New Shoes for School: Getting the Right Fit

| August 6, 2013 | 10 Comments

Little Girl Tieing Her ShoesKids grow like weeds, and if you’re like me, you’re buying your children new shoes at least once or twice per year. I live in an area where we can wear sandals year-round, but schools usually require sneakers for gym class and sometimes as part of the school uniform, so every summer, we troop out to try on tennis shoes. Since ill-fitting sneakers can cause blisters and even toe deformities in growing feet, here are some important tips to keep in mind for getting new shoes that fit:

  • Have your child wear the socks that she’ll be wearing with the sneakers. The disposable socks that shoe stores provide are very thin, and most kids wear thicker socks. This can greatly impact fit, so don’t forget!
  • Get them measured properly. Take your kids to a shoe store where the salesperson will measure their feet. Ask him to measure both feet, as sometimes one foot will be larger, and you need to find shoes that fit the larger foot (if there’s a big difference, you can buy pads or liners to take up some of the room).
  • Have your child try on shoes in the size recommended, but also in the next size up and down. Each shoe manufacturer has a slightly different sizing method, so don’t get too caught up on the number on the box.
  • Make sure that your child can wiggle her toes with the shoes on. Press down on the front of the shoe to be sure that she has about a half-inch of space between the tips of her toes and the front of the shoe.
  • Watch her walk, making sure that there is some space between her heel and the back of the shoe. If it fits too closely, it could rub and cause calluses, blisters or other irritation.
  • Never buy new shoes that are a bit snug in anticipation that they’ll stretch out.
  • Also, resist the temptation to buy shoes that are too big in anticipation that your child will grow into them. She will eventually grow into them, but in the meantime, they won’t be providing proper support and can even be a safety hazard.

Sneakers for kids can be expensive, but try to buy shoes of a good quality; not only will they last longer, but they’ll be more gentle to your child’s feet and less likely to cause irritation. One way to save money on shoes is to buy on clearance or at outlets. We have a Nike outlet near us that offers very good prices on sneakers for both adults and kids. Another way is to try on shoes at a store, then to order online, using a discount or coupon code. Every year Stride Rite runs an incredible back to school sale and as long as you are ready to brave the long lines you can get great deals.

What are your best tips for saving money on new shoes?

Comments (10)

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  1. Tiffany says:

    Thanks for the tips!

  2. jan says:

    Kids grow so quick,you need a money tree to keep fitting them out.

  3. Jessica Mueck says:

    Thanks for the tips. I have 2 especially difficult children when it come to shoes. My 12 year old daughter doesn’t care if they are too big or cramming her toes as long as they look cute or cool or whatever it is she is trying to portray:)

    And then there’s the 4 year old that just wants everything to be tacky with spiderman on it. The problem is spiderman shoes generally are not the best shoes for sports and even everyday wear fir a busy boy.

    Luckily my 9 year old daughter still just listens to what mommmy says:)

  4. Kristen Hernandez says:

    Thanks for the ideas – I always have trouble when it comes to buying new shoes for my kids!

  5. Cathie Shane says:

    I have found that if a child is going to get a good fit it is better to shop in the evening for shoes as a persons feet always swell just a bit toward the end of the day when they are on them running and playing all day. this way the shoe doesn’t feel to tight as the day goes on.

  6. Karen Glatt says:

    These are very good tips for getting new shoes for back to school. One tip that is very good is to make sure that they have their socks on when trying on shoes! This will help get a great fit!

  7. Lucy Black says:

    Thank you so much for these great tips!

  8. Rebecca says:

    Great tips – thanks so much for taking the time to share them!

  9. chelesa sims says:

    great tips. Children s feet grow so fast. i have always just tried the shoe on with the box size. i never knew when it came to shoes the manufacturers sizes werent all the same

  10. Carrie says:

    When my daughter was small….I always had trouble getting the proper fit…her foot is long and very narrow…The correct fit was not always the most fashionable…but somehow we made it thru…

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