Back to School Shoe Buying Tips

GETTING IT RIGHT: WHY THE PERFECT SCHOOL SHOE IS IMPORTANT IN THE BACK TO SCHOOL RUSH

Wearing poor fitting school shoes can have a negative impact on your child’s health. Bones in children’s feet are still developing and are far more vulnerable to stresses when compared to adults. Ill-fitting shoes that are too tight, too big, too small, rub or cause injury to the feet, are likely to cause problems for bone growth and development, as well as for a child’s gait, posture and stability. While you’re getting your child prepared for the school year, don’t forget the importance of the shoes that will be carrying them around all day.

 

DOs

1. Ensure that shoes have ample adjustment and support in the form of buckles, shoelaces, or Velcro straps. Adequate fastenings will help to hold the shoe to the foot and allow the child to walk, run and play comfortably, without their shoes tripping them up.

2. Make sure that feet are properly measured when buying new school shoes. In most shoe stores, staff will be experienced and able to ensure that shoes fit properly in width and length. Different shoe manufactures use different sizes, so don’t assume that you know your child’s shoe size, have their feet measured properly in every shop you visit.

3. Buy shoes made from natural materials, as they’ll allow feet to breathe and reduce the build up of potentially harmful bacteria.

4. Soles should provide plenty of shock absorption to the balls of the feet and the heels to help soften the impact of running and jumping on delicate feet.

5. If your child’s feet are different lengths (this is quite common), always go up a size rather than down so as not to cramp the longer foot.

 

DON’Ts

1. Slip-on shoes are a big no-no. The muscles and tendons of the feet are potentially forced to work much harder to keep slip-ons, such as ballet flats, from falling off and it is also common to scrunch the toes to help keep the shoes on. This can lead to pain and serious deformities of the toes and arches, as well as long-term problems with overuse disorders, such as tendonitis.

2. Straggly edges, seams or stitching on the material inside the shoes can cause injury from constant rubbing and should be avoided. Check the inside of the shoe with your fingers to feel for any sharp or uneven edges and don’t buy shoes that aren’t smooth to touch as they will irritate your child’s feet and cause friction injuries such as blisters.

3. Don’t allow your child to wear fashion shoes such as canvas plimsolls to school everyday. While these shoes are great for occasional use, they don’t provide the support that growing feet need on a regular basis during physical activity.

4. While sports shoes are usually great in terms of support and comfort, they are also generally made to suit specific sports and aren’t intended for regular use. Save the sports shoes for sport instead of for all the time.

5. Don’t buy shoes that are too big as a way of allowing your child to grow into them throughout the year. Shoes that are too long will cause unnecessary rubbing and potential tripping hazards as the feet work harder to move comfortably in the shoes and hold them on.

6. Don’t buy shoes that are too small as they can squish the toes and prevent normal bone development.

 

Perfect fit guide to selecting new school shoes for your child

Shoe structure and design play a big part in the comfort, safety and health of your child’s feet, but if shoes don’t fit properly, damage will be caused no matter how well they have been made. Follow the steps below to ensure that new shoes fit your child properly for the school year.

1. Length: new shoes should be around a thumb’s width longer than your child’s longest toe. The foot slides forward inside the shoe when walking, and the thumb test is a good way to ensure that your child’s toes aren’t constantly contacting into the front of their shoes, which could cause injury.

2. Width: shoes should fit without constricting the sides of the feet or the toes. Little feet need room to move and shoes should have a wide and deep toe box to allow kids to wriggle their toes comfortably.

3. Height: heels should have a broad base and heel height should never be more than 4cm.

4. Ankle grip: the top of the shoe should fit around the ankle without rubbing.

5. Heel fit: the heel of the shoe should grip comfortably around the heel.

6. Comfort: your child should be able to walk and move naturally in the shoes without any changed behaviour or unusual walking patterns. Take time to allow this at the fitting.

 

If you have any trouble finding the right shoes for your child, visit our podiatrists so that they an help get you on the right track. Call us on 3820 6326 or you can book online.

 

 

Heal Your Heels – Tip 3 Stretch Your Calf Muscle

Calf Stretch Heel Pain

Do you wake up with pain under your heels in the morning? Are they sore after a long day of work? Heck! Your heels might be sore all of the time.

Heel pain is one of the most common problems that your feet are likely to suffer from. Our podiatrists help people like you improve their pain every day.

Today I am covering tip number 4 of 5 on things you can be doing to help ease your heel pain. Check out our blog to find more tips.

