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As parents across the country check off school items from their shopping lists, remember one of the most important purchases that can be made for children this season — foot-friendly shoes! Whether on the school bus, in the classroom or on the playground, a properly constructed and well-fitted pair of shoes can drastically reduce a child’s risk of injury, from conditions such as blisters to more serious injuries such as tendonitis, sprains, strains and even fractures. One easy way to determine if a child’s shoe is foot-friendly is to perform the “1,2,3 Test.”
First, press on both sides of the back of the shoe’s heel. Make sure that it does not collapse when pushed on.
Second, check toe flexibility. The shoe should bend with your child’s toes, but should not be too stiff or bend too much in the toe box area.
Third, grab the shoe by the front and back and twist gently. A foot-friendly shoe should never twist easily in the middle.
More shoe shopping tips to help start the school year off on the right foot:
Take your child shoe shopping.
Letting a child have a say in the shoe buying process promotes healthy foot habits down the road.
Examine the heels.
Children often wear through the heels of shoes faster than outgrowing the shoes themselves. Uneven heel wear can indicate a foot problem that should be checked by a podiatrist.
Look for the Seal of Acceptance.
Certain footwear brands, such as the Reebok Classic Leather Collection and Asics’ GEL-Nimbus model, carry the APMA’s Seal of Acceptance. APMA’s Seal program recognizes products that set the benchmark for footwear and foot care industries, and have been evaluated by a team of podiatrists to guarantee proper foot function.
For a full list of children’s footwear that has received the APMA’s Seal of Acceptance, please click here.
Remember socks when shopping.
Make sure to have your child try on shoes with socks or tights, if that is how they will be worn, in order to ensure a proper fit.
Foot & Ankle Associates provides a variety of foot care and assistance in caring for your child’s foot and ankle pain.