For parents faced with kids’ changing tastes and opinions, navigating back-to-school shopping can be a harrowing process. Buy him the wrong backpack, and he’ll be the uncool kid on the bus. Pick out the wrong jeans for her, and she’ll be shamed by society. While neither scenario will cause kids any real harm, there is one area of back-to-school shopping where a wrong move could have health ramifications for kids—shoe shopping.
Foot health is directly related to overall health, no matter your age. Proper footwear is essential to foot health, so it’s important for parents to ensure kids go back to school with a good foundation on their feet. Shoes are one of the most important back-to-school purchases parents will make.
Children’s feet change and grow with them, and parents may find they need to update their kids’ shoes and socks every few months to accommodate this growth. Shoes that don’t fit properly can irritate the feet and affect how well a child walks, runs, and plays.
APMA offers parents some advice for finding shoes that are good for kids’ feet and also live up to their exacting tastes:
Finally, be sure children wear shoes that are appropriate for their activities. If your daughter plays sports, she should wear a good athletic shoe designed for that sport. If your son is a runner, he’ll need a good running shoe.
For daily wear when kids do a lot of walking, choose a good, supportive shoe. Keep sandals, flip-flops, and heels for occasional wear only.
If your child complains of foot pain or experiences an injury, take him or her to a podiatrist. Podiatrists are uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat ailments of the feet.
Sarah Neitzel, DPM is a podiatrists at Peninsula Podiatry in Silverdale, WA. Call 1 (360) 443-5632 or visit www.peninsulapod.com to make an appointment. Visit www.apma.org to learn more about foot health and care.