School shoes need to fit correctly

Kids’ shoes – what to do when you can’t find a Clarks

When my daughter was little there was a ritual at this time of year – the annual trip to Clarks Shoe Shop to buy sensible shoes for school. As she grew older this inevitably turned into something of a battle but, unsurprisingly given my feelings about feet, I won for a long time!

The time the assistants spent, making sure that the fit was right for the shoe, the arch support and comfort, there really is no comparison for little feet.

But time and countries change and here in Spain I’ve not found a Clarks equivalent with the emphasis on fit and function over style.

Supporting little feet

A child’s arch doesn’t develop until the age of 5 or 6 and isn’t “fixed” until their mid twenties. Now I’m not suggesting you can keep them in “good” shoes until then but the better support they have at the beginning the better their feet will cope with all the daft things they will inevitable do to them.

There is a theory supported by American Podiatrists, that no adult would have flat feet if they had proper support from age 2 – 12 years old. Considering the huge problems I see among adults due to flat feet I think it should be given serious consideration!

Foot pain is serious

We all know kids who behave as if it’s the end of the world over a paper cut. But if your child is consistently complaining about sore or tired feet, leg ache or pain in their knees, hips or back then it is worth checking the fit and support of their shoes or getting a professional opinion.

This is even more important if they are a keen athlete!

Choosing the shoes

If their school dress code allows, trainers are the best choice. They usually have a good arch support, plenty of cushion in the heel and room at the toe.

Low heels, laces and some form of arch support are the key things to look for as well as a breathable, lightweight material.

Watch out for blisters as they will be worse in a hot, sweaty environment.

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Download our guide to supporting kid’s feet

Good, solid foundations make for good backs!

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