Top 5 Tips When Buying Kids School Shoes

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Kids feet are not just a small version of adult feet, they are different in shape and structure and as they are still developing we want to give them the best start to avoid problems later in life.

Kids do a lot more running, jumping, climbing, kicking football than we as parents do so their shoes take a heck of a lot of use and abuse.

Here’s my top 5 tips you need to know when buying school shoes:

Have Feet Properly Measured

Don’t be tempted to buy shoes that are too big in order to allow your children to ‘grow into’. Shoes that are too big wear out more quickly. Your child will drag the shoes along the ground causing the soles to wear thin. They will also be more easily scuffed as your child won’t be able to pick their feet up properly. Consequently, you will likely end up paying for new school shoes sooner than if you were to buy the correct sized shoes.Also, always have shoes fitted to both length AND width. All good quality school shoes will have various sizes available.


It is important to have laces or other fastening such as Velcro to hold the foot in place so it does not slip forward and cause the toes to scrunch and claw. This can damage the front of the foot and can lead to the development of hammer-toes (where the toes buckle) and clawed toes, which can become permanent.


 Soles should be flexible, but only at the ball of the foot, not at the mid-point, and with sufficient cushioning. The sole should not be rigid, but nor should you be able to roll it up into a ball or bend it in half. A supportive sole must be robust enough for walking, running and jumping.

Rigid Heel Counter

This is important because the heel acts as the support of the foot and must be held in a stable position so that it does not lean in (pronation) or out (supination) too much, possibly leading to pain and posture problems. If you can easily press in the sides of the heel, it is not providing enough support for the growing foot.

Also shoes do not need any type of arch support – by definition an arch is a sale supporting structure.


Expect to spend from €60 on a well-made, properly fitted pair of leather shoes. They are an investment for good foot health even if children outgrow them quickly. Leather shoes that allow the feet to breath.

Shoes To Avoid

Ballet Pumps are too flat and provide no support to the still growing foot. They also have to be very tight across the toe area – that how they stay on the foot. We see a lots of forefoot problems associated with this type of shoe.

Ugg Boots should only be worn as you would wear a pair of slippers around the house as they offer no support.

Here’s the 7 most common mistakes that many parents unfortunately make when buying school shoes for their children (and they’re all avoidable!):

  1.  Expecting one pair of shoes last the whole year
  2.  Leaving Your Child at Home
  3.  Buying shoes for school that are not ‘school’ shoes
  4.  Not having both feet professionally measured every time
  5.  Not allowing room for ‘toe wiggle’
  6.  Accepting ‘hand-me-downs’ or ‘slip-on’ shoes
  7.  Buying shoes first thing in the morning

Bonus Tip

Foot and leg pains are not normal. Sometimes they are just passed off as ‘growing pains’ and you may be told not to worry about them.

Expert research now shows this to not be true and as a podiatrist I would recommend you to have any foot or leg pain checked out as most painful problems that kids experience are preventable. If your child is experiencing pains in their feet or lower legs, it is highly recommended that this be assessed by a podiatrist. Learn more here

Remember school day are the best days of your life so enjoy!!


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