 

Tip 4 – Calf Stretch

So what does calf stretching have to do with heel pain? A lot. Tight calf muscles can leads to excess pressure on the heel and arch muscles, contributing to your pain. Doing some simple calf stretches can help to reduce the load. Keep reading to find out…

 

  • So how do I stretch this area?

It is really quite simple for you to stretch your calf. Stand about 50 cm from a wall or door. Place the leg not to be stretched forward and bend the front knee. Keep the back leg straight and lunge toward the wall (like in the photo above). Press your hips toward the wall to fill a stretch in your calf area.

 

  • How long do I hold the stretch?

Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, relax, and then repeat twice more.

 

  • When do I do this?

Doing this at least three times a day is key to making a change in the muscle.

 

So get in and start stretching our your calf muscles. Combining this with the other exercises and changes will start to improve you pain. Now as with any exercise, if you feel that it doesn’t feel right or is making the area sore, stop the exercise immediately. If this happens to you, it is time seek our help to diagnose the condition correctly and provide the right treatment plan.

Keep an eye out for next weeks blog which will be covering how to rest the area and the role orthotics can play.

If you missed last weeks on arch massage for heel pain, here it is.
 
 

Tips For Healing Your Heels – Arch Stretch

Heel Pain Arch Stretch

Do you wake up with pain under your heels in the morning? Are they sore after a long day of work? Heck! Your heels might be sore all of the time.

Heel pain is one of the most common problems that your feet are likely to suffer from. Our podiatrists help people like you improve their pain every day.

Today I am covering tip number 3 of 5 on things you can be doing to help ease your heel pain. Check out our blog to find more tips.

 

Tip 3 – Arch Stretch

Arch stretching before getting out of bed in the morning or after you have been sitting for some time can help to make your first few steps much more comfortable. Heel pain can be very painful after you have been resting for a while, until you start to move around and get the area warmed up. So how do you do this? Keep reading to find out…

 

  • So how do I stretch this area?

It is really quite simple for you to stretch your arch. Sitting on the edge of your bed, bring the sore foot up into your lap (like the picture above). Grab your toes, and pull your toes and foot toward your shin. This will give you a good stretch under your arch.

 

  • How long do I hold the stretch?

Hold the stretch for 20 seconds, relax, and then repeat twice more.

 

  • When do I do this?

Every morning before getting out of bed. Also it can be helpful after you have been sitting for a while. Do it after Tip 2 (arch massage) to get even better relief.

 

Starting your day by stretching out your arch should make getting out of bed easier for you in the mornings. Now, as with any exercise, if you feel that it doesn’t feel right or is making the area more sore, stop the exercise immediately. If this happens to you, it is time seek the assistance of a podiatrist to help you to diagnose the condition correctly and provide the right treatment plan.

Keep an eye out for next weeks blog which will be covering calf stretching. This is another exercise that can really help to take the load off the foot.

If you missed last weeks on arch massage for heel pain, here it is.
 
 

Tips For Healing Your Heels – Arch Massage

Plantar Fasciitis

Do you wake up with pain under your heels in the morning, or are they sore after a long day of work? Heck, they might just be sore all of the time.

Heel pain is one of the most common problems that your feet are likely to suffer from. Our podiatrist help people like you improve your pain every day. Today I am covering tip number 2 of 5 on things you can be doing to help ease your pain. Check out our blog to find more tips.

 

Tip 2 – Arch Massage

The muscles within the arch can be a big contributor to your pain. So getting in and massaging the muscles can be really beneficial. So how do you do this? Keep reading to find out.

  • How do I massage my arch?

Using a ball.

A ball the size of a golf ball works best for most people. It does not have to be as hard as a golf ball, in fact I have a lot of people using a child’s bouncy ball of that size. Something the size of a tennis ball is too large for most people and will not get into the smaller muscles of the arch.
 

  • How often?

Twice a day – morning and night. Doing this before getting walking in the morning can help to reduce some of the first step pain for a lot of people.

 

  • What do I do?

Start by sitting in a chair, place the ball on the ground and then rest your arch on top of your foot. Start to move your foot around on top of the ball. While you are rolling around, you are looking for any sore spots in the arch (not under the heel bone itself). If you don’t feel any at first, you may need to push a little harder.

Once you know where the sore spots are, pick the worst one and go to work on it. Do this by pressing on the area with the ball so that if feels like a good pain (a 3-4/10, it should not be making you pull faces). Now, the pain should begin to ease as you hold this, and once it is no longer improving (about 30 seconds), move onto the next most tender spot.

 

  • What happens if the area doesn’t improve or gets worse?

