You probably won’t know until it’s too late and you end up at your local podiatrist for an injury that could have possibly been avoided. A child’s only requirement for their shoe gear is if it looks cool and all of their other friends will be wearing the same thing – that’s it. So, as the superstar parent you are, you have to take on ANOTHER responsibility to ensure that your child doesn’t end up in our office due to bad shoes.  The task of taking your kid shoe shopping may sound daunting, so I’ve got a few pointers to help your trip go a little smoother.

  1. Make sure they are in the right size! Even if you just bought them new shoes, make sure you are checking the size of the shoe is accurate. Kids’ feet can grow 1mm a month, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but equates to about half a size every 3-4 months! But, beware not to go too big with the hopes they will “grow into them”. If their shoes are too big then their feet are having to work extra hard to keep them on, instead of being able to move naturally.
  2. Support and cushion are key! Look for a shoe that is supportive by the heel and arch, but flexible at the toes. Heel cushioning is also a great feature to help prevent pediatric heel pain, or Sever’s Disease.
  3. Let them BREATHE! I see a lot of kids in the office and from personal experience, I can say that children tend to have much sweatier feet; shoes with a mesh upper is a great option to allow their feet to breathe!
  4. Throw away their old shoes! Even though their shoes make not look worn, don’t hold onto them for the next kid in line. The inside of shoes mold to the shape of the feet and specific gait pattern, so it’s best to not hand down shoes.

Make it a good habit to go shoe shopping once every season to ensure your child is wearing the perfect shoes for their growing feet! If you have any other questions about your kids’ feet or shoes, we would love to talk to you more, call us at (630)834-3668.


Dr. Misty McNeill
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D.P.M. - Founder of Prairie Path Foot and Ankle Clinic