It’s time for that quintessential end-of-summer ritual: back-to-school shoe shopping! At Podiatry Center of New Jersey, we believe this is an outing worth studying for. After all, getting the right shoes for your child is probably the biggest step you can take in proactively maintaining good podiatric health and allowing young feet to develop correctly. Below are some Cliff Notes to help you pass this test:

  • Shop in person. Children need to try shoes on in person and walk around to ensure they are comfortable.
  • Plan your shopping trip. Schedule time late in the day to head to the shoe store. That ensures your child’s feet will be at their largest since feet swell as the day goes on. Bring the type of socks or hose worn with the shoes you are shopping for to ensure the best fit.
  • Stand up for foot measuring. Get both feet measured while your child is standing to most accurately determine size. Children’s feet can grow as much as half a size in six months.
  • Buy the right size for now. At the rate children outgrow shoes, it’s tempting to buy a size up, but that will likely result in blisters and even injury if your child trips out of them.
  • Skip the gimmicks. Plastic and vinyl shoes and other footwear made of unusual materials can leave feet sweaty and ripe for a bacterial or fungal infection. Choose natural materials such as leather or canvas that allow feet to breathe.
  • The sole concern. Choose a shoe with a patterned or textured sole for better traction and fewer falls.
  • Acing the fit test. The toe box should be roomy enough to allow all toes plenty of wiggle room. There should be about half an inch between the end of the longest toe and the front of the shoe. Check that the heel isn’t slipping out of the shoe when your child walks.
  • Take a walk. Have your child take a few laps around the store to ensure that the shoes feel comfortable and are not rubbing. A “breaking in” period is a myth—shoes should fit properly and feel comfortable when you leave the store.

If your child has a chronic podiatric condition or a previous foot or ankle injury, don’t hesitate to talk to our podiatrists about the best shoe designs and features for your child’s feet.

At Podiatry Center of New Jersey, our doctors treat various conditions such as sports injuries, diabetic foot problemspediatric foot conditionstoe deformitiesarthritisnail fungus, arch problems, and heel pain. Equipped with advanced technologies and dedicated staff, our 16 conveniently located offices provide individualized high-quality care for patients across Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Ocean, Passaic, and Union Counties. For all your foot and ankle problems, contact our Wayne, NJ office at (973) 925-4111 for an appointment.