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The lowdown on the right school shoes for your child

There’s so much to think about as your little one starts school, here’s our tips on choosing the right school shoes

School shoe fitting guide

Our helpful guide to getting the right school shoes for your little one

School shoes

Starting school is a huge deal for children and parents and we all want to ensure we send our little ones off with everything they need and looking every bit the part.

Getting the right fitting school shoes is a big consideration as their growing feet need the right support from day one. 

Fact: Shoe shopping for kids can be stressful. Don’t think arriving before the shop opens will get you to the front of the queue. Everyone with young kids that get up early thinks the same. Plan a treat (bribe) for after your visit to help focus little one on the job in hand.

Here’s our guide to ensuring your child has the correct size shoes

1. Get them professionally measured 

Choose children’s shoe shops with trained shoe fitters who can measure your child’s feet and help you find the correct shoes that fit well and allow them to grow. 
As their little feet grow in fits and starts, to ensure they are always in the correct fitting shoe, it’s worth taking them for a measurement every 8-12 weeks.
Many stores like Clarks, Startrite and John Lewis offer an in-store appointment service so book your fitting appointment in advance and make sure you book one for each child.

2. Important things to look for when choosing your child’s shoes

• Make sure the heel cup is supportive and strong and doesn’t lean to one side
Try pressing gently on the sides of the heel, if it sinks in easily, the shoe isn’t offering enough support
• Shoe need to have a strap
Whether Velcro or laces (although laces for very little ones are a bit fiddly) the shoe you choose should have a strap to prevent slipping.
• Needs to have a flexible sole
The shoe should be flexible at the ball of the foot only and should have enough cushioning to support the foot. The instep should also be supportive which you can test by rubbing your fingers along the inside of the shoe and you should feel a small bump where your child’s foot arch will be. 
• Choose breathable shoe material
The material, both the upper and the lining, should be breathable and have a natural resistance to water, leather is ideal.

3. Warning signs to be aware of

Let’s face it kids aren’t great at warning you that they’re growing out of their shoes, particularly as young as 4 or 5! So you are probably best to become a detective and check out these tell-tale signs so you know if your child is wearing ill-fitting shoes.
• If you can take your child’s shoe off without undoing it at all, they are too big.
• If your child doesn’t want to put their shoes on every time you go out, this may be an indication they are not comfortable
• Look out for a collapsed heel cup on the shoe, could indicate size problems
• If your child walks awkwardly it could be because the shoes are too small
• If your child has any rubbing or blisters from their shoes, it could be because they’re too small

There’s a lot to think about when choosing children’s school shoes but worth the effort as looking after your little one’s feet now will help protect their growing feet for the future. 

The lowdown on the right school shoes for your child