The back-to-school countdown has begun, and a pair of new shoes are likely topping the list. For parents who want to shop with confidence, FN has some tips from industry expert Stephanie Teichner, owner of Sprong children’s shoe store in Atlanta.
1. Don’t try to avoid a shopping trip with your child and estimate his or her size. Make sure to bring your child into the store to be fitted both for length and width. While some parents want to stretch the wearing time of a pair of shoes by buying a size larger, Teichner said a proper fit leaves a thumb’s amount of room at the front of the shoe. Any more room than this, and kids’ feet won’t be held in place.
2. Look for a shoe with good support. Parents will find little debate with their kids when it comes to selecting a style since Teichner suggests athletic shoes. If they’re in a shoe for eight hours a day, said Teichner, support is critical. And, she added, since many athletic brands offering children’s as well as adult sizes will incorporate similar technologies and components into these scaled down sizes.
3. Rotating footwear is critical. Parents should buy two pairs to start off the school year, Teichner suggests. Since shoes are worn eight hours a day, five days a week, they can be up against lots of wear and tear. By buying in multiples, parents will avoid heading back to the store as frequently for a fresh pair.
4. Whenever possible, shop at the same retailer. Store sales associates will get to know your child’s fitting and lifestyle needs. Teichner said she hires moms who know how to relate to kids as well as their peers, making the shopping experience more comfortable for everyone.
5. Check a shoe’s fit on a regular basis since kids grow at varying rates. For new walkers to kids up to age 3, Teichner suggests checking the fit every three months. Older kids can be checked less frequently since they can let parents know if a shoe is getting small.