Summer vacation is coming to an end! For some kids, back to school shopping is the only fun thing about heading back to class. There are so many different colors, styles, and brands to choose from that it can seem overwhelming. Before you let your kids choose their favorite look, there are other things to consider when purchasing your back to school shoes.

According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, here are some important things to remember to help prevent or minimize your student’s risk of injury to their foot and ankles.

1. Replace old shoes. Shoes lose their shock absorption over time. Worn-out shoes increase the risk for heel pain, Achilles tendonitis, and even ankle sprains and stress fractures. Replace any shoes with wear and tear around the edges of the sole.

 2. Buy shoes that fit properly. Children’s feet can grow up to two sizes in just six months! If your child wears shoes that are too tight, it can cause blisters, corns, calluses, and even ingrown toenails. All of these conditions can be very painful and make daily activities difficult. Ingrown toenails may even become infected. Watch out for signs of infection including pain, redness, or fluid draining from the area. If you notice any of these symptoms, Idaho Foot and Ankle Center can help!

Tight shoes are definitely not a good idea, but buying shoes that are too big can be a problem as well. Oversized shoes cause the foot to slide forward which puts excessive pressure on the toes. What to look out for? A good fit is about a finger’s width from the end of the shoe to the tip of the big toe.

3. Find the right shoe for your child’s foot type. For example, children with flat feet need shoes with a wide toe box, maximum arch support, and shock absorption. It is also a good idea to look for a shoe that has enough depth for an orthotic insert, if necessary. Your Podiatrist can assist you determine your child’s foot type, if needed.

4. Check for arch support and proper cushioning. Foot problems can happen rapidly if the foot is not supported properly for the various activities kids do throughout the day. When buying shoes, check to see that the toe box flexes easily and the shoe does not bend in the middle of the sole.

By following these guidelines, you can help your student (and their feet) have a happy and successful school year. If you have any questions or concerns about foot or ankle issues, contact Idaho Foot and Ankle Center! Dr. Kylin Kovac and Dr. Jed Erickson are specialists who provide foot care for the whole family!

Some content provided by The ACFAS.