The Complete Guide to Buying Kids Shoes
Date Posted:12 January 2017
Children's shoes are perhaps more important than they are for adults because young kids are still growing, developing, and slightly lacking in coordination. The shoes can protect them by minimizing slippage and providing padding against repeated jumping, running, or stomping. There are numerous factors involved when it comes to shopping for and selecting kids' shoes. It is not just a matter of going to the store or online and letting a child pick out the ones that they think look the coolest.
This guide will discuss 9 things to consider or do before purchasing any shoes. These steps will help parents find and select footwear that will promote safety and healthy development in their child.
9 Things to Consider When Purchasing Kids Shoes
As soon as children start going outdoors, they need some form of foot protection even if they are still infants. Shoes are not necessarily required for babies but their feet need to stay warm and protected from the elements. From the toddler age and up, children will need real shoes before they can start wandering around on their own. This means that parents will have approximately eighteen years of shoe shopping to get through. Here are 9 tips that will assist parents in purchasing appropriate shoes for their children.
1. Check Kids Shoes Constantly
Younger children aren't likely to verbalize that their shoes are starting to feel too tight. Instead there will be indicators such as the child refusing to wear footwear or crying every time they are put on. With or without these signs, parents need to check their kid's shoes about once a week because children grow quickly. Shoes that are too small will prohibit the feet from developing properly.
2. Measure for the Right Size of Kids' Shoes
The best way to measure for a child's shoe size is to have the child stand on a piece of paper and trace the outline of their feet onto it. This is easiest because kids like to wiggle around when being measured directly and the child may find tracing the feet to be a fun game.
Once the outline is on the paper, measure from the back of the heel to the furthest toe out. Then use our SIZING CHART to figure out what shoe size the child currently wears.
After finding the shoe, it is still important to make sure that there is a little room between the big toe and the front of the shoe so that there is slight room for movement and growth. Keep in mind that not all shoe manufacturers size their products the same way.
3. Avoid Shoes with No Backing
The coordination levels of kids are lower than that of adults. Any shoes that are not strapped on in some way can easily come off and trip a child. Children are also notorious for losing things, so shoes with no backing or sandals are not advisable because they may be misplaced. These shoes also provide little to no protection for kids' feet.
4. Get Shoes That Are Easy to Put On
Younger children and even some older ones may not be able to tie their shoes very quickly or at all. In order to avoiding having to always put their kids' shoes on, parents can look for footwear that is easy to manipulate. For example, kids can easily put on shoes with hook and loop systems as well as the ones that have the stretchy laces that do not have to be tied. Slip-on shoes may also work if they do not come off too easily.
5. Get Shoes with Good Traction
In order to help children with their lack of coordination and help prevent falls, shoes with a decent amount of traction are necessary. Look for shoes that have a patterned or textured sole.
6. Look for Shoes with the Appropriate Sole
Research has indicated in the past that younger children need more flexible soles. This is because they still have small bones and soft tendons in their feet. Stiff soles can prohibit proper growth. The down side to flexible soles is that they do not offer a lot of protection or support.
Parents can purchase the soles based on their child's age and activity level. If a kid is very active, then he or she will need stiffer soles. Just make sure that the shoes are removed as soon as the child is indoors so that the feet have time to be free of the restriction. For inactive children, start looking for stiffer shoes as soon as they are out of the toddler stage.
7. Get Breathable Shoes
Look for shoes that are made with breathable materials such as leather or ones with vents in them. Kids are very high-energy and may play active games for hours on end. Their shoes should allow their feet to breathe and get air.
8. Save Money on Shoes
Before children reach three years old, their feet grow half a size every two to three months. Kids ages three to six grow half a size every four to six months. After the age of six, the growth rate slows down but some children will still need more than two pairs of shoes a year because they wear them down so fast.
To save money, don't have more than two pairs of shoes for a child at one time. In many cases, one pair will do. This will reduce the number of shoes that have to be purchase every time they are worn out or outgrown. Another option is to look for shoes sales. When there is a sale, purchase the kid's current shoe size as well as a half size bigger. This saves the time and hassle of having to go shopping twice and it means getting a good deal on two pairs of shoes rather than one.
9. Get Quality Shoes for Older Children
Once the growth rate of children slows down, it is worth the extra investment to get durable shoes that will not wear down as fast. The price of one pair of sturdy shoes is usually still less than the cost of two lower priced ones. Younger children who will outgrow their shoes quickly do not need expensive shoes because they will be replaced before they ever wear out.
Sourced from eBay.