Are You Trying Your Child’s Shoes on Wrong?
Shoe shopping with kids in tow can be a nightmare. After age two, the age that a proper shoe fit really matters, it seems that they all of a sudden voice an opinion on everything, not to mention have the attention span of… well, zilch. While the process isn’t always fun, trying on your children’s shoes correctly before purchasing is an extremely important step that many of us skip. A little jog and a couple jumps in the store can not only save your child’s feet, but also your money in the long run. It’s no surprise that many have resorted to shoe shopping for little ones online, picking out your favorites based on style and cost and forgoing the hot-pink, glitter engulfed cowgirl boots that match nothing, but your daughter would beg to have. Online shopping is an efficient shoe buying experience, and when you are keen to a certain brand that run true to size, online shopping is the way to go. But, even when you must shop in the store, many of us are unknowingly trying shoes on the wrong way. Our children are often seated on the floor and we resort to the old thumb between the biggest toe and the tip of the shoe rule that we were raised on. While this rule still applies, there are other factors to be included in fitting your child for the right shoe. Who knew?
1. Timing is everything
If you’re on your feet all day long, you know very well that your feet swell throughout the day. A child’s feet are no different. When trying on shoes, it is important that the shoe shopping experience happen in the late afternoon or evening to account for normal foot swelling throughout the day. The last thing you want is for your child’s new shoes to become uncomfortable as the day continues, which brings us to tip #2…
2. There is no such thing as “breaking in” your child’s shoes
It’s a saying we hear often in terms of shoes: “Break them in a bit”. While a broken in pair of shoes are the most comfortable, new shoes shouldn’t be so stiff that they need to be “broken in”. A child’s foot is still developing, unlike an adults, and should be fitted with a shoe that is already comfortable and flexible to allow for the natural movement of your child’s foot. Leather, canvas, and mesh, like the shoes featured above from Payless, make for great quality and comfortable shoes from the get-go. Not only are they flexible, but they’re soft, too.
3. Always try on both shoes
Naturally, one foot tends to be slightly larger than the other. It’s important that your child tries on both shoes to ensure that they are comfortable on both feet. Be sure that there is room between the longest toe and the tip of the shoe, as well as a tiny bit of room between the heel of the foot and the heel of the shoe. Too little space will cause an uncomfortably tight fit, while too much space can cause the foot to slip out while walking.
4. Wear your own socks
Wearing socks adds thickness to your foot. Be sure that the shoes fit with socks that your child usually wears. While the little socks that most shoe stores provide are very helpful, they are often much thinner than the average sock, so bring your own for a sure fit.
5. Let your child play
Encourage your child to take a little jog around the store. Skip. Jump. Stand. Keep the shoe on for at least a few minutes. Your child should be able to decide if the shoe is comfortable enough to allow them to do all of their normal, every day activities after a little exploration.
6. Enlist a professional
Shoe store employees are often trained in sizing a child’s foot and know the ins-and-outs of the brands they sell. Asking a professional for help selecting a shoe and sizing your child will not only save you time, but also provide you a wealth of information, such as what brand tends to run small or large or fits the everyday needs of your child. Store employees can also accurately measure your child’s foot, for example, ensuring to take the measurement while the child is standing, not sitting.
7. Shop at a children’s shoe store
Choose a store that sells solely children’s shoes or has a large children’s selection. Such stores are often geared to children and understand what it is like to shoe shop for a child, taking the pressure off a bit. The stores are often more accommodating and will provide styles that your child will be excited about. Once again, employees at such stores have a better understanding of a child’s foot and its needs. We especially like Payless ShoeSource for their family friendly shopping experience. A one-stop shop for each member of the family, the store provides a wide variety of brand and style selections for children, to include many Disney characters and super hero styles that your child will absolutely love. Both you and your child will feel at home in their child-friendly atmosphere.
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Photo credits: Stephanie
Tags: #Payless, Affordable Children's shoes, best fit, best kid shoes, children's fashions, children's shoes, Easy shopping, feet, fit, In-store shopping, online shopping, Payless ShoeSource, shoe sizer, Shoe tips, shoes for kids feet, shopping tips, tips & tricks
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Stephanie is a military wife, currently residing in New York, and mama of two exceptionally curious kiddos – a rugged pint-size princess and a toddling Evel Knievel-in-training – and one sweet, easy going baby boy. When she isn’t exploring the family’s newest dwellings, running trails, farmers’ markets, and playgrounds, she spends her down time working from home, feverishly correcting “textspeak” in her college students’ essays as an adjunct English instructor for a local community college. Her passion for writing and photography can be found at Stephanie High Photography on facebook