5 Tips to keep in mind for back to school shoes purchase

In preparation for back to school season many parents are concerned to buy the right shoes for the year ahead. There are a lot of differing opinions regarding footwear, however there is very little solid scientific research. Caitriona, our senior physiotherapist in paediatrics and women’s health looks at the key things to keep in mind when investing in new shoes for your children.

1. Foot Development

A child’s foot develops progressively over the first decade of life. Properly fitted shoes are important to allow this natural development. The appearance of the foot changes over time and a “flat-foot” posture can be a typical occurrence at certain ages. The whole of the lower limbs undergoes a similar development pattern and there are various intrinsic and extrinsic factors influence the foot posture.

2. Get your child’s feet measured

Although children have only been off school for 2 months often times their feet have grown over the summer. It’s always important to measure your childs feet every time you purchase new shoes.

3. Comfort before style

A shoe should be comfortable and not need to be broken in. Make sure the shoe is fastened either with velcro or laces and ensure there is at least 1cm space at the front of the toe to allow for further growth.

4. Buy quality shoes

Check that the shoe has a strong heel tab and ensure the sole is non-slip and sturdy. Check the shoe bends at the front but not so flexible that you can twist the sole. If possible, buy shoes made from natural materials such as leather, cotton or canvas, as this allows air to circulate and the feet to breathe.

5. When should we be concerned about a “flat foot”?

If your child is complaining of pain

If they are tripping or falling a lot

If they complain of a lot of fatigue

If they have increased difficulty carrying out functional activities, such as walking on tiptoes / running / squatting or jumping.

PMC Physiotherapy Dunboyne recommendation

Most minor foot problems in children correct themselves, however if you are concerned about your child’s foot development or they are experiencing pain contact Caitriona our senior physiotherapist in paediatrics and women’s health to get it checked out.


PMC Physiotherapy Clinic, Unit 36, Dunboyne Business Park, Dunboyne, Co Meath

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