Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What shoes are good for children

The first question out of most peoples mouth when they find out I am a podiatrist is "what is a good pair of shoes?" When they also find out I am a mom they want to know " what is a good pair of shoes for my kids". In fact, my son's preschool teacher admitted to me that she looks to see what shoes my son is wearing. Here are some tips for buying children's shoes.

First it depends on the child's age. For children who are not yet walking or just begining to toddle, a soft pliable shoe or socks are the best. You don't want to get a shoe with a sole or support. At this age, you want the shoe or sock to conform to the foot. A sock with a tread so they don't slip or a Robeez (TM) is all they need.

As they begin to become better walkers or in the case of my children, go straight to running, you want a shoe that is still pliable and most important, fits. The child should be measured by a professonal to ensure they are getting the correct size. They also should be remeasured every 3 months because their feet can grow fast. For children under 18 months the foot grows a half a size on average every 2 months, this increases to 3 months for age 18-24 months and every 4-6 months over the age of 3.

Important characteristics of the shoe should include a straight last (sole) to the shoe. There are some shoes that have a curved last and this increases the pressure on the outside of their foot. Also, the shoes should have laces or velcro to ensure the foot is supported by the shoe. Look for shoes that have a rounded toe box (toe area) to allow room for the toes rather than a pointed one. Lastly, the material the shoe is made out of is impotant. A leather shoe can breathe and is more durable. Avoid sythentic and plastic type shoes.

Shoes can be expensive for children especially at the rate they grow out of them. Follow these tips and you do not have to spend alot on shoes and still get a good pair of shoes for your child.