Choosing comfortable school shoes for your children

Choosing comfortable school shoes for your children:

Ill-fitting school shoes can often lead to falls, feeling unsteady, leg fatigue, and possible toe deformities. The skin may also be irritated resulting in corns and callus (hard skin) build-up, due to increased pressure/friction. These changes may prevent your child from wanting to play, run, keep up with their friends and compete in a sport. With the numerous choices in footwear options, it is quite confusing for many parents to decide which shoes are best for their child.

Your child will spend approximately 40 weeks a year in their school shoes!  From being indoor in the classroom; outdoors during recess and lunch; playing sports on the oval or basketball courts etc.

As a podiatrist l enjoy guiding parents in knowing the importance of correct fitting shoes for their children. This will assist with the support and comfort of their feet as their bones and muscles grow.  Here are some tips for choosing the right features for school shoes:

School Shoe Size:

Brands may vary in the size of the shoe. For example, your child may be a size 4 in New Balance but a size 5 in Ascents.

Try to remember 3 D’s depth, diameter, and digits to assist with the fit. It is always best for you child to try on the shoe.

Depth of school shoes:

Enough depth will allow your children’s feet to not experience any friction against the top or sides of the shoe. Make sure there is a removable insole if foot orthotics are needed.

Diameter of school shoes:

When you take out the insole and place your foot on top of the insole. the big toe joint, the 5th toe joint and the heel should not bulge off the insole. If the foot does bulge off; this may increase the risk of toe deformities, friction against toe joints and blisters.


There should be 1 finger space or 1cm at the front for your toes. Their toes should be able to wiggle and move. Our foot will shuffle forward slightly when walking.

Weight of school shoes:

Avoid heavy shoes as they may lead to your child’s legs/feet working harder causing fatigue.

Bends at the forefoot area:

This will allow your child to push off the ground efficiently to move forward.

Slip resistance outer sole:

To prevent falls and slips during rainy weather or wet surfaces.

Fastening school shoes:

By the age of 5 most kids can tie their laces but some other options are zippers, buckles or Velcro straps. Try and avoid slip-on shoes as these shoes may encourage the formation of clawed digits. The toes may claw to grip the shoe.

School shoe Comfort:

Most importantly buy shoes that are comfortable!

Try buying shoes towards the end of the day since your child’s feet may be more swollen. Another tip is to try different shoes on each foot to rule out which shoe is most comfortable. This will come down to personal preference.

Specific Supportive features:

These features will vary depending on condition, foot variation, their goals, budget and the sports they play.

If you would like a more in-depth footwear assessment our podiatrist can provide this service. Bring your child’s leather shoes, sports shoes and any other shoe they wear on a regular basis. We will perform a comprehensive walking and running analysis on a treadmill.

For more information or to make an appointment please call our friendly reception team on (02) 9252 2825

Post by: Quay Health Podiatrist