22 Jan School Shoes- how long should they last?
Every parent wants to do the right thing for their child, but for many young growing families, there are financial constraints. There is a thought that school shoes should last at least the school year. Is this true for all? I often hear stories of parents who were forced to wear shoes that didn’t fit when they were a kid. There are some parents and grandparents who didn’t wear shoes at all to school! Here is what you have to consider when reviewing your bambino’s shoes before the start of the 2021 school year.
Do they fit?
A great tip is to take out the innersole in the shoes, or take out their orthotics and have a look at the footprint. Are the toes all bunched up at the end of the innersole or is there an adult thumb-size gap between the end of the innersole and your child’s longest toe? You could get your child to stand on top of the innersole so you can visualise this easily. If they are hanging off the end or sides, those shoes are too small now. Sometimes your babies shoot up seemingly overnight during the school term! You could also have a look at their feet to see if they have any blisters or red spots at the end of a school day. They might be having too much fun playing to even realise or communicate to you that their shoes are now too small. Common spots for rubbing are on their little toe or their heels. Width is just as important as length to get right. If it’s too narrow then the shoes can cause blisters, and if it’s too wide then they will not offer enough support. Narrow feet and wide feet can be tricky to fit. We will go into a few great options for tricky foot types and orthotics at the end of this article.
Are they structurally sound?
While your child’s shoe might still “fit” and they don’t need to go up a size, they may be worn out and no longer support your child’s feet. If their shoes are worn out, even if they still fit – it is time for a new pair! This fact can be hard to swallow, most junior school kids are particularly hard-wearing their shoes. These early years are a crucial time in a child’s growth and development and a worn-out shoe can trip them up (pardon the pun) literally and metaphorically speaking. This can affect their gait, balance, and coordination. If you notice your child is looking awkward or having trouble running, skipping, or jumping in a certain pair of shoes, this is a red flag. Worn-out shoes should not be the thing to hold your child back from their potential. Running and playing with a good posture are too important for their muscle memory, bone strength, self-esteem, and early social interactions. A good shoe is a lifelong investment at this precious time. Do you think your child may need some extra support and stability? Sometimes a good shoe does the trick but if they are complaining of pain, having trouble with their coordination, or can’t keep up with the other kids, it is a good idea to see a podiatrist for a professional opinion.
The fastening system- Laces:
Does your child have trouble with laces? Do the laces need replacing? Making sure their shoes are done up well can help get the best out of the shoe.
Here are some adorable children on YouTube who are here to help your little ones (soon-to-be big girls and boys!) learn to tie their laces and work out which shoe goes on which foot! It’s going to take some perseverance and some practice, but all kids love when they do something independently. If it’s all too hard for now, lucky there are some great Velcro options out there.
Shoes are like tyres- but when do you know they are worn out?
If you would prefer to stick to a standard rule: kids’ shoes last for around 700 hours of wear:
So, in a normal 6 hour school day, 5 days per week…we can estimate your child’s shoes will last around 6 MONTHS.
If your jaw just dropped to the floor in shock, Sophie McLellan, a shoe specialist at leading Paediatric podiatrist, Little Big Feet in Brisbane, says two points should put your mind at ease with spending the money to buy those new school shoes that your child needs:
- That putting off buying a replacement pair of shoes may end up costing you more in podiatry or physio sessions because those out-worn shoes may be detrimental to your child’s mechanics, and
- That based on those 6 months of wear, a $130 pair of school shoes is going to cost you about 70 cents per day!
Features of a shoe:
Now, where do I find them?
Here are some great orthotic-friendly, podiatrist-approved brands to try that cater to narrow to wide feet.
The Athlete’s Foot Maroochydore: Not strictly a brand, but a team that we trust to help us with our shoes! These guys are professionals. They will take the time to help you find the right shoe for your child from their large range of back-to-school wear. You can book an appointment online to save turning up and having to wait around.
Ascent: These guys have a 2A fit option for those narrow little feet from Size 12 upwards. They are an innovative Australian-born and bred brand focused on providing footwear with integrity. So if your child is hard on their shoes, give these guys a road test. They are light like sports shoes and tough like work boots!
Skobi Shoes: When a husband and wife team of podiatrists get together and make a kid’s shoe range, you know it’s going to be good. Their website is so easy to navigate and they even have a helpful video on how you can size up your kids at home properly and order online. Sometimes going to the shops is just not an option.
If you need any more advice, don’t be shy, just come in for a visit! We are a family-friendly clinic and would love to help your child reach their full potential!
Alana Underwood Hannah Salsbury
B.Hlth.Sc(Pod) M.A.POD.A. B.Hlth.Sc(Pod)., B.App.Sc(HMS)(Hons)
202/2 Emporio Place, Maroochydore Qld 4558
Ph: (07) 54791211 | Fax: (07) 54791227 / www.sportspodiatry.com.au