one foot is usually larger than the other. So, do your shoe shopping when you can be sure that the pair will fit the larger foot at its largest extent.
The experts at Family Foot & Ankle Center have been helping parents and their children maintain happy, healthy feet for years. To schedule an appointment at one of our six Greater Cincinnati locations, request a time online or give us a call at 888-689-3317.