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Back to school – Podiatry advice on School and Sports Shoes

The holidays will now seem like a distant memory as the school year takes hold and your children are back into the full swing of the school year. An increase in activity involving school sport, club sport and running around at lunch times usually comes with this and there are few things to consider in regards to your child’s footwear.

This is a common time of year I treat a lot of ingrowing toenails because the children’s feet may have grown over the holidays and their shoes are now too tight. To avoid this make sure your child has at least a half a thumb width between the longest toe and the end of the shoes. Ideally a full thumb width if they are new shoes but as long as your child is not complaining of toe pain then they should be ok for the time being. Keep an eye on them.

If it is time for new shoes then making sure you take your child to a reputable shoe store who will check the thumb width rule above, check to make sure the width is correct and make sure the heel cup is not allowing slippage.

The Athlete’s foot have a great range of Clarks and Ascent school shoes with varying sizes and widths.

The same rules above apply for sports shoes which includes running shoes and court shoes (e.g. Basketball, netball, tennis). Make sure you spend the money on your child’s footwear as the cheaper shoes often will have less cushioning and support and this can increase the risk of overuse injuries. Determining the right amount of support is also important and your local Podiatrist is best trained to give advice in this area.

Football boots are a little different in the sense that the foot needs to contact the ball while kicking and if the boots are too big then it will cave in when the ball is kicked. In this case when fitting boots fitting closer to a ½ a thumb width should allow enough room for a little growth without being too big and hard to kick a ball. If the child plays all year round then two pairs to see out the year may be needed.

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