The 9 Best Shoe Brands For Kids, According To Podiatrists

The 9 Best Shoe Brands For Kids, According To Podiatrists

While Dr. Patrick McEneaney, doctor of podiatric medicine and CEO of Northern Illinois Foot and Ankle Specialists and certified pedorthist Michael Fishkin both prefer in-person shoe shopping, they know online shopping is often more convenient for busy or long-distance families. So when buying on the web, it’s imperative to ensure the shoes fit correctly after they get delivered.

To check the fit, McEneaney likes the time-honored thumb between the big toe and the top of their shoe — giving their quickly-growing feet a little room without being too big. “Otherwise, you know, you’re buying shoes way too often,” he said. 

Even if your kid is not a track star, Fishkin recommends getting them running shoes for shock absorption and stability in school, gym class, and other activities. “Running shoes are typically more secure on the feet, so they can help prevent injuries and be a little bit more protective,” Fishkin told us. For odor control and breathability, Fishkin likes shoes with a mesh upper (like many running shoes) and emphasizes looking for something with a rubber outsole on the bottom, as foam can grind down and interfere with your kid’s stride and posture.  

Dr. McEneaney and Fishkin also instructed to look for ample, if not extra support in the middle part of the shoe (around your kiddo’s arch), to relieve stress to the ball of the foot, ensuring their heel doesn’t pop out when they move and confirming that the width is correct. “Look at their feet while they’re standing before you buy shoes,” Dr. McEneaney said, explaining that many brands offer wide options for kids.

The expert’s last advice: while it’s less cost-effective, stick to new shoes, as hand-me-downs or second-hand options can affect your kid’s walk. When online shopping, decide what type of shoe your kid needs, screenshot a few options, and then have your kid choose a color from your pictures — instead of showing them a whole webpage and risking disappointment or overwhelm. 

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