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Podiatrist - Washington
853 Jefferson Ave
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 225-7410
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By contactus
October 26, 2011
Category: Uncategorized
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http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTWAkyGA6v-8X2kdqpe2ehZ97c_4xjoyyWD9j7Pvaxd1kvn1Z4Y9gAlthough we are now a couple of months into the school year, back to school shopping may not be entirely finished. Back to school shopping is exciting for both kids and parents for different reasons. For parents, it means it’s time to ship the kids back to school and maybe catch your breath from a busy summer before the busy holidays kick in. Kids enjoy shopping for the latest and greatest supplies, backpacks, and a new wardrobe, including new sneakers. When shopping for new shoes, proper fitting of sneakers and style selection is important to prevent foot problems and injuries to your child’s feet. There are several tips for making the right selection of shoes for your child to start the school year, which unfortunately may include a compromise between his or her favorite “in-style” design and a pair of shoes that is good for their feet.

·       Bring your child shopping with you so they can be measured for proper size by a shoe store employee. Children often grow at an incredible rate which means their shoe size is going to change frequently. Proper shoe size will prevent tightness and improper motions that could lead to unwanted structural and functional changes in the feet. If one foot is larger than the other, you should always go with the larger size so it does not cramp the toes or create hammertoes (when your smaller digits contract up like a claw).Taking your child with you and teaching them what to look for also teaches them good habits for the future. 

·       When in doubt about proper shoe size, always use the rule of thumb:  Make sure that there is at least one thumb’s width between the tip of the big toe and the end of the shoe. This rule can also be used for adults.

·        Look for a shoe that has a rigid midsole area (see picture below). If the shoe is able to bend front to back or twist side to side, it likely does not provide enough support.

 http://www.webefit.com/articles/ART_47_Img/ShoeParts.jpg

·       Select a good sturdy shoe that has a stiff heel counter (the part of the shoe that goes around the backside of the heel) and a semi-rigid toe box (partially stiff-partially flexible area that goes over the tops of the toes) to help support the foot and prevent injuries or improper wearing-out patterns in the shoes. It is important to regularly check the wear pattern of your child’s shoes to make sure both shoes show a similar normal pattern, as abnormal wear patterns can indicate changes in the foot and provide information to your podiatrist about possible foot problems your child may be experiencing. You can check the wear pattern by simply looking at the bottom surface of the shoe (the surface that touches the ground). A normal pattern should be worn out in the middle and outside of the heel area as well as in the area under the big toe and second toe. You can see in this picture that this follows the normal pattern of how force is distributed across your foot with each step you take, beginning when your heel strikes the ground and ending when your big toe pushes off the ground to move your forward.

 http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTUUGqWJomO6Uo8dw6hFH-3mz8dIBAKCaJZnVevqiJ57ikBpuEl

·       In general, shoes should not be passed down from generation to generation as they do break down and wear out based on individual foot type (aka - shoes lose support and function with excessive wear). Sharing shoes could also possibly spread warts or fungus from one child to another. 

·       Shoes should be comfortable when they are first put on and should not have to be “broken in”. 

·       As winter quickly approaches, warmth and protection from the elements is also a big concern when shoe shopping. Ideally, shoes for winter should be waterproof and thick enough to stay warm in the wind and snow. Shoes with mesh tops or holes in them should be avoided.

 

If you have any questions about your child’s shoe size, how to pick a good shoe and the proper size, or concerns about abnormal wear patterns or other noticeable changes in your child’s feet, please do not hesitate to call us today! Just click on the "contact us" tab at the top of this page.

 

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