Deciding what pair of shoes to get your child is not as simple as just deciding what looks cute. Of course, I love cute shoes as much as the next person, but, especially with kids, there are a number of other factors to consider. Here We will go over four of the most common things that parents fail to consider before buying their kids shoes.
4 Things to Remember When Buying Kids Shoes
1. They are for protection
The first thing that people think of when hearing that shoes have the primary purpose of protecting your kid is that they are for protecting their kid’s feet. And they are. But that is not the end of the story. While your child’s feet are certainly important, a good pair of shoes will also protect your child from falls and slips. If a shoe lacks support or is uneven it can increase the chance of your kid falling; similarly, if the soles are too slick, then they are far more likely to fall on wet or frozen terrain. Be sure that your child can run and walk with as much balance as possible and then check to make sure the tread on the shoe is adequate for whatever purpose you will be using it for. This means not just to protect our kids’ feet, but also to protect them from falling down and hurting themselves as the result of poorly-balanced shoes or slick soles.
2. Children’s feet grow faster than you might think
It is easy to notice your kid’s height change when they have a growth spurt, but it is easy to forget that their feet are growing as well. And while it depends on your child’s age, height, and gender, a good rule of thumb is that children can average as much as around three-fourths to a full shoe size of growth every three to four months. This means that you should check and make sure that their shoes are still fitting well about three or four times a year. I like to use Easter, the 4th of July, and Christmas as reminders that it is time to double-check and make sure the shoes are still fitting right.
3. How to fit children’s shoes
Most foot problems we have as adults come from wearing bad shoes during childhood, so it is very important to make sure your kid’s shoes are fitting well. When we fit our own shoes we tend to put our thumbs between the tips of our toes and the tip of the shoe to gauge if the shoe has enough room to be comfortable.
It can be a knee-jerk reaction to try and use the same methodology in your child’s shoes. This is even more so the case when you take it into consideration that they will “grow into them.” Instead of using your thumb, however, experts recommend that you use your pinky as a guide to determine if your child has enough room in the shoe.
A thumb’s width between the end of their foot and the end of the shoe is far too much for someone with such small feet and would allow their feet to slide around so much in their shoes that it would be unsafe and could cause injuries. Since your child might have unusually wide or narrow feet, it is always best to get them fitted at a good shoe store where the staff is experts.
4. Children need more breathable shoes than adults do
While it might seem counterintuitive, children’s feet sweat at least twice as much as adult feet sweat for their size. The most obvious threat this poses is to your nose (ew!), but there are also serious ramifications. Children frequently get fungal or bacterial infections in their feet, and they are not going to take the time on their own to regularly monitor the cleanliness of their feet.
The first thing you can do about this is to make sure they have clean socks on and to change their socks often. The second thing to consider is that shoes should be as breathable as possible. This will not only increase airflow to reduce sweat and bacterial buildup, but it will also make them easier to wash and allow you to get out more of the gross bacteria and fungi that like to hide deep in the back of less breathable footwear. If that is not enough, less breathable shoes create more sweat, and more sweat means that the shoes themselves will wear out faster.
Buying Kids Shoes doesn’t have to be difficult! I know sometimes it can be overwhelming but it doesn’t have to make you go crazy! I hope that this list helped you. If you have any tips to share, please share them in the comments below!