Tips for parents buying school shoes 

Two – thirds of children are wearing the wrong shoe size report Paediatric Podiatrists

The Australian Podiatry Association (APodA) has launched a Back to School campaign aimed at educating parents and caregivers on the importance of selecting the right school shoe and the perfect fit. Your feet house one quarter of the bones in your body so protecting them, especially growing bones in children, is key to overall health and wellbeing.

Research has shown that 67% of children are wearing the wrong shoe size; either too big, too small or no room to grow. Wearing ill-fitting shoes can cause a range of issues including foot pain, blisters, bunions, etc. leading to poor foot health.

The theme for this year’s campaign is Fit feet = Fit kids, for kids to be active, they need to wear properly fitting shoes throughout the demanding school day.

Hayley Uden, Paediatric Podiatrist says finding the right fit for school shoes can be tricky for parents balancing their children’s likes with the family budget.

“Shopping for school shoes can be quite stressful; parents are looking for shoes their kids will like, that fit correctly and will be long-lasting.

How to make sure your children’s school shoes fit correctly

  1. Ensure their toes can wiggle freely in the shoes

  2. Allow 1cm between the big toe and the end of the shoe

  3. Make sure the shoes can be adjusted; laces, velcro and buckles are all features to look for

  4. Take their school socks and/or stockings shopping with you. This will help to make sure that the shoe has enough depth for your children’s feet and uniform requirements

Podiatrists offer a range of services to support positive foot health, especially for children.

“Getting in early with foot health is always a good idea,” says Hayley.

APodA has created a range of resources for parents to help make buying school shoes easier including a video on selecting the right shoe, a podcast with a Paediatric Podiatrist and a fact sheet with an easy-to-follow checklist. See the APodA website here