Stop working on that area. If it hasn’t started improving in the first 30 seconds, move on. Also, if the pain increases, reduce the pressure. If this does not help, move onto the next spot. Try it again when you next do your exercises. If the spot continues to be very painful after 2 days of trying, it is time for you to seek our professional opinion to confirm the diagnosis, as other conditions can mimic plantar fasciitis.

 

As you progress with this exercise over time, these sore spots should reduce and the exercise becomes quicker.

Now, stay tuned for next week’s blog which will cover how to stretch the plantar fascia and arch muscles. If you missed last weeks on footwear for heel pain, here it is.
.

 
 

Tip 1 – Footwear for Heel Pain

Heal Your Heel Pain

How do your heels feel when you get out of bed in the morning? Are you bouncing out of bed or does it take a while to get going. Check out this video on improving your first few strides.Want more tips on fixing your heels – comment "Heel Pain" and I will send you some more videos on exercises you can do at home.

Posted by Feetology Podiatry Centre on Sunday, November 18, 2018

Tips For Healing Your Heels – Footwear

 

Do you wake up with pain under your heels in the morning, or are they sore after a long day of work? Heck, they might just be sore all of the time!

Heel pain is one of the most common problems that your feet are likely to suffer from. Our podiatrists help people like you improve your pain every day. Over the next few weeks, I am going to be listing off my top 5 tips that you can be doing at home to help ease the discomfort. So be sure to check back each week.

 

Tip 1 – Footwear

We wear footwear all day, everyday. And what we have, or don’t have, on our feet can greatly contribute to developing foot and leg problems. This is no different for your heel pain.

So what do we want in our shoes:

  • We want shoes that fit firmly to the foot

Shoes that don’t fit firmly cause us to overuse our arch muscles. This can cause these arch muscles to fatigue and can lead to causing the heel pain as the muscles can no longer support the arch as well as they should.

  • A little bit of a heel raise can help

Most shoes will have a little heel raise, including our joggers. But ballet flats or skate shoes have very little heel raise and contribute to your heels being overloaded while walking.

  • Shoes in good condition

If your shoes are excessively worn, they can have a big impact on your walking pattern. This can lead to areas of your foot being overloaded, and you guessed it – leading to the heel pain.

  • What types of shoes should I be wearing?

Joggers are generally a good start. They are very supportive, hold to the foot well and have a little cushioning to help as wellFor summer, I know you don’t want to be wearing joggers all the time. Choosing a sandal with a sling back (that you tighten every time your wear) or even better, a closed in heel are going to offer you a lot more support than your thongs, leading to less heel pain.

 

So when you have heel pain, start with your shoes first. Getting the right shoes can really get a good start on getting over this problem. Over the next few weeks I also be writing about some exercises you can do to help ease the pain so be sure to check in next week.

 
 

Shoe Shopping Checklist – Your Guide to Buying the Right Shoes!

 

Shopping for new shoes can often be difficult and tiring and may even leave you feeling very frustrated. How do you know which shoes are right for you? Where do you look? How do you know if they fit correctly? These are just some of the many challenges associated with finding the right pair of shoes. Our podiatrists at Feetology have listed a few helpful tips below to ensure you walk out with the right pair of shoes!

Activity

  • It is important we choose shoes designed for the activity we intend to use them for. It sounds simple but this is vital for efficient function and to reduce the possibility of injury. For example, if you do a lot of walking it is important to purchase a walking shoe, if you play a court based sport (eg. Netball) look for a cross trainer or if football is your main sport, make sure you wear football boots.

Heel

  • The heel collar of the shoe (material at the back of the shoe around the heel) should be firm but padded to provide comfort and reduce irritation/blisters. There shouldn’t be a gap between your foot and this part of the shoe when you have the shoe on. Having a small heel/lift at the back of the shoe can be beneficial but look for something relatively low and stable – less than 5cm in height and a wedge or Cuban style heel is better than a stiletto as they are more stable.

Length

  • When trying on shoes, you shouldn’t be able to feel your toe(s) hitting the end of the shoe. For enclosed shoes, aim for a thumbs width room from the end of your longest toe to avoid getting bruised toenails. For sandals, your toes should be sitting on the base of the shoe with no overhang. Tip: Fit the shoe to your longest toe – this may not be your big toe!

Width

Width is an important consideration that gets overlooked too often! It is important that you don’t go up multiple sizes in the length of the shoe to try and get more width. If you have a broad foot or any digital deformities (eg. Bunions, claw toes etc) look for shoes that are wider, particularly around the toes – a good tip here is to look for shoes with a square/rounded toe box instead of a pointed/tapered shape. There are also some brands that cater more for wider feet – e.g. New Balance (sports shoes).

