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8 tips for buying the right kids’ shoes
- Buy the right size. Always measure a child’s feet before buying shoes, and watch for signs of irritation. Parents think buying bigger shoes means they will last longer. But what it really means is that the shoes don’t fit — which leaves your toddler vulnerable to trips and falls. As much as you’re tempted to buy a 1/2 size bigger to make them last longer, don’t. There are apps on the iPad too for measuring feet easily.
- Take your kid shoe shopping. It’s annoying!! Toddler tantrums while shoe shopping…but shoes should be tried on and feet measured before each fitting. It’s the only way to ensure the proper fit and the right shoe purchase. Plus kids get more excited to wear the shoes that they got to have a say in picking! Also make sure to have your kid try on shoes with socks or tights, if that’s how they’ll be worn.
- Check out the base and heel. Many times kids wear through the heels of shoes faster than actually outgrowing their shoes. If the heels worn out, then throw them out!! It’s time for a new pair asap.
- Don’t go for the sturdy, stiff shoe. This leads to more falls, tumbles and weaker foot muscles. Shoes should be comfortable (no break in period for kids!!) and flexible (fold them to see if they bend easily).
- Don’t choose those miniature version of adult footwear, like heels, flip flops and boots!! Kids’ shoes should be designed to do one thing well and that is to run around and PLAY! Toddlers especially don’t do well in shoes that they can slide into like slippers and flip flops because they don’t have enough grip with their toes. Always try to first consider with kids shoes how they work for the kid, their development in terms of walking and running and not body, not for a look or their outfit. Adjustable straps, extra padding, flexible uppers, and soft materials are also important. Fancy shoes are fun and still can be worn, but just limit to play dates and dress up time at home or for special events for set amounts of time.
- No hand me downs with shoes. Just because a shoe size fits one child comfortably doesn’t mean it will fit another the same way. Also, sharing shoes can spread fungi like athlete’s foot and nail fungus. But totally donate to others in need!!
- Measure their feet and regularly & change up socks and shoes. Shoe and sock sizes can change every few months as your child’s feet grow. Re-checking every two months to ensure they haven’t had a growth spurt and need a new pair is critical. You can also gauge how things are going by seeing if their toes are rubbing up against the front of the shoe – there can be obvious wear and tear if this is happening or complaints but sometimes, you don’t notice anything and kids just don’t vocalize. That’s why you have to keep rechecking!