How to find the perfect fit?
Children spend many hours wearing their school shoes and so physically attending a store that provides a professional measure and fit is vital in selecting the perfect shoe.
Allow plenty of time - given the cost investment and need for a perfect fit, this process should not be rushed. Shoe selection and fitting should be a relaxed and positive experience for both you and your child. Allow up to an hour for scoping your child's preferred style, for the staff member to measure and fit your child’s foot, plus plenty of time to walk around the store wearing the shoe. Finally, ask your child for feedback; if its negative, try selecting another style, or if its positive, you can head straight to the checkout! Specialist shoe retailers such as Clarks, Shoes & Sox and Myer are personal favourites for me as a Mum and Podiatrist.
Come prepared - bring along the type of sock your child would normally wear to school (e.g. thick sports sock, ankle sock, cotton knee high or stockings) to ensure the fit is accurate. If your child wears foot orthoses, its imperative these are worn in the fitting process as they can change the depth and width of the shoe required.
Immediate comfort is so important - as a foot health professional, my pet hate is the outdated concept of 'wearing shoes in'. A correctly fitted, high quality shoe will feel comfortable straight away. There should be no need to have to wear them to school for the first few weeks and suffer from blisters, aches or pains in the hope they will eventually feel comfortable down the track.
Fit for now - while it’s tempting as a parent to go 'up a size so the shoes last longer', this can be detrimental to your child's foot health. When a shoe it too big, it causes the foot to move around in turn creating friction which leads to callus formation, blisters and damaged toenails.