health

7 tips for buying sneakers that fit.

By NICKY CHAMP

From the time your child took their first wobbly steps to the time they hit their teens, the bones in their feet have shifted to reach about 90 percent of their adult length. That’s why it’s important for kids to have the right support in both their sports shoes and school shoes – whether they’re walking to school or chasing down a soccer ball. Read on for our top tips for buying your kids’ sneakers that fit.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by The Athlete’s Foot. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.

Going to the shops is such a pain, why can’t I just buy them online?

Shoe sizing is different around the world, some countries have wider makes than others and parents shouldn’t rely on the size printed inside the shoe. As one foot can be larger than the other, it’s important to get both feet professionally measured by a footwear specialist

A recent UK study found that nearly four million children were wearing the wrong-size shoes because of cost, inconvenience and fad footwear.

Time-poor parents were opting for cheap shoes that weren’t professionally fitted but experts warn those cheap shoes will cost you in the long run.

Kids who wear incorrectly fitted sports shoes can develop problems later in life and can excaerbate existing or inherit foot problems, says the Australian Podiatry Association.

What’s the worse thing than can happen?

In the short term blisters, corns, pressure sores, fungal infections and ingrown toe nails and in the long run they can prevent natural growth and cause deformities like hammer toe, knee and posture-related problems and the worsening hereditary foot problems.

And in very young children incorrect footwear can impede walking development, which is why you need to buy sneakers that fit!

I had my child fitted for school shoes, do I really need to do the same for their sports shoes?

If you have school aged children you’ve probably taken them for that all important school shoe fitting at the start of the term but it’s just as important to get professionally fitted so they wear sneakers that fit.

A child’s feet and joints are under pressure during active play and sport, they need to be adequately supported.

It is as important to ensure that their sports shoes are the correct fit for the sport they play, the shape of their foot, their arc type etc.

Stores like The Athlete’s Foot offer one on one expert service to help properly fit your child for their sports shoes, and from brands like Asics, which offer the same comfort and support in their kids range as their Adults range.

What to look out for? Think about how active they are and what type of activities they will be doing in the shoes being purchased.

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The Athlete’s Foot have a new range of Asics Kids sports shoes that offer a wide variety for every kind of sport kids can play, be sure to go in and check out the range whilst getting you child fitted.

“If it’s a particular sport the right sports shoe should be selected for that sport, “says podiatrist Rob Mair from the Australian Podiatry Association.

I have an older child, can’t we just use re-use the shoes we already have?

It’s tempting to hang on to shoes for the next baby that comes along because as all parent’s know, shoes can be expensive. But because every child’s feet are unique it’s best to skip the hand-me-downs and have the shape and size of their feet assessed by a trained shoe fitter.

“Handing down shoes should also be avoided. An old shoe belonging to someone else will take on their shape and gait, which will not be the same as the new wearer, buying a new shoe is advised,” says Mair.

I feel like I’m constantly buying new shoes when will it end?

That’s because you probably have been: in baby’s first year their foot grows around three whole sizes (25mm).

Between one to five years: growth is about two sizes a year (16mm) and from age five to mid-teens feet grow about a size each year (8mm).

What’s wrong with buying shoes a bit big so they have room to grow?

Growing room is important, but never buy a shoe for a child that is way too large for them to ‘grow into.’

There should be no more than a 14mm gap between the big toe and end of a shoe in a new pair. Anything less than 8mm and it’s time to head back to get another pair fitted. As for width, the foot shouldn’t be squeezed, the shoe should be supporting the foot without pinching or pain.

What else should I know before heading into store?

When standing your child should be able to wriggle his or her toes without pain and always walk around before buying to check for any tight spots that weren’t obvious when sitting down. Also, when you visit the team, take in your child’s normal socks and their orthodics/insoles (if they have them).

The Athlete’s Foot helps everyone Find their Fit – including kids. Their range of Asics sports shoes means there’s a shoe for every activity for kids – and give the same support and comfort as the Adult Asics shoes. Asics Kids shoes range from the popular Kayano and GT 1000/200 ranges as well as leather trainers, cross trainers and more.

Some of the Asics Kids Sports Shoes available at The Athlete’s Foot:

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What sport wears your kids shoes out the most? What sport are your kids the most active in?

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