Editor’s note: Dr. Kayla Emter, podiatrist/foot & ankle surgeon at Jamestown Regional Medical Center, shares tips on how to shop for children’s shoes. As a student, Dr. Emter struggled with painful bunions, which required surgery. Form that experience, she wanted a career in the medical field so she could educate and help others. Today, Dr. Emter is qualified through the American Board of Foot & Ankle Surgeons, American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons and the American Podiatric Medical Association.
Purchasing new children’s shoes may seem like a nuisance, especially when they hit growth spurts and need new shoes before old ones wear out. Alternatively, perhaps you have a child who has half the sole worn off or a part of the shoe blown out in no time. Though shoes can be pricy, the process of purchasing a shoe should not be a headache.MAKE AN APPOINTMENT
To endure a child’s shoes are the right fit:
- Make sure the child is along during the shopping excursion. Ask an associate to size his or her feet. Children’s feet grow fast, sometimes more than half a size in less than a year.
- Brands vary in size. So, be sure they try the shoe on prior to purchasing. One size in one brand may not be appropriate for the next.
- Purchase age appropriate shoes. A toddler who is just beginning to walk should have a soft-soled shoe versus a hard one. Their proprioception or sense of position is dependent on them being able to feel the ground. This is difficult to do with hard-soled shoes.
- Trace your child’s foot on a piece of paper and cut it out. If you take out the factory insole and place the cut out on top of it, there should be about a half inch between the end of the insole and the cut-out. This is also what to look for when feeling for their toe through the shoe.
- Some children have one foot that is bigger than the other. Always accommodate the bigger foot when purchasing shoes.
- Bring any inserts along that the child wears in their shoes for sizing. These often take up a little bit of room in the shoes and may require going up in size.
- If a child complains of pain in their feet, schedule a free injury screening. The free screening helps families understand their treatment options.
No one told us when having children that not only should we have a college fund, but a shoe fund too. Nevertheless, appropriately sized shoes for your kiddo’s feet can prevent injuries and deformities that would really be a kick in the pocketbook.
Know that studies show: care is better close to home. Jamestown area residents need not to travel for specialty services. If you or someone you love needs relief, contact the JRMC Clinic at (701) 952-4878. Schedule a free injury screening at (701) 952-4800.