I don’t know about you, but buying school shoes was a big deal when I was a kid. My mum would block out an entire day to buy the perfect pair.
Every year we went to the same store to have our feet measured by a cutting-edge machine. I remember, as a little girl standing inside and feeling the blocks moving to touch my feet. First, the length, then the width.
How we shop has changed since then, but some things remain the same. Buying school shoes is still a serious business. Your little one’s feet are growing and developing. Even your smelly teenager’s feet need extra TLC.
Your kid’s shoes need to support their development while taking all kinds of punishment, therefore, it’s essential to get it right. We’ve put together a list of the top 4 mistakes to avoid when buying school shoes.
Measure the biggest foot
Did you know that everyone has one foot bigger than the other? So when you measure your kids at home, it’s essential to measure the next size from the largest marker on your child’s biggest foot. Ascent Footwear has a print out measuring chart which helps make this a breeze.
Fun fact, our feet change size
Did you know that your child’s feet swell throughout the day? This can make measuring at certain times inaccurate. It’s always best to measure your child’s feet in the afternoon to ensure you get them at their biggest.
Wait! What about the width?
Standard widths are different for boys and girls, and as you go up in size, these become more and more important. Junior sizes are easier to fit, but as their feet grow, your child’s foot will need the proper support.
We recommend a professional in-store fit-up for the most accurate width sizing. Unfortunately, as parents, we don’t always have the time to shop in-store. Gone is the whole day dedicated to school shoe shopping.
If you can’t get to a store, use your child’s current shoes as a guide to the width of their feet. If you feel your child has a wider-fitting foot, we recommend Ascent’s D-width shoes. For narrower feet, we recommend B/C widths.
Shoes that aren’t breathable
Increased hormones cause sweat and odour; nowhere is this more apparent than on their feet. By ensuring our teenagers have breathable insoles and breathable full-grain leather shoes, we can help to eliminate the odour caused.
The full-grain leather found in high-quality shoes makes it resistant to high temperatures, moisture, cracking, tearing, and peeling. It becomes richer and deeper with wear and moulds to your child’s foot while remaining breathable.
Getting shoes with no stability
Our kids are active from the day they start school until the end of their teens. In fact, teenagers give their shoes such a hard time that it’s recommended they have separate shoes just for sport.
So many shoes on the market today focus solely on looks. The practicality is gone. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the shoe frame. Nothing is worse than a shoe that has collapsed under the pressure of everyday wear.
Podiatrist recommended brand, Ascent Footwear, uses a specially designed nylon shank to stabilise the heel. Not only does it stop the shoe from collapsing, but it also ensures that the shoe won’t bend the wrong way. It supports the arch of the foot and allows the shoe to bend naturally across the joints in the forefoot area.
Also by building a stabilising exoframe into the inner workings of their shoes, this creates stability for your child’s foot. Plus it adds fundamental support, so you know your little ones’ feet are safe and secure.
Thinking higher price = better quality
My great-gran had a saying, “If you buy cheap, you buy twice.” Once upon a time, this was true. Higher pricing did mean better quality, and this outdated thinking still lingers, even though our shopping habits have changed.
But really it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Some shoes look great but offer no support for your child’s developing feet.
Ascent also uses double-black leather, meaning not only do they feel great but no grey will show when your little one scuffs their shoe.
Further reading: 10 Back to school tips for separated and divorced parents.