All too often, when buying shoes for their children, many parents sacrifice essential features such as comfort and flexibility for the sake of fashion, failing to see that their children’s feet are growing and may have special footwear requirements.

At Cincinnati Foot and Ankle Care, our Milford foot and ankle specialists warn parents about letting their children wear wrong-sized shoes, as this can lead to foot problems. They also suggest against buying shoes that offer little flexibility in the forefoot and sole area, especially for toddlers who are still developing their gross motor skills—skills that allow them to perform everyday functions like walking and running.

Here are four tips our foot and ankle care Milford, Ohio experts encourage parents to consider doing when choosing the right shoes for their children:

1.) Never buy shoes that need “breaking in.”

Shoes should feel comfortable right away, so if they don’t, don’t even think of buying them.

Have your little one walk around in them for longer than a few minutes. Let your child tell you how the shoes feel, then check each foot to make sure none of them have irritation marks. Observe how your child walks in each pair. If you see your child not walking properly, something must be hurting.

2.) Get the right fit.

Ill-fitting shoes aren’t only uncomfortable; they can also lead to foot problems down the road or to slips and falls, which potentially cause injuries.

The best way you can gauge a shoe’s correct fit is to have them worn in action, so let your child walk, dance, or jump when trying on shoes.

If your child can’t go shoe shopping with you, at least take a foot measurement. Make sure that your child is standing and that both feet are measured, as one foot is usually larger than the other. Get a pair that best fits the larger of the two feet.

If your child is old enough to decide, you can offer your suggestion, but allow for some input as to which pair your child thinks is best. Discuss with your child what should matter when buying shoes. Nothing makes for a better shopping experience than having your child choose a design that is not only stylish but also appropriate for growing feet.

3.) Know what makes for a great pair of shoes.

Know the necessary features of a great pair of children’s shoes and list them down. While finding one that has them all may be a challenge and does take a lot of patience, it’s definitely worth it. The right pair of shoes has at least two or more of these important qualities:

●      Comfort

Needless to say, children’s shoes need to be comfortable– lightweight, offer superior cushioning and have a wide toe-box to naturally follow the shape of your child’s foot and provide a good room for the toes to move freely.

●     Flexibility

Your child’s shoes also need to be flexible enough to allow your child’s feet to bend as though they are barefoot.

●     Good Traction

The better the traction a shoe has, the safer your child is. Shoes with excellent grip protect your child from slipping, especially on wet surfaces.

●     Breathability

Breathable shoes use either canvas, cloth, or soft leather, which allows your child’s feet to dry a lot quicker and prevents foot odor.

4.) Talk to a podiatrist.

If your child has any of the following problematic symptoms, don’t proceed with buying just yet. It’s best to seek expert advice from a podiatrist before making a decision:

  • abnormally shaped toes
  • painful/persistent ingrown toenails
  • bunions or other deformities
  • foot stiffness
  • limping/foot pain especially while walking
  • severe in-toeing or out-toeing
  • flat feet that cause pain or limit function

Seeking Foot and Ankle Care in Milford, Ohio

If you’re seeking medical advice or high-quality foot and ankle care in Milford, Ohio for you or your child, we have board-certified, highly skilled podiatrists who can fully educate you on the problem at hand and encourage you to get involved in the treatment. We pride ourselves on recruiting the finest podiatrists who emerged from three-year surgery residency programs with the most advanced training and surgical techniques.

Check our location directory or use this online form to book an appointment with any one of our foot and ankle care specialists at Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care. We look forward to being of service to you!