Orthotics

If you have orthotics/inserts always take them with you when looking for new shoes. Looking for shoes with removable liners and adjustable fastenings is a good place to start. Try your orthotics in the shoes to ensure they fit well and you still have enough space for your feet. You may require a half size larger to allow for a better fit.
 

Top Tips

  • Make sure the shoe fits correctly, is comfortable and suitable for the activity you intend to use it for
  • Shop in the afternoon – feet can swell slightly throughout the day and it is important your shoes can accommodate this (adjustable fastenings is ideal – eg. Velcro straps)
  • Don’t assume your size – your size may vary from brand to brand or in different styles of shoes. Always get fitted and try your shoes on before purchasing
  • Don’t buy shoes that are causing pain or discomfort straight away, it will only get worse the more time you spend in them
  •  

    5 tests to tell if your shoes are worn out

    It’s spring time, and we start to come out of our winter hibernation and think about doing a little more exercise. We grab our shoes, put them on and start exercising without giving it a second thought. But, did you know that worn shoes are a leading contributor to foot and leg complaints.

    We all know we need to replace our runners, like any footwear, but how do we know when to do it? When you’re sporting a nice hole in the sole or your toe is sticking out is a good sign. However, these aren’t the only signs that your footwear may be ready for the rubbish bin.

    Here are 5 tests to know when you might be in the market for a new set of runners:
     

    The Wobble Test

    • Place your shoes on a flat surface. If they wobble for a while and then settle then this is a good indication you need a new pair. Not only this but if you see when the shoe settles it is leaning to one side, then you may have worn the sole away too much to continue to use them.  

     

    The Bend Test

    • Runners should bend forward only under the ball of your foot. They should not be easily bent backwards under sole of the shoe, in the middle or at any other site. If your runners are too “bendy”, it’s time for a new set. If your runners are new and bend where they shouldn’t, this may indicate they aren’t of great quality and could damage your feet.

     

    The “Peek-a-Boo” Test

    • You should never be sporting a hole at any site on your shoes. If you find your toe is popping out to say hello or you’re feeling the ground a little too much under your feet, this is a very good indication you are in the market for a new pair of shoes.

     

    The Stomp Test

    • The back of a shoe can provide your feet with a lot of support and control. Not undoing your shoelaces when slipping your shoes on and/or stomping on the backs of them can crush or bent this area beyond return. In this case, best to stomp off to get a new pair.

     

    The “I’m always replacing my shoes!” Test

    • If you’re finding you’re spending more money on your shoes than Imelda Marcos as they’re wearing out too quick, it’s time to get your shoes looked at by a professional.

     

    Even if your runners pass the above tests, they can still be “worn out” or incorrect for your feet. They could be the cause of any foot pain or could lead to a problem occuring. If you have foot or leg pain, it’s time to see a Podiatrist.

    Feetology Podiatry Centre’s Podiatrists can assess if your footwear are excessively worn and if this is occurring too quickly. They can answer your footwear questions and provide custom footwear assessment and suggestions to get the best shoes for your feet.

    Don’t let your shoes spoil a good day out. Call Feetology on 07 38206326 or book online.

     

    How do I know if my child needs to see a podiatrist?

    Sometimes it’s hard to get a lot of information out of our children about how their legs and feet are feeling. And sometimes it’s even harder to think of the right questions to ask! It can be hard for our kids to express how their feet and legs are feeling too…

    To make this a little easier for parents and kids alike, our Feetologists (Podiatrists) have come up with a few questions to help you work out if your child requires a check-up with one of our podiatrists:

     

  • Is your child complaining about painful feet/legs “growing pains” particularly in the evenings?  Does your child limp after running or playing sport?
  •  

  • Is your child clumsy or constantly tripping?
  •  

  • Do you think your child is walking ‘funny’?
  •  

  • Are they walking on their tip-toes, do their toes point inwards (pigeon-toed), do they have flat feet, do their knees point inwards or are their ankles rolling in (or out)?
  •  

  • Do they look different to other children their age when walking or running?
  •  

  • Have your child’s shoes worn through quickly or unevenly?
  •  

    If you or your child answered “Yes” to any of these questions, a thorough foot check is the first step to getting them back to their best. Help your child get off on the right foot; ready to tackle whatever comes their way!

    Call Feetology Podiatry Centre on (07) 3820 6326 to secure an appointment with one of our friendly podiatrists or you can book online.