Feet are, in a quite literal sense, the foundation for our lives. They are the base on which our body is built, our touchstone with the world. So, particularly in our formative years, what we put them in matters.
Kids starti ng school is a tremendous milestone, and we want to get them off on the right… foot. Which means they need the right shoes.
They spend all day in them, and if they’re not the right fit, well, let’s face it, they’ll probably end up being failures at life. So let’s get this right, people.
I had so many questions when I went to get my son’s shoe fitted for his first year of school. Should I buy one size up to account for growth? Is his arch properly supported? How do I buy shoes that’ll actually last the year?
I consulted a children’s fitting specialist at Shoes & Sox and clued myself up on all the unknowns – here’s what I found out.
1. Humans are better than machines.
The first thing you have to do is measure the feet. This is the most important part of the process; so don’t use a machine or a general fitter. You need an expert. Someone who knows exactly what they’re doing. Because hoo boy, this is going to be complicated. You might know that one foot can be bigger than the other, but did you know that they can grow at different rates? Strap yourselves in, we’re going on a journey.
First they’ll measure the length, but what’s equally important is measuring the breadth. And here’s where you run into your first hurdle - because the breadth is measured with a tape over the foot – meaning if you’re dealing with a tall foot, it might read as a wide foot. See, this is why you need professionals.
In adults, bones are done growing. So if our shoes don’t fit properly, we’ll know about it, because it will hurt. But in kids, their bones aren’t fused yet. Which means that they won’t put pressure on the shoes, the shoes will put pressure on them. And as the ancient Chinese will tell you, that can have a serious impact. In a battle between bones and shoes, the shoes will win.