It’s back to school season people – yes, the place where everyone gets a bargain and other such stores have gone from shouting out about New Year sales to shouting out about “Back To School”!

And as it’s the beginning of a new year, many of you will be dealing with that whole transition from primary school to intermediate, or from intermediate to college. And for some, that’s going to be quite a transition – especially when it comes to new uniforms and regulation footwear.

School shoes can be an expensive item when it comes to getting your kids ready for the new school year, but buying the right pair is an investment in the wellbeing of your child’s feet – and saves you money in the long run.

Quality School Shoes – You Get What You Pay For

When it comes to school shoes, the cost of the shoes is usually a good indicator of the quality. The quality of materials used in the shoe usually determines the shoe’s longevity. A good quality shoe is made from a strong rubber sole, good inner-sole cushioning for comfort, and leather uppers for strength and support. We have a “walking to school” culture in New Zealand, and school Shoes need to be wear and tear proof in order to last. Buying good quality school shoes at the beginning of the school year means that you are buying shoes that should last until your child outgrows them – which is better than buying the cheaper shoes that have fallen apart after only just a few months.

If you want advice as to what the best school shoes are for your child, bring them in to Healthy Steps Podiatry – our podiatrists understand the bio-mechanics of children’s feet and know what kind of support they need. They will recommend shoes that are designed to prevent injuries, and will help aid the healthy development of your child’s feet.

What To Look For When Buying School Shoes

When it’s time to start shopping for school shoes, keep in mind the following features to help you make the right shoe choice:

  • Purchase a shoe that is lightweight. A heavy shoe can get tiring to wear and can hurt your child’s ankles after a full day.
  • Look for a shoe with a firm heel counter – make sure this doesn’t cave when you press. A firm heel counter increases your child’s stability and reduces the risk of sprained ankles.
  • Flexibility in the forefoot (ball of the foot not the center) to allow your child’s toes to bend, which in turn allows them to skip, jump and run.
  • A removable insole is important if your child wears orthotics. Make sure you brings the orthotics into the shoe store, so the staff can use them during the fitting process.

And remember… school shoes that are too big wear out more quickly. Many parents make the mistake of buying school shoes that are way too big, with the mind-set that their children will “grow into” them. As well as a high probability of blisters and calluses developing on their feet, shoes that are too big will drag, causing the soles to wear out more quickly. They will also be more easily scuffed as your child won’t be able to pick their feet up properly – which also increases the risk of trips and falls. If you buy school shoes that are too big, you’ll just end up paying for a new pair of school shoes sooner than you think.