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Selecting the right shoes for children

Properly fitting shoes are essential for healthy foot development and for optimal activity. Sock and shoe sizes may change every few months as a child’s feet grow. Here are some tips for ensuring that your child’s shoes provide the right support and protection, and give those young feet space to breathe and grow.

  • Poorly fitted shoes can aggravate the feet. Always measure children's feet before buying shoes. Monitor their feet for irritation.
  • Never "hand down" footwear. Shared shoes may not fit properly or heels may be worn unevenly, causing a child to adapt an uneven gait. Hand-me-down shoes can also spread fungal infections.
  • Take your child shoe shopping. Involving your child in the fitting and buying process promotes awareness of healthy foot habits.
  • Examine the heels. The heel may wear out before the child outgrows the shoe. Uneven heel wear can indicate a foot problem and should be evaluated by a podiatrist.
  • Always buy for the larger foot. Feet are seldom precisely the same size. Find out which of your child’s feet is larger, and make sure you always buy shoes for that foot.
  • Buy shoes that don't require a "break-in" period. Shoes should feel comfortable immediately. Always try on shoes with socks or tights if that's how they'll be worn.

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