5 Back to School Tips: How To Buy The Right Children’s Shoes
Buying footwear is no easy thing, and it’s even more difficult when we buy shoes for our kids. Childrens’ feet are constantly growing, and sometimes we have a hard time keeping kids in shoes that fit! Besides, shoes can be expensive, and many little ones already know what they like as regards their personal fashion style. But buying the right pair of shoes for your son our daughter is important because their feet need support to grow properly. Otherwise, they may experience physical problems as they get older, or just have sore feet.
It can be hard to know when it’s time to buy new shoes, since kids don’t usually tell their parents when their feet are hurting, or if their shoes are getting holes in them. So it’s important to check their shoes reguarly to see if they are starting to show signs of wear and tear, such as ripped seams or worn down soles.
So that you can make the best choice in kids footwear, follow these 5 tips:
- Measure their feet. This is probably the most obvious, basic tip, however few people do this today. Just like in the shoe store when you were a child, you can still get your or your child’s feet measured in a shop. Today many people order shoes online because of the convenience and oftentimes lower prices. If you plan to buy online, you should invest in a foot measure to be sure you get the right size. When you measure, make sure the child is standing up straight. It’s also a good idea to measure at the end of the day, when their feet are bigger from swelling. Also, measure BOTH feet, as they may be different sizes, and it’s also a good way to check your measurements. Keep in mind that different brands measure sizes differently, so a pair of boots by Camper won’t be the same fit as a pair by Clarks or Citrouille et Compagnie.
- Quality is important. It may feel like you are throwing your money away for an item that your child will only wear for a year (or less during a growth spurt!), but when it comes to foot support and traction, not to mention the durability of the shoe’s upper itself, don’t skimp on quality. Good support is very important for kids’ feet, especially for those who love to run, jump, or practice sports. The same is true for the little ones just learning to walk! You should look for a shoe with a sturdy, rubber, textured sole. The material should be leather, canvas or nylon, and with a quality brand like Camper trainers for kids or even Geox, they will outgrow them before the shoes fall apart. And trust me, no child wants to be seen at school with holey shoes, not to mention they’re feet won’t be protected from the weather if they have holes or stressed seams.
- If you must buy them a little big, get inserts. Once you’ve got the right size from measuring, you can start trying on shoes or ordering them. If you order online, I suggest ordering two sizes, and returning one, as most online shops have free returns. But one great tip for dealing with a child’s constantly-growing feet is to use shoe inserts. You can purchase inserts separately or some brands already have them included. If the shoes fit perfectly with the inserts, then you simply remove the insert to create more space when their feet grow. This is an ingenious way to save time and money, and get more wear out of a pair of sneakers or high tops.
- Easy to put on and take off. Make sure the closure for the shoes is easy for the child to do themselves. This saves you time, but also makes the child feel more independent. Laces, Velcro or some other new system are all fine, as long as they keep the shoes on. It’s not a great idea to get slip on shoes for kids, as it makes walking more difficult for them, and they may even lose a shoe. The closure should beeasy to manage, but also provide support.
- What do they want? Kids are often very opinionated about their likes and dislikes, and the same is true when it comes to fashion. Even boys can be very particular about what shoes they wear. So it’s important to find something they like, but which is also super comfortable and has a great fit and premium quality. So when they try on shoes, listen to what they tell you, but check the sizing yourself as well to be sure of maximum comfort, and room to grow. There should be about a half centimeter of room at the back of the heel, and about a centimeter of room at the toes. Leather shoes like Camper may be a little more forgiving as the leather stretches with wear, but not enough that you can cheat. If the store doesn’t have the right size, you’ll have to look elsewear. Because when kids’ feet starting hurting, it’s only a matter of time before they have a total meltdown—every parent’s nightmare!