Choosing The Right Shoes
- How to choose the right shoes for my child?
- How do I know whether the shoes are not the right fit?
- How to measure your child’s feet?
- Tips for caring for little feet
- How to care for and maintain shoes?
Q: How to choose the right shoes for my child?
Careful fit, good design and quality workmanship are the features to consider when selecting and buying children’s shoes. The most important consideration should be fit. Many adult foot problems can be traced to improperly fitted shoes that forced the feet out of shape when they were developing.
Properly fitted shoes allow for healthy foot development.
- Shoe size: Selecting the right size is very important. Allow at least one finger’s width from the end of the longest toe to the tip of the shoe or ½ to ¾ inch extra. If your child wears socks with the shoes, allow extra room. Shoes must fit well and stay on the feet.
- Breathable Linings: Choose breathable material such as leather or canvas as they help absorb sweat and keep the child’s feet cooler and dryer. They prevent discomfort and smelly feet.
- Quality of materials: Choose high quality leather for great looks and maximum durability.
- Flexibility: The shoe must be as flexible, lightweight and soft as possible, to allow the child to walk comfortably.
- Outsole: Look for a pattern or textured sole, as this will provide traction and help prevent your child from easily slipping on slick surfaces. Soles should be sturdy and thick enough to protect the feet from pain and injury. A sole that is too soft means the child has to make a greater effort to walk.
- Fastenings: The fastening should hold the heel in place and prevent the foot from sliding forward.
- Ankle support for children below 3 years old: It is recommended for young children to wear shoes with good ankle support. It is best to choose models with back stiffeners to hold the heel in place and keep the foot straight. This ensures the lateral stability of the heel.
- Shoes for the right occasion: Try to get shoes that are designed for the purpose your child will use them for, otherwise they may not offer the support or wear you’re expecting.
- Given that children’s feet grow very fast, do measure your child’s feet regularly to make sure the current pair of shoes still fits well.
Q: How do I know whether the shoes are not the right fit?
Children’s feet grow rapidly. Since improperly fitted shoes can hinder a child’s normal growth and comfort, check feet and shoes regularly for signs of improper fit.
- The child tends to fall over a lot.
- Toe of shoes are curled or excessively worn.
- Soles are worn unevenly.
- Heels are run over.
- Upper part of shoe bulges over the sole.
- Heel counter is broken down.
- Child's toes have worn pockets into the shoe lining.
- Child complains of hurting feet or legs.
- Child has corns, calluses or blisters on feet.
Q: How to measure your child’s feet?
First measure the length of the child’s foot by asking the child to stand barefoot with the body weight equally distributed on both feet. Then draw two parallel lines that are perpendicular to the foot and in contact with the most prominent toe and the most prominent part of the heel. The distance between the two drawn parallel lines is the length of the foot.
As the size of the left and right foot is often slightly different, both feet must be measured, and a shoe size must be purchased based upon the larger foot.
Q: Tips for caring for little feet
- Do not make your child wear shoes that are too big. They will cause a child to trip and develop foot problems.
- Avoid heels on children’s shoes. They are bad for proper feet development and make it difficult for kids to walk. Stick with flats and soles.
- Avoid backless shoes for kids. Children’s shoes should have laces, velcro or some other fastening system.
- Don’t hand shoes down from one child to another. The previous child will have left their imprint and shaped them according to their own foot. This could be harmful to the next child.
- Do not use an insole for shoes that are too big. The insole means there is less space for the foot, yet does not solve the problem of excessive length.
- Cut toenails straight across and not too short – don’t curve them, because this can encourage ingrowing toenails.
- Get socks that fit – if they’re too tight they will cramp the foot and can even deform it in very young children.
Q: How to care for and maintain shoes?
Clean shoes regularly to keep them looking good. After washing, don’t dry them near direct heat – let them dry out naturally in a warm airy place.
- Smooth Leather. Use a standard shoe polish that is the same color as the leather. Tinted polish can repair scrapes to the tip.
- Nubuck. Brush them with a stiff brush, wipe with soapy water and leave to dry naturally.
- Velour. Brush the leather, wipe with soapy water and leave to dry naturally. Use a waterproofing product to keep the velour in good condition or rub with a tinted waterproofing wax product for a smoother finish.
- Fabric. Machine washing could dissolve the glue between the sole and vamp. It is best to wash them in soapy water.