It is coming up to that time of year when our children are heading back to school. One of the questions that we, as Podiatrists, get asked often at our clinic is "What should I look for in a good school shoe?".
To assess the key features of a good school shoe, perform these three simple tests...
1. PRESS - The rearfoot or the heel bone area is where we get most of the control from in our shoes. To test the heel counter stability, press firmly and directly on the middle of the heel. If it collapses easily then you want to avoid the shoe. The heel counter of the shoe should be strong and reasonably stiff.
2. FLEX- The shoe should bend only at the toes and remain relatively still through the midsole. If you can fold the shoe in half, it is too flexible and will not be able to meet the rigorous demands of the school yard.
3. TWIST - Give the shoe a little twist, as if you are ringing out a towel. The shoe should have some torsional stability and not be able to be twisted completely in opposite directions.
In terms of sizing, as a rough guide, we recommend one finger/thumb width of room at the front of the shoe.
We hope that these tips will make the daunting task of finding a good school shoe much more manageable. Good luck... and be sure to get in touch with us if you'd like any help with checking your child's school shoes.
Written by Marcus Garrubba, Podiatrist