When it comes to shopping for your children’s shoes, it’s vital that you pay attention to the details. Your little one will run, play, and walk in the shoes constantly, so finding a pair that suits their needs requires an adequate amount of time and research. If you just pick up the first pair that seems like it might work, you could end up supplying your child with shoes that give them blisters or joint pain.
The question is, how do you make sure you’re buying the proper footwear for your kid? Well, there are a few key aspects you should be paying attention to while shopping. Here are some tips you should follow when it comes to buying shoes for your kid:
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Are the Shoes Going to Support Your Child’s Activities?
Children shoes don’t just need to be cute; they need to be conducive to a healthy active lifestyle. Kids are constantly on their feet. Whether your child plays sports or simply hangs out at the playground, they’ll need shoes that can keep them comfortable for hours on end.
Search for footwear that offers support, a shock absorbing sole, and maybe even wicking material to prevent their feet from overheating when they sweat. A child or at least a parent should be able to securely fasten the shoe to ensure that it stays on. If your child is really young, consider buying them Velcro shoes that they can keep safely fastened even when mom and dad aren’t around.
Do the Shoes Actually Fit?
Children’s sizes can change rapidly. According to recent studies, toddler’s’ feet can grow up to 1 mm each month. When you start shoe shopping for young children, plan to purchase footwear that is a little too big rather than too snug. That way, your young one will have room to grow into the shoes as they age.
However, don’t purchase shoes that are too oversized or your child might end up with nasty blisters. The easiest way to ensure that you are buying the proper size for your child is to visit a retail store in person. Experts will be able to measure your child’s foot precisely and give advice on what size to go with.
Don’t Assume all Sizes are the Same
Although having your child sized at one store is always a good starting point, it’s important to realize that every brand might fit your kid’s foot a little differently. Just because your child wears one size in their Timberland boots doesn’t mean they wear the same size in basketball sneakers. Therefore, always have your children try on their shoes before you commit to a pair. Even consider measuring their feet at home–this will give you an idea of how much their feet are growing.
Reconsider Secondhand Shoes
Although it is tempting to save a few bucks by heading to a resale shop or garage sale, purchasing children’s shoes that have already been worn can be a risky business. Worn-out shoes can carry nasty fungi or other health concerns, and they probably won’t fit your child as well as they should.
Instead, watch for good deals at the store and try to purchase new shoes. You want your child to be able to carve their own marks in their footwear, not try to fit into an already broken-in pair.
Don’t Take Risks with Your Children’s Feet
Blisters, abrasions, ripped nails, joint pain, and annoying aches are just some of the health issues that can occur when your child wear shoes that don’t actually fit. A recent Swiss study found that 53 percent of the children they were observing were wearing the wrong size of shoes.
Now, that’s not to say that those children’s parents were necessarily neglectful. It is not always easy to realize when your child has outgrown their most recent pair of shoes.
Start paying attention to how your child’s footwear fit on a weekly basis so that you can immediately realize when they need a new pair. Additionally, watch for tears or excessive wear. These can be signs that the shoes have lost their initial level of support, which can cause pain and discomfort.
Versatility Is Key
If you really want the best bang for your buck when shoe shopping for children, try to steer your kids toward shoes that can serve multiple purposes. Most children, especially the young ones, don’t need too many pairs.
Encourage them to pick out shoes that they can wear to school, outside, or anywhere at all. By selecting just a few pairs of shoes that work for multiple occasions, you can keep your budget low while still purchasing quality footwear that will last for a long time.
It Can be a lot of Work–but it’s Worth it
Selecting new shoes for your children isn’t as simple as walking into a store and picking a pair that looks nice and are reasonably priced. Children need supportive shoes that will allow them to participate in their daily activities without feeling discomfort. They also need shoes that will last a long time, serve multiple purposes, and give them room to grow.
If you’re not sure where to begin on the hunt for quality footwear for children, talk to a shoe specialist in a reliable store. They can guide you toward the top brands for kids and help parents figure out exactly what sizes their children should be wearing. By sticking to the basics, you are likely to find the best shoes for your kids.