What To Look for When Back-to-School Shoe Shopping


It still feels like summer here in Cumberland County, but soon those yellow school buses will once again announce another school year.

So it’s time to put away the sandals and worn-out sneakers and go back-to-school shoe shopping. Parents, it’s up to you to be firm! Don’t give in to your child begging for the latest ballerina-like slippers, designer shoes, or Iron Man sneakers. Focus on properly-fitting shoes that are comfortable and sturdy for optimal foot health.

Back-to-School Shopping Tips

  • Children’s feet grow fast, so be sure to have both feet measured each time you shop. Check length, width, and arch position and buy for the larger foot.

  • Schedule your shoe shopping for later in the day when feet are largest.

  • Coach your child to buy into sturdy shoes with closed toes – make it seem like it’s their idea!

  • Always bring a pair of your child’s socks for trying-on shoes or, better yet, invest in new socks that are of quality materials and are comfortable and durable.

  • The heel of a child’s shoe should be sturdy; in other words, it should not collapse when you press down on both sides of the heel counter.

  • Make sure that the shoe does not twist in the middle.

  • Check for toe flexibility that is firm and not too bendable.

  • To keep the shoe firmly on the foot, chose styles with laces or Velcro fasteners.

  • Have your child walk and even run around the shoe store to check for comfort. Look to see that the heel does not slip up and down. There should be no “breaking-in” period necessary.

You may be into recycling and reusing, but pass up on hand-me-down shoes. These shoes will have molded to the prior owner’s foot and so will not fit your child properly. You may also be picking up unwanted fungi and bacteria.

While the beginning of a new school year is great for shoe shopping, it’s also the perfect time to bring your child in for a complete foot evaluation. We will address any concerns you may have, thoroughly check your child’s gait, diagnose any issues, and devise a unique treatment plan.

Let Us Give Your Child a Thorough Foot Evaluation

Foot or toe pain is not normal! If you have any discomfort from arthritis, an injury or just from overuse, please call Michele Kurlanski, DPM at Lighthouse Foot and Ankle Center. Dr. Kurlanski offers expert and professional podiatry services in Cumberland County, Maine. Please call us today at 207-774-0028 to schedule your appointment in our Scarborough office.