Your child is about to return from summer camp and gear up for the school year. As a parent, it’s time to shift your shoe guide focus from summer adventures to 2023 footwear trends for the classroom, playground, school gym, and more! This guide will discuss the best 2023 school shoes for kids and other vital foot health tips for children:
- Know your child’s condition
- Invest in orthotics
- Get the right shoes
- Get ready for the elements
- Sizing, sizing, sizing
- Prepare for gym change rooms
Know Your Child’s Condition
There are a wide variety of foot conditions unique to children. Knowing if your kid is struggling with one is the first step towards securing quality footwear and the best kids shoes for 2023. Common foot conditions in children include:
- Pediatric Flat Feet: Most kids have flat feet in their toddler years before arches form by age 5. However, some kids struggle with flat feet for much longer. Arch support is extremely important for little ones with flat feet. Studies show that kids who wear footwear with added arch support enjoy less physical foot pain, improved mobility and even bonuses like faster stair ascent time (although kids shouldn’t be running on the stairs at school!). A stability shoe like the ASICS GT-1000 runner, or custom orthotics, are highly recommended for kids with flat feet as the GT-1000 series is for people who overpronate (meaning the foot lands on the outside of the heel, which transfers weight incorrectly and causes pain over time).
- Sever’s Disease: This disease occurs when the growth plate on the back of the heel becomes inflamed. It is common in growing kids, especially young athletes. One of the major risk factors of Sever’s disease is having an overactive child exert energy without considering the proper shoe recommendations. Choosing school shoes with a deep-heel cup can help relieve pain.
- Osgood-Schlatter Disease / Growth Spurts: Running and jumping kids can develop Osgood-Schlatter disease in the knee, which feels like swelling and pain below the cap. It can also sometimes be attributed to growing pains and spurts. You can soothe symptoms by suiting your kids up with shoes with good shock absorption. Shock absorption dilutes the hard ground and gym floor’s effect on your child’s joints.
- Pigeon-toeing: Children who walk with their feet pointing inward are pigeon-toeing or in-toeing. Dealing with pigeon-toeing can be tricky because some specialists suggest you shouldn’t use corrective shoes until the child is around nine or 10 so they have a chance to naturally grow out of it.
Invest in Orthotics
From flat feet to growing pains, custom orthotics help with most musculoskeletal foot conditions common in children. School floors are notoriously hard and flat, so the extra arch support, shock absorption and cushioning can help with a pre-existing condition and keep it from progressing into more painful territory by putting more strain on vulnerable areas.
Get the Right Shoes
Quality footwear can make the difference between a painful day at school and a day with some relief and comfort. But how do you know what school shoes to buy for your kids? It may depend on their foot type:
Kids with low arches and flat feet that persist after age five should consider a stability shoe like the ASICS GT-1000 for kids. It will correct the overpronation we discussed earlier with extra support in the midsole and arch area and prevent their abnormal gait pattern from causing more discomfort.
You should also consider the needs of children with neutral gaits. The ASICS Novablast is built to accommodate growing feet and may be a solid choice for its extra cushioning and energetic bounce underfoot.
Sizing, Sizing, Sizing
Some kids may need to attend a shoe fitting before returning to the classroom. To ensure shoes fit for the whole school year, leave half an inch of room from the toe to the end of the toe box to account for growth spurts. If your child feels like their toes are being squished on the sides, look for shoes with added width.
Prepare for Gym Change Rooms
We all know schools are a breeding ground for the common cold. But your child can also contract highly contagious foot conditions like warts, athlete’s foot and toenail fungus if they don’t protect their feet in the locker rooms and change rooms. To prevent this, ensure your kid heads to school with flip-flops, shower shoes or sandals in their gym bag.
Get Ready for the Elements
Hopefully, your child already has a pair of the Saucony Peregrine from their camp adventures. But if not, it’s never too late! Your kids should always be prepared for mud, rain, sudden light snowfalls, and other weather events. The Peregrine ice is perfect for the fall months leading into winter and shields your child’s feet from moisture while offering an excellent grip on the ground and slippery pavement.