When Fairfax County schools open up again next week, be ready with shoes that’ll help your kids succeed. Back-to-school shoe shopping can be a breeze when you follow these tips from board-certified podiatrist Kenneth R. Wilhelm, DPM :

  • Measure your child’s feet. The younger your child is, the faster his feet grow, so measure them each time you buy shoes. And don’t be surprised if one foot is bigger than the other. Buy shoes to fit the larger foot.
  • Don’t buy shoes to “grow into.” Buying too big shoes so that the child can wear them longer is not a good idea. Shoes that are too large can cause your child to trip and fall. They can also chafe, causing blisters and calluses.
  • For maximum flexibility, opt for adjustable closures such as laces and Velcro straps.
  • Check the width as well as the length. There should be about ½” of space between the child’s longest toe and the end of the shoe. Remember to check the width as well. There should be no pinching or irritation on the sides of the feet.
  • Perform the bending test. Hold a shoe in your hands and try to bend it. If it easily folds in half, it’s not providing much support.
  • Listen to your child. If they tell you their feet hurt, those shoes are not for them.
  • Don’t let fashion rule. By contrast, don’t listen to your child if they beg for a cute pair of shoes that don’t fit well.

A well-fitting pair of shoes will help your children get through the school day safely and comfortably. And by teaching them the importance of good shoes today, you set them up for a lifetime of healthy feet.

From pediatric flatfoot to sports injuries, we at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center welcome children of all ages who have problems with their feet. Contact us online or call our Centreville office at (703) 996-3000 for an appointment with Dr. Wilhelm.

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