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Tips for Buying Children’s Shoes

While it is true that buying clothes for your children is primarily for cosmetic and preference reasons, the same does not go for shoes. The types of shoes your children wear can have an impact on their overall health. They have an effect on both balance and alignment, and shoes that do not fit correctly could potentially cause long-term health risks. Below are a few tips on how to choose the proper shoes for your child.

First of all, you should start by choosing a shoe store that offers personalized service to help you select the proper pair of shoes. Though not required, it is recommended that you choose a shoe store that specializes in children’s shoes, because the staff will have the most knowledge and experience.

Once you have chosen a shoe store and you have a salesperson helping you, ask them to measure your child’s feet. When your child’s feet are being measured, he/she should stand up straight with socks snug around the feet.

Before your child puts on the shoe, have him/her put their foot beside it and check to be sure that there is around ½ to ¾ inches between the longest toe and the end of the shoe. This will ensure that the toes have plenty of room to spread out in order to create better comfort and stability.

Finally, have your child try the shoes on. Have him/her stand up straight in front of you and press down on the front of the shoe. You should check to make sure that it’s not too tight over the top of his/her foot and that there is some space for him/her to move their toes around.

Next, to ensure proper fit, stick your finger between your child’s foot and the back of the shoe at the heel- there should be a snug fit. Be aware that any friction between the back of the shoe and your child’s heel will result in blisters. However, if it’s too loose, it will be more likely to slip off during normal wear. Take a moment to flex your child’s foot from side to side at the ankle. If the shoe rubs against their ankle, this can also result in blisters and/or calluses, as well as cause injuries to their foot. The friction could be due to the shoes being too bulky or large for your child’s legs and feet.

Just as you pressed on the front, to check for fit, press on the outside of the shoe to feel for their little toe. It should not be pressed against the wall of the shoe, but you should be able to feel it and there should be room for them to flex it. Look at the arch support inside the shoe- it should start at the base of the big toe. The most important quality to look for in shoes in children is durability that offers the feet the most protection and keeps them comfortable.

Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum is a Podiatric Physician and Surgeon serving patients in Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Boynton Beach.

Do you have questions or concerns?

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16244 S. Military Trail #290, Delray Beach, FL 33445



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