CHILDREN'S SHOES AND BACKPACKS MATTER
Children are resilient, but choosing the best shoes and backpacks for back to school now can impact their health in the future. As podiatrists, we care about your children’s foot health as well as their overall wellness because it all ties together.
Follow these simple tips to get your kids off to a good start for the school year.
How to Shop for New Shoes
The fit of your child's shoe is especially important as they head back to class. Remember, their feet are growing, so check regularly for proper fit. Excessive or uneven wear can warn you of foot problems, so check for that as well.
Some things to keep in mind while shoe shopping include:
- Bring your children with you to try on shoes. Knowing their size is not enough. Every shoe is made differently, and you need to know it fits and feels good on their feet.
- Fit the larger foot. One foot is always slightly larger than the other. It’s better to have one shoe that’s slightly loose than one that’s too tight.
- Don’t forget socks! If they’re worn or ill-fitting they’ll cause irritation, blisters, or irregular gait. Buy new socks while you’re buying shoes.
What to Look for in Shoes
- A stiff heel -- The heel of the shoe should not collapse when pressed from the sides.
- Toe flexibility -- The shoe should be flexible enough to bend with your child's toes. However, watch for too much bend.
- A rigid middle -- The shoe should not twist in the middle.
Why Backpacks Matter
How children carry the weight of their books and other gear is important, too. Most kids carry backpacks, but often those packs are unfit for the size of the load - and the size of the kid. An ill-fitting or poorly carried pack can cause neck, shoulder and back problems as well as foot pain.
Here are some things to check while you’re outfitting your children for the upcoming school year:
- The pack should be big enough to carry most of the child’s books and supplies, but not so big that it sags below the buttocks.
- It must be a backpack with two straps to evenly distribute the load on the child’s body. Single strap messenger-type bags cause muscle strain by throwing the child off-balance.
- If a properly fitting bag won’t hold everything your child needs to carry, teach them to carry the rest in their arms, or leave what they don’t need in their lockers.
Follow these tips as you shop for shoes and backpacks for back to school. The result will be a healthier and more comfortable school year for you and your kids!
For more information contact the Foot Health Team of
Dr. Peter F. Gregory, D.P.M. at 734-522-7676.