Back to school shoes

Aug. 30, 2016

Back to School Shoe Fitting Tips


It’s that time of year again – back to school, when stores are full of the latest fall fashions and shelves are packed with school supplies. Everyone is out shopping, looking for bargains, and making wardrobe selections. And one of the most important purchases families make at this time of year is the purchase of shoes for their growing children. To keep kids’ feet healthy and strong for years to come, the American Board of Multiple Specialties in Podiatry (ABMSP) reminds back-to-school shoppers to select footwear that promotes health and wellness for students of all ages.

Dr. Josh White, DPM, CPed, is the founder of SafeStep footwear. He offers the following ten tips for proper fitting of shoes for growing feet.

1.    To avoid in-store arguments, parents and children should discuss in advance the style and brand of shoes they want to look for.
2.    Remember that a good fit is more important than the size of the footwear. A good fit allows for a 1/2” of space between the end of the toes and the end of shoe. Shop at retailers who provide a fit specialist for extra assistance.
3.    Avoid hand-me-down shoes; improperly fitted shoes can support feet in unhealthy positions.
4.    Avoid shopping online or estimating a child’s shoe size.
5.    Remember that not all shoes of the same size fit alike. While foot measurement is a starting point, how the shoes fit is more important.
6.    Match the shape of the shoe to the shape of the foot.
7.    Remember that while a low arch is normal in young children, in children older than age seven, the lower the arch the more important it is to have shoes with good support. Look for a firm heel counter and stiffness when trying to twist shoes lengthwise.

8.    If a child wears orthotics, select shoes with removable foot beds and try the shoes on with the orthotics in place.
9.    Remember that price is not necessarily commensurate with quality. If price is a consideration, last year’s models can offer all the features needed at a discounted price.
10.    Check the fit on your child’s shoes on a regular basis as children’s feet grow at irregular rates.

The American Board of Multiple Specialties in Podiatry was originally organized by podiatrists for the purpose of granting board certification to office-based and ambulatory foot surgeons. Incorporated in 1986 as the American Institute of Foot Medicine (AIFM), the name was changed in 1992 to better reflect its mission. The Board now offers certification to qualified podiatrists in all areas of podiatric practice: Primary Care in Podiatric Medicine; Foot and Ankle Surgery, both in a hospital setting and in outpatient facilities; Prevention and Treatment of Diabetic Foot Wounds and Foot Wear; and Limb Preservation and Salvage. The Board’s certification examinations have been approved for reimbursement by the VA as an educational benefit for eligible veterans. The American Board of Multiple Specialties in Podiatry is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) under the ISO International Standards ANSI/ISO/IEC/17024:2003 for Accreditation for Bodies Operating Certification of Persons. For more information, visit http://www.abmsp.org.