How The Parts Of The Foot Help Determine The Best Fitting Shoe For Your Child
It is very important to know how to make sure your children’s shoes fit.
You want to make sure that you are buying them good shoes, the right shoes, and supportive shoes. You want to make sure that the shoes you buy them fit them properly. Here’s how:
- Shop for shoes at the end of the day. All parts of the foot swell throughout the day. It’s best to make sure the shoes fit when your foot is at its largest.
- Have your children’s feet measured every 6 months to a year. We all know how quickly kids can grow, so don’t forget about their feet. They’ll surely grow out of their shoes in no time and you don’t want them running around in shoes that are too small, squishy, and rubbing
- Try on the shoes. Keep in mind that every shoe company builds their shoes around different shaped lasts (the model for the size and shape of the shoe). Sizes will vary from company to company. If you can’t have your child’s foot with you when you are shopping, make sure that the store has a good return policy in case they don’t fit as well as you thought they would.
- Always measure foot size and check for shoe fit when weight bearing. When you stand up your feet will spread and lengthen. It’s always a good idea to check for fit when standing; walk a bit in the store.
- Both feet should be measured. Don’t base shoe size only on the size of one foot. Most people aren’t symmetrical and our foot size can vary from left to right.
- Measure to the longest toe. The longest toe isn’t always the big toe.
- When you stand in the shoes, there should be a little room between the longest toe and the edge of the shoe. You want to make sure that there is a half to a full thumb width between the two. You should be able to wiggle your toes in the shoe.
- The heel counter of the shoe should fit snug. When you are walking, the back of the shoe should be hugging your foot. You don’t want it flipping and flopping off your heel. This can lead to pain in heel of foot.
- Always fit the larger foot. If your child’s feet are indeed different sizes buy the shoes that fit their larger foot. You can always add an insole to the other side to take up extra space and make the shoe larger shoe fit but you can’t do anything to make a small shoe fit.
It is important to make sure that the shoes you are buying offer good support. Here are ways to check to ensure that a shoe is a supportive shoe:
- The heel counter should be firm. Grasp the back of the shoe between your thumb and forefinger and give a good, solid squeeze. You should find that the heel counter should be able to withstand the pressure. Tip: keep the integrity of the heel counter intact by not allowing your child to slip on the shoe and stand on the back. This breaks down the structure and the heel counter loses all its support.
- Our feet only bend across the ball of our feet; so should your shoes. Place the toe of the shoe in one palm and the heel of the shoe in the other. With your palms facing inwards, try to clap your hands together. The shoe should bend, slightly, only along where ball of the foot is. Otherwise your child may develop pain in arch of foot. Tip: if the shoe folds in half use it as an oven mitt instead.
- Twist the shoe. The torque of the shoe should also be fairly solid along the sole. You don’t want to be able to ring it out like a towel. Tip: there should be a little movement; a shoe that is rock solid is no good either.
- Laces, buckles, or Velcro will offer additional support. You can tighten the straps to properly support your foot. Tip: laces should be tied up every time the shoe is put on. If the laces are loose enough to slide the foot into the shoe then they aren’t offering any support.
Shop for shoes at the end of the day
Measure feet and shoe fit while standing
Check shoe size at least once a year
You want about half a thumb width between the longest toe and the end of the shoe
Walk a bit in the shoes to ensure a good fit
Jana is a registered Chiropodist. She owns and operates Ajax Foot Clinic in Durham Region. She treats foot conditions and offers foot care to people of all ages. Jana is a wife and a mother of two.